Names of the Week: Kalani and Lilo


Can you guess what I’m watching at the moment? Well, only half-an-eye is on my father’s Sunday night guilty pleasure of Hawaii Five-0.

The name Kalani was once one I was rather fond of, and he maintains a small place in my heart for his playful sound, similar with many other names of Hawaiian origins. A similar Hawaiian name I’m also fond of is Kala, which is their version of Sarah.

Kalani can either be a male or female name, but my personal preference is for it to be on a male. Indeed, that is vaguely the way things are looking in the popularity stakes here in England&Wales: there were 5 boys given the name in 2010, but less than 3 girls.

If we split the name into two parts, we get ka and lani, the former part meaning the, and the latter part meaning heaven, thus the name collectively means the heavens. As far as dodgy meanings go, this one doesn’t get a look in.

As for where/how he’s being used, there are two notable surfers named Kalani; one is Kalani David, and the other is Kalani Robb.

Aside from them, there are also a few notable people from other cultures with the name Kalani; Iranian football player Hossein Kalani bears the name Kalani as his surname; and an Indian surname, such as Indian criminal/ politician Pappu Kalani.

Then we have Lilo, who is a fresh alternative to the ever-popular LilyLilo Pelekai is perhaps the best-known bearer, she of Lilo&Stitch fame. There is also the rather unfortunate connection with the troubled actress Lindsay Lohan – often referred to a LiLo.

The film Lilo&Stitch came out in 2002, and featured a young Hawaiian girl with the name; her elder, teenage sister was called Nani. Whilst the film was of reasonable success, it appeared to have little effect on the name’s fortunes here in England&Wales. The name didn’t rank in either 2002 or 2003 – and not even in 2010.

Aside from being a Hawaiian name meaning lonely, it could also be a short form of the German smoosh name Liselotte meaning she very well could have qualified for a list from last week. Especially as she globe trots elsewhere, since there is a village in Northern Ireland called Lilo and another just outside of the capital in the country of Georgia.

Then we have the English word lilo, also known as an air mattress.

Categories: Names of the Week | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Names of the Week: Kalani and Lilo

  1. Kalani seems to be a name that is everywhere in Australia; I’ve seen it on so many boys and girls that I can’t even say which sex it is used on more, although I THINK girls might JUST be ahead.

    Because it sounds like the Irish place name Killarney, there are all kinds of hybrids of the two, such as Kalarni,so that it has become a thoroughly modern moniker.

    I’m guessing it is perfect for people whose heritage is both Irish and Polynesian.

    Once they realise Lilo is also that perfect blend of Ireland and Polynesian, it could become all the rage. Although to me it looks very mattressy …


  2. Oh April Fool’s Day just connected to me on Twitter because of Robbie Williams!


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