The most remote island chain on earth, with powerful volcanoes and lapping turquoise waters — well, there’s just no place like Hawaii. The islands’ natural beauty is simply unmatched, the local culture is vibrant and sacred to those who call it home. Whether these unique Pacific islands are home or simply a place that inspires you, these Hawaiian boy names are sure to bring a smile to your face. Though many baby names in the native Hawaiian language are historically genderless, more modern choices have evolved to be designated for either boys or girls.
It’s traditional in Hawaiian culture for an elder or close family member to choose a baby’s name at birth, though parents may also choose. Hawaiian names in these instances are often based on dreams or visions, tied to a significant event, or in given honor of an ancestor. These roots give way to an array of rich, melodic monikers with powerful meanings.
Hawaiian names also work particularly well if you aren’t finding out your baby’s sex until birth, but want to pick out a name ahead of time. Androgynous baby names are also popular for parents who want to raise their baby in a gender-neutral environment. While this list is geared to boys, there are plenty of options here that could also spark inspiration if you want to steer clear of a strongly gendered name.
Meaning “awe” or “reverence” in the native Hawaiian language, Ano is an inspirational and idyllic name choice for a baby boy. The name is meant to evoke feelings of peacefulness. Ano also means “immaculate” as an Armenian name, so it is an apt choice for families with ties to both cultures.
Eleu is a traditional Hawaiian name that means “alert, lively.” A sweet and spunky choice for a baby boy, this genderless name is now slightly more popular among girls (perhaps thanks to an abundance of vowel sounds and similarity to the name Ella).
Looking for a bright and sunny baby name? Consider Haoa, a Hawaiian boy name that means “hot as the sun.” Another sun-inspired name choice for boys is the Hawaiian name La, which is a bit shorter.
If your sights are set on joy, there are plenty of baby names that mean happy to choose from, but this Hawaiian name is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Hauolo means “happiness.” A far cry from popular boy names like Asher (“happy”) or Gil (“happiness”), it is also unlikely your child will be in the same kindergarten class with someone who shares their name.
The way that many Hawaiian baby names sound reflects their meaning. This is especially true with the dynamic, assertive Ikaika, which means “strong.” This Hawaiian name is traditionally genderless, but now most often used for boys.
Arguably the most popular name on this list, Kai is a Hawaiian boy name that means “sea.” The name first made the Social Security Administration (SSA) list of top 1,000 baby names in the U.S. in 1979, and reached its highest ranking in 2021 as the 71st most popular name for boys.
The Hawaiian boy name Kaleo has potential to be meaningful in more ways than one. It means “the voice” or “the sound” and it sounds musical, too. If your family has Greek ties, the Grecian meaning translates to “a call to God,” as it appears in translated versions of the Bible.
A name that exudes qualities of strength and nobility, Kane means “man” in Hawaiian. Other cultures have slightly different definitions for the one-syllable boy name; Kane means “warrior” in Celtic languages and “golden” in Japanese.
Aside from the obvious celebrity connection (or perhaps thanks to it), this Hawaiian boy name is quite popular. Keanu means “the breeze,” and gives total island vibes. From 1994 to 2021, the name has been on the SSA’s list of top baby boy names in the U.S. 18 times.
Kimokea is a Hawaiian name that means “honoring God.” If you’re looking for a lyrical boy name that will help connect your child to a faith, Kimokea is a beautiful option.
Another inspirational boy name with ties to a spiritual existence is the name Mana. This Hawaiian boy name means “divine power”.
If you’re in the market for twin baby names, but already have your heart set on the perfect name for one baby, consider Māhoe for the other. Māhoe is a Hawaiian boy name that means “twin.” It’s literally perfect for one half of a twin pair.
The traditional Hawaiian name Makani means “the wind.” Pronounced Mah-KAH-nee, it sounds breezy, airy, and light. If Makani sounds appealing, a similar Hawaiian name choice that you may also love is Makana, which means “gift.”
If you’d like a name that sounds gentle, but has a meaning with some bite, consider Manollo. This Hawaiian boy name means “shark.” Plus, it will be ridiculously easy to find nursery decor with a shark or ocean theme.
Meaning “forest,” Nahele is a Hawaiian baby name inspired by the tropical trees across the state’s lush, mountainous landscape. If you seek a name that draws on one of the top baby name trends — nature-inspired names — but isn’t popular, Nahele checks both boxes.
The Hawaiian version of Nicholas, this name means “victor of the people.” Nikolao, like Nicholas, comes from the Greek name Nikolaos. This strong, hearty boy name can be easily shortened to Nik or Niko.
This Hawaiian name means “joyful.” Though it sounds feminine and is a popular choice for Scandinavian-born baby girls, Olina is a unisex baby name from Hawaiian culture that is short and sweet.
The traditional Hawaiian name Oliwa means “olive tree.” Though it is now predominantly used for boys, Oliwa is similar in sound and meaning to the baby name Olivia, an extremely popular choice for girls.
Pakelika is a unique, multi-syllable baby name that means “noble.” It is the Hawaiian boy version of the name Patrick, which has Latin roots despite being an extremely popular Irish name.
If you want to infuse your child with Pacific paradise vibes from day one, these Hawaiian boy names should be at the top of your list. Whether you want a baby name that has a significant meaning, celebrates the beautiful native Hawaiian language, sounds downright beautiful, or just gives off breezy island vibes, there are plenty to choose from.