Skip to main content


While Kai, a Hawaiian name that means "sea," has been increasing in popularity, Moana may just catch up. Moana (moh-AH-nah) means "ocean" in Hawaiian, Polynesian and Maori (New Zealand). Both Kai and Moana are unisex. Moana first appeared with the SSA in 1941, given to 8 girls, and there are no recordings for boys. It's been used very sporadically, but it wasn't until 2000 that it picked up to steady, albeit rare, usage. In 2015 it was given to 18 girls, and in 2016 that number rose to 56.

Interestingly, the French Disney company completely changed the name of the movie to Vaiana: La Legende du Bout du Monde (translation: Vaiana: The Legend from the End of the Earth). Vaiana (vy-AH-nah) is Tahitian meaning "water cave." In the movie, her last name Waialiki also has a word meaning "water." Vaiana has not been used in the U.S. and it is a surprising choice to be used in the French dubbed version of the movie.

Moana is also the newest Disney princess name: Moana is a Polynesian chief's daughter who uses the help of the demi-god Maui to finish a family quest and perfect her skills of navigation. In Polynesian mythology, Maui was responsible for raising the Hawaiian islands from the ocean floor. ... Moana's mom in the movie, Sina, may have also been based on a Polynesian goddess of the same name, but we won't know for sure until the movie comes out.

The Disney movie is not the first film titled Moana - in 1926 a documentary titled Moana came out by director Robert Flaherty. Set in Samoa, it follows a man named Moana and his Samoan village.

The House of Moana is a Hawaiian noble family which started with Moana kāne, whose granddaughter was named Moana Wahine. Many of their descendants were rulers in the House of Kamehameha. Sometimes the name is used as a word to describe "ocean blue," or lanu moana.

There are two namesakes for Moana, however, neither are Hawaiian. Moana Rosa Pozzi is an Italian adult film actress (and the reason why the main character in the Disney movie will be renamed Vaiana in Italy), and Moana Maree Maniapoto is a New Zealand singer.

Moana Radio is a broadcast in New Zealand. In French Polynesia, "moana wrestling" is a traditional folk wrestling style, also practiced in Tahiti.


Popular posts from this blog

Witchy Baby Girl Names!

Circe Invidiosa by John William Waterhouse
Have a little girl due in October? Looking to name a character? Here's my [seemingly endless] list of witchy-sounding baby names. Most of them also fit in the "clunky but cool" category, or "vintage." Most plants, trees, herbs, spices, flowers, gems, space and nature names fit the bill, because in stories and current practice these things are useful to witches. I've put any actual witch names from legend, myth, literature, movies, etc in bold and up front. I have not considered the names of actual, living people or their Pagan names, and I've left out any characters that only have a surname, or truly ridiculous given names. In the second half you'll see a list of names that, to my knowledge, have not been used for witch characters. Please know that this is not a complete list. Wikipedia has an almost complete list you can view here.
Tabitha, Samantha, Endora, Clara, Serena (Bewitched)
Katrina(Katrina Crane, …

Norway's Top 10 Baby Names

Taken from Statistics Norway. I have no clue how/why there are multiple spellings, but I'm assuming they group spellings for each name and then rank them, unlike the U.S. that goes by individual spelling.

2015 Stats
1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sahra/Sarah
4. Sophie/Sofie
5. Olivia
6. Sophia/Sofia
7. Emilie
8. Ella
9. Lea/Leah
10. Maja/Maia/Maya

1. William
2. Mathias/Matias
3. Oliver
4. Jakob/Jacob
5. Lukas/Lucas
6. Filip/Fillip, Philip/Phillip
7. Liam
8. Axel/Aksel
9. Emil
10. Oskar/Oscar


1. Emma
2. Nora/Norah
3. Sara/Sarah/Sahra
4. Sofie/Sophie
5. Linnea/Linea
6. Thea/Tea
7. Maya/Maia/Maja
8. Emilie
9. Ingrid/Ingri
10. Julie

1. Emil
2. Lucas/Lukas
3. Mathias/Matias
4. William
5. Magnus
6. Filip/Fillip/Philip/Phillip
7. Oliver
8. Markus/Marcus
9. Noa/Noah
10. Tobias


Here's one of my personal favorites, although I'm surprised I still like it after seeing Forrest Gump so often (thanks, Dad). In fact, the name peaked in popularity for the second time the year the movie was released, jumping to number #217 in 1994. Now he's on the move yet again, rising to 132 boys given the name in 2015 from a low dip to 47 in 2006. To be clear, Forest is the word spelling and Forrest the name spelling, and Forrest remains a much more popular choice with 387 boys given the name in 2015, ranking at #659. Forrest also had a dip in 2006 with only 147 births, disappearing from the charts between 2003 and 2013, and it also peaked in 1994 with 1,343 boys born, rising to #217. Historically both spelling options have been very popular.

Forest doesn't have an obvious nickname, but it's one of those names you enjoy saying without having to shorten it. Forest is Old French, meaning "woods." A famous namesake is St. John Forest of the 16th century…