Hawaii’s Top 100 of 2017

hawaiiHawaii is always my favorite state to check out once the state-by-state popularity list is released. Linguistically, culturally, and even physically, Hawaii is distinct from the rest of the country, and its naming trends reflect that. The top 100 looks fairly similar to the national list, but it’s dotted with the expected Hawaiian influences and some more surprising local trends.

For boys, gentle-sounding biblical names are huge. Ezekiel, Ezra, Elijah, and Noah all make the top 10. Ezra and Ezekiel are especially surprising here, as they’re not even in the top 50 nationally. There are plenty of other biblical choices that rank higher in Hawaii than the rest of the country- Judah, Jonah, Micah, Isaac, Isaiah, Gabriel, Josiah, and Jeremiah are all big hits in the Aloha state.

Hawaiian parents seem drawn to one particular sound for their sons: Kai. It’s the Hawaiian word for “sea.” All Hawaiian language names are technically unisex, but Kai ranks only for boys (though Kaiya, Kylie, Kailani, and Kaia rank for girls). Other masculine Kai- names in the top 100 include Kaimana, Kainalu, and Kainoa, none of which make the top 1000 nationally. The only non-Kai hawaiian name that ranks for boys is Kaleo at #98.

For girls, Hawaiian language choices include Malia, Kalena, Leia, Mahina, Kalea,  and Kailani. The Disney-inspired Moana also makes the cut at #94. In fact, in Hawaii, you’re just as likely to meet a newborn Moana as a baby Isabelle or Rose! All 3 names were given to exactly 10 girls last year. Parents also seem drawn to spiritual word names for girls- Journey and Eden break the top 100 and Serenity is almost 30 spots higher up in Hawaii than it is in the rest of the country.

 

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