There’s an entire tide of meaning behind each Polynesian name. Parents who choose Polynesian names borrow titles from mythology, royalty, traditional songs, the elements of nature and family members. There is a certain pride to having a name born from the Ring of Fire.
Many popular Polynesian names for boys and girls evoke the strong, life-giving tides of the ocean that birthed Polynesian culture as we know it. Going with Pacific Islander names is one of the best ways to imbue a child with equal parts whimsy and strength.
There is something melodic about Polynesian names that speaks to a deep connection to the shared rhythm of life, nature and the spirits. Finding the right name all comes down to tapping into the essence of the islands.
Polynesian Names for Girls
A beautiful Maori name meaning “angel.”
Give the apple of your eye the perfect name “a father’s joy.” This name is a form of Abigail, and sometimes goes by Kalia.
A lovely name that means “love” in Maori.
Elikapeka translates to mean “God is my oath.” It is the Hawaiian form of Elizabeth.
A lovely and pure name that means “snow” in Hawaiian.
One of the most divine Polynesian names, that means “heaven.”
This name means “to soar” through Hawaiian origins.
Weaving together glamour and nature, Fetia is a Polynesian name that means “star.” It brings to mind imagery of a night sky full of blazing holes shining down over volcanic islands.
A nod to biblical provision, Iosefina means “He will add.” It is the Polynesian equivalent of Josephine. The best part about this name is that the cute nickname of Sefina goes along with it!
When it comes to unique gender-neutral Polynesian names, this one certainly tops the list. This Maori name means “precious” or “blue.”
Another gender-neutral name that means “sea” in Hawaiian.
An slight upgrade to Kai, this name means “sea and heaven.”
Sophisticated and sweet, Kakalina as well as Kalina is the Hawaiian form of Katherine. It means “pure.”
Rolling off the tongue like a note from a song, Kalama translates to the word “karma” in Polynesian culture.
A Hawaiian name meaning “fire.”
A Maori name referring to “tree bark.”
Short and sweet, Lani is one of Polynesian names associated with royalty that is linked with the words “sky” and “heaven.”
Originating in Samoa, Lanuola means “color of life.” This is a spirited name that calls to mind the fun, vivacious energy of a little girl with a zest for seeing the world!
This flowery name is commonly given to little girls in Hawaii. The “Lei” part of the name comes from the Hawaiian word for “wreath.” In Polynesian culture, the full translation means “beautiful child.”
A lovely Hawaiian girl’s name meaning “gift.”
This is a great name option for parents looking to put a Polynesian names spin on one of the most popular names on the globe. Yes, Malia is the Pacific Islander equivalent of Maria.
A lovely Maori name meaning “light.”
Masina signifies the moon to the Samoan people. When used as a baby name, it evokes thoughts of the relationship between the moon and the pull of the tides.
One of the cutest and sweetest names for a little girl, Mele translates to the word “song” in Hawaiian. While this is mostly used as a name for girls, Mele can also be a boy’s name.
Here’s a name that’s buzzing with sweet imagery. As you may know, Melissa is a name that means “honeybee.” Melika is the Polynesian version of Melissa.
While some of us only learned this name from Disney, this classic Pacific Islander name means “of the sea.”
A beautiful Tahitian name that means “heaven” (as well as “sleep” which is basically heaven, right?)
A version of Nicole, this Pacific Islander name means “victory of the people.”
A perfect name for a free spirit ready to soar through the world with grace and beauty, Palila means “with a spirit as free as a bird.” It’s a great pick when searching for a positive, upbeat name that truly lets a little girl know that the sky is the limit!
Oh, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes.
Soulful and spiritual, Samaria is the Samoan word for “Samaritan.” This is a great name if the goal is to intertwine a Polynesian name’s beauty with a Christian heritage.
A fitting name for a richly anticipated baby, Talia means “to wait.” In Polynesian culture, it is closely linked with the idea of waiting patiently for a big blessing.
Fragrant and lovely, Tiare translates to “flower” in Polynesian culture. It actually means the “queen of all flowers.” The name Tiare brings about an instant association with a strong, powerful floral fragrance when it is spoken in Tahiti.
Here’s one if it looks like your little girl is sprouting some red locks. Samoan in origin, Teuila means “beautiful, red ginger flower.”
A name as striking as the waves that formed the islands of Polynesia over eons, Vaihere means “water.”
Your little girl will love having this name meaning “good luck” in Maori.
Full of power, Wikolia translates to “woman of victory. It is the Hawaiian version of Victoria.
Polynesian Names for Boys
A noble Tahitian name that refers to the eldest.
This is the Pacific Islander names version of Adam.
This strong Islander name refers to an old god of sailors.
The Hawaiian form of Andrew.
One of the most free-spirited Polynesian names – meaning “bird.”
A noble Pacific Islander name that means “God is gracious.”
The Samoan version of Joseph, this name with biblical roots translates to mean “God will add.” Boys with this name often go by the nickname of Sefa. It is sometimes spelled as Josefa.
A name that leaps from the tongue to soar through the sky, Iwalani is a Hawaiian term that means “heavenly seagull.” It is sometimes translated to mean “royal seagull.”
A cute Pacific Islander name roughly translating to sweetheart.
A deep Hawaiian name meaning “God of the ocean.”
A strong and simple Pacific Islander name that simply means man.
A cute Polynesian name meaning “little onion.”
For parents looking to encourage their little boy to always stay at the helm of his own ship in the journey of life, Kapena is a perfect name! This name of Hawaiian origin means “captain.”
While most people make a Hollywood association when they hear the name Keanu, this is a name with island origins! Keanu is a Hawaiian word that translates to “the breeze.”
If you’re not worried about setting high expectations, Konala is a powerful name for a boy. This is a name with Hawaiian origins that translates to mean “world ruler.”
This Pacific Islander name simply means upright.
There’s nothing lacking about this strong name that means “heaven.”
A Polynesian name that means “to tame.”
The Hawaiian God of rain and harvest.
This Polynesian name roughly translates to “well wishes.”
A strong and famous Polynesian, Pacific Islander name.
A Maori name for an Islander tree.
A great name for parents looking to name their kids after a figure from Polynesian mythology, Rangi is borrowed from a sky god named Ranginui who was the husband of the earth goddess. The literal translation of the name is “sky.”
A strong Maori name that means “tiger.”
Tama is a snappy name that proves that stripping a name down to the bare essentials can be profound. It translates to mean “boy” among the indigenous Māori people of New Zealand.
This Polynesian name means “powerful leader”
Pulling deeply from Polynesian mythology, Tane is the name for the god of light and forests. In Polynesian culture, the name broadly means “man.”
Timoti is a Māori name that means “to honor God.” It is a variant of the name Timothy.
A name that calls to mind the natural jewels of Polynesia, Tipene means “crown” or “wreath.” It’s the Māori version of the name Stephen.
Meaning masculine protector, Wiremu is a strong name that is often associated with a Ngāti Hauā Māorim leader named Wiremu Tamihana. It is the Polynesian version of William.
Whichever Pacific Island country you’re inspired by, these Polynesian names will lend a whole new sense of pride to your fiery little one. Hit us back to let us know which one’s your favorite!
More names: 65 Hawaiian Girl Names That Are Radiant and Divine.