So over Noah and Sophia? Try these baby names from the 50th state!

By Lisa Milbrand
September 24, 2014
Credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority

Whether you have a special connection to the United State's Polynesian paradise, or simply love names that have rich meaning and a little exotic flair, traditional Hawaiian baby names may be just right for you. Hawaiian baby names generally reference nature or have positive connotations -- they mean things like beautiful and brave.

Keep in mind, though, that if you're looking for a specific monogram for your baby, you may be out of luck: The Hawaiian alphabet only has 13 letters -- five vowels and the consonants H, K, L, M, N, P, W -- and an ' mark, called an 'okina. That said, there are plenty of unique, beautiful options! Check out our favorites:

Hawaiian Baby Girl Names

Ailani This soft-sounding name has a more powerful meaning: "chief."

Hani Consider Hani an alternative way to pay homage to a Hannah or Henry in your past. It's a Hawaiian name that means "joyful."

Kaia This female variation on the popular boys' name Kai shares its meaning: "sea." It's currently just outside the top 600 names in the country. (Keep in mind that this name may also be considered a variant spelling of Caia, the Roman goddess of fire.)

Leilani This lilting name means heavenly flower. It's currently on an uptick, and in the top 250 names in the United States.

Malia President Obama went with this name from his home state for his daughter. It's the Hawaiian equivalent to Mary, and means the same thing: bitter. It's been in the top 400 names in the United States ever since the 2008 elections.

Naia It's never broken the top 1000, but this Hawaiian name, which means "to flow," could be a unique alternative to the red-hot Maya.

Oliana This pretty name means oleander flower -- and is a great pick for anyone looking for an unusual-but-pretty name: It was only picked for 12 girls in the United states in 2013.

Hawaiian Baby Boy Names

Alani This Hawaiian name has a sweet meaning: orange tree.

Kai The most popular Hawaiian name for boys is currently in the top 200 in the United States, and it means "sea." While there's also the feminized version, Kaia, Kai itself has become a unisex baby name option.

Kale This boys' name means "happy." Pronounce it "Kah-le," not like the leafy green!

Kanye Before rapper Kanye West made it famous, Kanye was a simple Hawaiian name that meant freedom.

Koa It may look like a girl name, but Koa is for the boys -- and it means brave and fierce.

Keanu Actor Keanu Reeves helped this name hit the top 1000 from the mid 1990s to the early 2000s. The name means "cool breeze."

Manu This Polynesian classic has a poetic meaning: bird of the night.

Paulo Consider this a multi-culti answer to the traditional Paul (Paulo also means Paul in Portuguese and Swedish).

Copyright © 2014 Meredith Corporation.