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36 Hawaiian Dog Names Inspired By Island Life

Dog in Hawaii

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Hawaii is a place of enchantment. A quick history lesson—it became an official state in the United States in just 1959 [1]. But long before that, it had been settled and inhabited 1,500 years prior by Polynesians [2]. 

Today, Hawaii (made up of 7 islands) is revered for its pristine beaches, unique food, and tropical climate that has created a culture that is unmatched anywhere else in the world. If Hawaii has captured your heart, then Hawaiian dog names would be fitting for your new pet.

We’ve rounded up some of the most meaningful Hawaiian dog names for you to help honor the island’s culture and language. Here are 36 great options.   

Our Favorite Hawaiian Dog Names

Woman hugs dog in Hawaii

Here are 10 meaningful Hawaiian dog names to consider when naming your puppy.

Uke: Short for ukulele, is an instrument that is beloved in Hawaiian music. Although the ukulele was brought to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants at the end of the 19th century (meaning it wasn’t invented there), the ukulele is synonymous with Hawaiian music and festivals. If your dog loves music, consider this fun name.

Poi: Poi is one of the most popular and frequently served dishes in Hawaii. It is made of pounded taro plant root and has a sweet and starchy consistency. Poi also has a distinctive purple hue. If your pooch is sweet or you’re a fan of the color purple, this name could be a fun fit.

Macadamia: Macadamia nuts, although native to Australia, were brought to Hawaii in 1881 where they were cultivated and had amazing success as an economic crop. Until 1997, the U.S., led by Hawaii, was the world’s biggest supplier of macadamia nuts and they are still extremely popular on the islands today. If your pup is a little nutty, try out this yummy name.

Lilo: The character Lilo Pelekai was made famous in Disney’s 2002 movie Lilo & Stitch and subsequent franchise. In the film, Lilo is an orphaned 7-year-old Hawaiian girl who finds family with an alien, Stitch. She is rambunctious and cheerful (some may call her a troublemaker). If your pup has these qualities or if you’re a Disney fanatic, Lilo may be the perfect Hawaiian dog name for your pet.

Hula: Hula is the storytelling dance of the Hawaiian Islands. It is a beautiful ancestral dance that communicates history, genealogy, and prophecy. If your pup loves to dance or has some rhythm, this is the perfect name.

Lei: A lei, a garland or wreath, is traditional in Hawaiian culture, and is famous for being given to new visitors. Leis are traditionally made out of flowers, bird feathers, shells, seeds, hair or ivory, and were commonly used to signify rank amongst native Hawaiians, especially chiefs. If your pup has a dignified or royal personality, this could be a great fit. 

Kona: Kona is located on the western side of the island of Hawaii, and is famous for its coffee. Kona coffee is grown on coffee farms here in rich volcanic soil. If you’re a coffee lover, Kona may be a fitting Hawaiian name for your dog.

Honu: Honu, Hawaiian green sea turtles, are the gentle and endangered sea turtles native to Hawaii. They were listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 1978, where the species still remains. They are also considered aumakua (ancestral deities) to some Hawaiian families. If your pup loves the ocean or swimming, or if you’re a fan of turtles, Honu may be a sweet moniker.

‘Ōlelo: Pronounced ‘Oh-leh-lo,’ Olelo is the Hawaiian language, ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i, and comes from Hawaii’s ancestral Polynesia. The written language was introduced in the early 1800s, and is still spoken by native Hawaiians. According to NPR, it was banned from school instruction in 1896, after the U.S. government illegally overthrew the Hawaiian government. Today it is classified as a critically endangered language by the United Nations. If you love languages or your pup is extra chatty, this name would honor both.

Mālama: Mālama is a foundation of Hawaiian culture that means “to care for our environment and for one another.” If your dog is a lover of nature, this name would be fitting. 

Hawaiian Girl Dog Names

Chihuahua in lounge chair

Here are eight Hawaiian names perfect for your female pup.

Lilikoi: Lilikoi is a tangy fruit that grows in Hawaii, and is also called a yellow passionfruit. It is extremely tart, but is a flavor often found on the island in drinks and desserts. If your dog has quite the tangy personality, this may be a good option.

Nanu: Nanu means gardenia in the Hawaiian language. The gardenia is a native flower to Hawaii, and is known for its gorgeous white color and exquisite scent that has a hint of coconut oil. If your pup is a shade of white, this could be a great namesake.

Pele: Pele is the goddess of volcanic fire in the Hawaiian culture. She is said to have settled at Kilauea, Hawaii’s most active volcano. She “is known to appear in various forms to people, including a beautiful maiden.” If your dog has a fiery personality, this would suit her well.

Poliahu: Poliahu is the goddess of snow in the Hawaiian culture. (Yes, there is snow in Hawaii!) She resides atop the dormant volcano Maunakea, and is said to be a very competitive athlete that, like Pele, is known to take human form. If your dog loves snow, or is athletic, this name would be perfect.

Hibiscus: It may be a mouthful, but the yellow hibiscus is the Hawaii state flower (it was deemed in 1988). It is native to Hawaii, and is known to represent delicate beauty, unity, and peace. If your pup has any of these traits, this may be the name for her.

Sugar: It may not sound Hawaiian, but Hawaii was known for its sugar plantations filled with sugar cane. The first to be established was in 1835, and it helped Hawaii become an agricultural force. If your pup is super sweet, or if you have a sweet tooth yourself, pick this playful namesake.

Leilani: Leilani is a Hawaiian name that means heavenly flower. It is a popular name for girls in Hawaii, and can also mean royal child. If you consider your pup to be your royal child, there may not be a better fit.

Lili: Short for Liliuokalani, named after Queen Liliuokalani, who was the last sovereign of the Hawaiian Kalākaua dynasty. She was the first and only Hawaiian queen to reign before Hawaii was annexed by the United States. If you consider you pup a queen, try out Lili. 

Alternative Girl Dog Names

  • Plumeria
  • Ginger
  • Lokelani
  • Kekoa
  • Moana

Hawaiian Boy Dog Names 

Dog in Hawaiian shirt

Here are eight male Hawaiian dog names to consider naming your good boy.

Kam: Short for Kamehameha, after King Kamehameha I, who was a warrior, diplomat, and leader that “united the Hawaiian Islands into one royal kingdom in 1810 after years of conflict.” If your pup has a warrior spirit, Kam may be the perfect name.

Hōkūle‘a’: Hōkūle‘a is the name of a traditional Polynesian sailing canoe boat that famously made a worldwide expedition around the world in 3 years in 2017. Hawaiian sailing canoes were used to reach Hawaii by its first settlers nearly 2,000 years ago. If your dog loves to be on a boat or if you have a love of travel history, this famous boat name is a great option for your pet. 

Kamapua‘a: Kamapua‘a is the demigod known in Hawaiian mythology as the “hog child.” He was described as “brazen and defiant of authority — an untamed man who had a thirst for all the good things life had to offer.” If your pup fits this description (which we’re sure many do), you can call him Kamp for short.

‘Īlio: ‘Īlio (pronounced ‘ee-lee-oh’) in Hawaiian means dog. According to the Hawaiian poet, it may also mean clouds, as the poet “personified the clouds as ilio, dogs, as he had no nobler animals.” If you consider your pup to be noble, this may be a suitable name.

Maui: In the Disney film Moana, Dwayne Johnson voiced the character Maui, a strong-willed demigod who plays a key role in the film. Maui is also the second largest island in Hawaii that is known for its beaches. If your pup is strong-willed, or just loves the beach, Maui may be the name for him.

Aliʻi: Pronounced ‘Uh-lee-ee’, aliʻi means chief, and they had “different responsibilities contributing to the welfare of the people and the land.” If your pup is a leader, this name may be perfect.

Duke: Named after Duke Paoa Kahanamoku who is credited with introducing and popularizing surfing in the western world. He was also an Olympic swimmer. If you’re a fan of surfing or your pup loves to watch you hit the waves, Duke is a great name to honor a legend.

Don: Named after Hawaiian musician Don Ho, he brought Hawaiian culture and music to the mainland with his hit “Tiny Bubbles”. If you’re a music fan, or if your pup loves it too, this name will honor one of the best Hawaiian musicians. 

Alternative Boy Dog Names

  • Poke
  • Kaiko
  • Makoa
  • Kaleo
  • Ano

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