Monday, May 20, 2019

The Rise of -Lani

I previously joked about "-lani" being the new "-lee", but they really do seem to be taking off.

-lani names shooting up!

(image using the Expert NameVoyager, because I do not have that much computing power)

Difference is, -lani names stick somewhat close to their (mostly) Hawaiian roots, while -lee names are all over the place, both in origin and novelty.

To start with, here are all the -lani names used in the US last year, from most --> least common (alternate spellings were combined, but only the most common spelling is listed):

  • Leilani (≈3200 babies)
  • Kehlani
  • Alani
  • Kailani (≈1000 babies)
  • Kalani
  • Milani
  • Meilani (≈500 babies)
  • Nalani
  • Malani
  • Ailani
  • Jaylani
  • Kelani
  • Elani
  • Lailani
  • Jalani
  • Noelani
  • Aylani
  • Naylani
  • Lani (≈100 babies)
  • Mylani
  • Daylani
  • Aulani
  • Keylani
  • Lelani
  • Nylani
  • Jelani
  • Nilani
  • Xolani
  • Dalani
  • Ulani (≈25 babies)
  • Dailany
  • Mahealani
  • Kaiulani
  • Aolani
  • Kahealani
  • Mulani
  • Zaylani
  • Dylani
  • Leelani
  • Nolani
  • Healani
  • Mialani
  • Raelani
  • Taylani
  • Mililani
  • Talani
  • Yulani
  • Yeilani
  • Jolani
  • Nialani
  • Nohealani
  • Kealani
  • Kealohilani
  • Lulani
  • Yalani
  • Olani
  • Zalani
  • Halani
  • Kamalani
  • Kehaulani
  • Lealani
  • Lokelani
  • Solani
  • Yolani
  • Julani (5 babies)
  • Lolani

In all, approximately 66 different names, comprising about 0.7% of girls.
Obviously most are spinoffs of recognizable Hawaiian names [where lani means "sky, heavens"], but others are completely new to me! So, naturally, I had to go looking things up.
It is, of course, entirely possible that many parents did not have these names in mind, but simply "made up" names they didn't know already existed :p

  • Ailani--baby-name sites are pretty certain this is Hawaiian meaning "high chief", but I can't find a reliable primary source. It does seem to be an Indian (Singhi?) surname, though.
  • Alani (ah-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--any tree from the Melicope genus, or the related orange tree/fruit
  • Aolani (ah-oh-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"heavenly cloud", "heavenly dawn", "heavenly realm"
  • Aulani (ah-oo-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"heavenly traveller"
  • Halani (hah-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"heavenly breath"
  • Healani (heh-ah-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"heavenly mist"
  • Jelani (jel-AH-nee, English)--poss. from Arabic, "of Gilan"
  • Kahealani (kah-heh-ah-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"the heavenly mist", "the heavenly name"
  • Kailani (kah-ee-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"heavenly sea", "sky and sea"
  • Kaiulani (kye-oo-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"the heavenly sacred one"
  • Kalani (kah-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"the heavens"
  • Kamalani (kah-mah-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"heavenly child"
  • Kealani (keh-ah-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"heavenly white", "clear sky"
  • Kealohilani (keh-ah-lo-hee-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"the heavenly splendor"
  • Kehaulani (keh-hah-oo-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"heavenly dew"
  • Keilani (keh-ee-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"heavenly glory"
  • Leilani (leh-ee-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"heavenly lei", [figuratively] "heavenly child"
  • Lokelani (loh-keh-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"heavenly rose"
  • Mahealani (mah-heh-ah-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"heavenly haze, heavenly moonlight"
  • Milani (mee-lah-nee, Italian [surname])--"from Milan"
  • Mililani (mee-lee-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"heavenly caress"
  • Nalani (nah-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"the heavens"
  • Noelani (noh-eh-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"heavenly mist"
  • Nohealani (noh-heh-ah-lah-nee, Hawaiian)--"heavenly beauty"
  • Xolani (Zulu)--prob. "peace". Zulu, X represents the lateral click [you can listen to it here], and I assume it's being Anglicized or Hispanicized (or just flat-out mispronounced) in the US, but have no idea how!  I was previously imagining it as "shoh-lah-nee" (prob. because of names like Xochitl and Xulia), but if anyone has any insight, I'd love to hear it.
    [also, while Xolani appears to be only masculine in Zulu, in the US it was more popular for girls last year]

Obviously, this is nowhere near a complete list of -lani names, both Hawaiian and otherwise, merely the ones that showed up on the SSA lists last year. :)
Interestingly, although in Hawaiian most names are unisex, the only -lani names that showed up for boys were Alani, Xolani, and the various spellings of Jelani and Kalani

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