Kalani Name Meaning | Origin, History & Popularity

Kalani is a name with a beautiful and unique sound that has been growing in popularity in recent years. In this article, we will explore the meaning of the name Kalani, its popularity over time, its cultural significance, its historical background, and famous people who bear this name.

Kalani Name Meaning

The name Kalani has its origins in Hawaii and is primarily used as a name for baby boys, although it is also used as a name for girls. The name Kalani is derived from the Hawaiian word “ka” which means “the” and “lani” which means “heavenly” or “royal.” The name Kalani, therefore, means “the heavenly one” or “the royal one.”


The name Kalani has gained popularity in recent years, especially in the United States. In 2020, the name Kalani ranked #458 in popularity for baby boys and #620 for baby girls in the United States. In the state of Hawaii, however, the name is much more popular and ranks #58 for baby boys and #45 for baby girls.


The name Kalani has a rich history in Hawaiian culture. In Hawaii, the name Kalani has traditionally been used to refer to royalty or people of high status. Hawaiian royalty were believed to be descended from the gods and goddesses, and so the name Kalani, meaning “the heavenly one” or “the royal one,” was fitting for them. Today, the name is used more broadly and is not limited to those of royal or high status.

Cultural Significance

The name Kalani is deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture and is associated with spirituality, divinity, and nobility. In Hawaii, the name Kalani is often used as a first name for boys and girls, as well as a surname. The name has also been used to name places and landmarks in Hawaii, such as Kalani High School in Honolulu, and Kalani Resort in Pahoa.

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The name Kalani has also gained popularity in the dance world. In the hula tradition, Kalani is a popular name for both boys and girls. Hula is a traditional Hawaiian dance that tells stories through movements and music. The name Kalani is often used in hula dances that honor the gods and goddesses of Hawaiian mythology.

Famous People with the Name Kalani

There are several famous people with the name Kalani. Here are some of them:

  • Kalani Ahmad: a professional soccer player who plays for the San Diego Loyal in the United Soccer League.
  • Kalani Brown: a former professional basketball player who played for the Los Angeles Sparks in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA).
  • Kalani Hilliker: a dancer and reality TV personality who appeared on the Lifetime series “Dance Moms.”
  • Kalani Robb: a professional surfer who won the National Scholastic Surfing Association National Championships in 1992 and 1993.

Variations and Similar Names

There are several variations and similar names to Kalani. Here are a few:

  • Kalan: a name that is derived from the same Hawaiian word “lani” and means “the heavenly one.”
  • Kailani: a name that means “sea and sky” in Hawaiian.
  • Lani: a name that means “sky” or “heaven” in Hawaiian.
  • Alani: a name that means “orange tree” in Hawaiian.

Famous Characters with the Name Kalani

There are also several fictional characters with the name Kalani. Here are a few:

  • Kalani is a character in the Star Wars Rebels animated television series. He is a former Separatist droid who joins the rebellion.