10 pretty-sounding Samoan names for girls…that have nice meanings too

Samoan Language143 Comments on 10 pretty-sounding Samoan names for girls…that have nice meanings too

10 pretty-sounding Samoan names for girls…that have nice meanings too

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A couple years ago, an expectant mother asked the natives in the the ville to suggest Samoan names for her new baby girl. The discussion received a handful of genuine attempts to be helpful, but the other 5 pages of replies were full of so much stupidity I swear…

The suggestions ranged from ‘Sasa’e‘ meaning ‘East’ (as in the direction) to ‘Kekepovi‘ meaning ‘beef buns’ to ‘Tolopo‘, which means ‘postpone’, because “I think her delivery date has been delay while she is searching for a name,” said JJW… to several un-repeatable words, and one funny lady even offered ‘Megatron‘.

Yes, our village has its fair share of idiots comedians.

The Samoan culture is so rich, though, our traditional names so full of meaning that I can understand (a little bit) why many of us would be reluctant to share them.

My mom was asked once for baby names, and she came up with a list of monikers that carried so much cultural weight, so much deep sentiment – and then each was rejected because they were either too hard to pronounce or just not ‘pretty’ enough to non-Samoan ears.

That sucked. What a waste of some great names… but then I remember asking my Chinese friends for nice names, and yes. I would probably not use any of their suggestions either for the same reasons.

SO, I thought I would attempt to compile a list of names that sound pretty – names I could imagine getting popular amongst non-Samoans – but names that still have some significance in our culture.

Just a note, though. If you ARE Samoan… even just a little bit…? I hope you will consider going to the elders in your family to find baby names – because theirs will be unique, tied to the land and chiefly titles in your family history, and how much more beautiful can a name be than one that preserves the stories and memories of your ancestors…?

Okay, let’s get to this list:

  1. Teuila [tay WEE lah] – Security suggested this one, and it’s pretty popular already. It’s the Samoan word for the very beautiful red ginger flower and also the name of the biggest annual cultural festival in Upolu.
  2. Lanuola [lah noo OH lah] – This is only a portion of a couple of longer title names, but taken out of context, its literal translation is ‘living color’ (lanu = color, ola = life). I love that. It’s similar to the name Malakosi suggested: Lanu’ese’ese, which is also pretty cool.
  3. Elei [eh LAY] – The traditional art of decorating fabric in Samoa involves carving patterns into blocks of wood, inking them and pressing them onto the fabric. The resulting designs are called ‘elei’. I think the word is a pretty alternative to the more popular Hawaiian name Leilani (Lei for short).
  4. Natia [nah TEE ah] – Again, this is commonly only a small part of longer title names (and poetic sentiments) in the Samoan language, but this word by itself means ‘hidden’… as in a hidden treasure or secret. I like this name so much I’m saving a longer version of it for my own child one day… 🙂
  5. La’ei [lah ‘AY] – La’ei refers to clothing, but more in the sense of ‘fashion’ rather than just clothes. Like in this photo posted in the ville. So if you can handle pronouncing the glottal stop in the middle of this word, and you aren’t scared of predisposing your daughter to a love of fashion, then this is the name for you!
  6. Masina [mah SEE nah] – eiight daez suggested this one, and it’s also quite popular amongst Samoans – girls and boys, although it does sound more girly to the non-Samoan ear. It’s our word for ‘moon’, and it reminds me of one of my most favourite songs: Moe i le po masina (asleep on a moonlit night).
  7. Manaia [mah NAH yah] – I love this name for so many reasons, including the fact that it was given to my (boy) cousin by my grandmother – he was the last child she named before she died. Its simple meaning is ‘nice’ or ‘good’ or ‘beautiful’. In Samoan culture, though, ‘manaia’ is what we call the son of a high chief, especially when he performs the taualuga, which is a graceful solo dance to honour his family and village. As a name, it works for girls as well as boys, and when shortened can either be ‘Mana’, which means ‘spiritual power’, or ‘Naya’ .. which just sounds trendy, don’t it?
  8. Tausa’afia [tah ooh sah ‘ah FEE ah] – Okay this one is a little more challenging to pronounce, but I still think it’s a great name that should be considered for a girl. Why? First, its meaning. This word refers to a pleasant and love-able personality – someone who is kind and good and well-mannered. Second, ‘sa’afia’ doesn’t sound too different from ‘Sophia’ so it’s not completely unfamiliar… and because ‘afi’ is our word for ‘fire’, the name also reminds me of the word ‘Saphire’, which is pretty, too, right? For short, you could call this child ‘Tau’ or ‘Fia’.
  9. Talia [tah LEE ah] – Doesn’t that just sound pretty? Its meaning is just a bonus. It comes from the word ‘fa’atali’, which means ‘to wait’, but talia is used often to refer to waiting in anticipation for something big, as in, the Second Coming of the Lord. Because of this context, for me this name will always be a reminder of how deeply rooted our culture is in the Christian faith.
  10. Samaria [sah mah REE ah] – Continuing the Christian theme, this name was made even more popular by this gorgeous track by Vaniah Toloa. It’s the Samoan word for ‘Samaritan’, as in the Bible’s Good Samaritan. But if you break the word down, it could also mean Sacred (‘sa’) Maria.

Now that you’ve got me thinking, I could probably find a few dozen more pretty Samoan names, but we’ll stop here for now.

What are your favourites? Why?

Please let us know in a comment below.


Known IRL as Lillian (Lils, Lei'a) Arp, I'm just a Hamo Geek Girl, sitting behind a screen... learning, deep-thinking and typing up Samoan things.

143 thoughts on “10 pretty-sounding Samoan names for girls…that have nice meanings too

  1. … i’m partial to Lei’asa 🙂 … sacred mermaid? LMAO!! … or sumn of the sort

    … another pretty one is MATASAUA … it’s a place in the Manu’a Islands that is said to be quite beautiful .. haven’t been there myself but the name is beautiful … said to be sacred and only used to name descendants of that place or family? *shrugs* … kai’lo haha!

    … TAULASEA is another very meaningful one coz it’s a title as well as a name … they’re healers of sorts these “taulasea” women?

    … oh! another is SAVALIOLETOA … that’s also a hand’me down type of name kept in the family buts its the translation that’s AWESOME coz it’s a name for the TAUPOU and it means “the walk of the warrior” … booya! i wanna be named that in my next life! lol

      1. Savalioletoa, to me, sounds more like a boy’s name. But as with most Samoan names, I’m sure it would work fine for both boys and girls.

        1. I LOVE the name Talia but I’m afraid it will always be pronounced “tal-ya”. Do you know of any other spellings within the samoan language? Ta’lia?

  2. Molipopo (a name given to a girl)…back in the days before power was even introduce to Samoa, people use coconut to make light at night.

    1. ..and for short we could call her Molly..lol.. Wow I would love to see one of those old coconut night lights.

      I think ‘Seiaute’ (a hibiscus flower worn behind the ear or in the hair) is a beautiful name, too.


  3. My daughter’s middle name is Talalele ~ “Good news” ….when she was little she’d say “but sometimes I’m bad news!” LOL ~ boy was she telling the truth!

      1. Yes, Talalelei! Typing too fast without much coffee …. and desperately needing the samoan version of spellcheck ~ LOLLLLL ;~)

        1. Heya… Ta-la-le-LEI, emphasis on the last syllable, with the ‘a’ sounds like the a in father.

          I’ll get some audio into this post soon, k? 🙂

  4. I hears this samoan saying. Can someone help me say it in samoan. “All streams lead to this waterfall”

    Thank you!

  5. How exciting that the name I suggested (Well part of it) ; made number 2 on this list. Another family name that I love dearly is my great grandmother’s name ; Faatafeapeauolesami. =)

    1. My cousin’s name is Uaine (pronounced: WINE-ay) …I think it’s so pretty.

      I have no idea what it means, but I do believe it’s a name in her mom’s family… which means, I don’t know if they would appreciate me sharing it here lol

      Ah well 🙂

  6. My name is Uputaua Talalelei Suniula, I’m a New Zealand born Samoan and carry my beautiful grandmother and mother’s name with me x

    1. Upu = word(s), Taua = very important… This name seems to refer to the Bible (The Word), would you agree?

      Talalelei has a similar meaning. Tala = word (or story), Lelei = good. The Bible is often referred to as The Good Word.

      How do you understand the meaning of your name?

      It is indeed very beautiful.

  7. Savali say”Haay,Thats My Name”!Given To Me By My Beloved Grandma Who Raised ME Since Knee High..Miss You Ma.

  8. My dad who i have never met named me after a taupou i think in his village – Lefaga. He named me FAALAGILAGIOAIGASATUALA but i go as Lagi for short. love the name lagi as it means heavenly/sky. dont know what my full name means. anyone????

    1. Hey Lagi .. ‘Fa’alagilagi’ means to formally honor someone by referring to them with their title names… Like using the title ‘her royal majesty’ to refer to the queen. It looks like your name means: to refer with honor to the family (aiga) of Satuala (‘sa’ refers to an entire clan and Tuala is the family name).

      I’m not familiar with the families or hierarchies in Lefaga, but it’s a pretty meaningful name that, I would suspect, bonds you to your father’s family.

      Beautiful 🙂

      1. Wow, my 21st many years ago a church rep/failautusi during his speech said something along that line abot matai’s and satuala but being the moepi i was not listening and now am interested.

  9. I love #8. I just found out today I am expecting baby girl #4. My 5&3 year olds are half Samoan. Their names are Fuamatala and Selesitina.

  10. i love # 9 im preggo now and the father is Samoan…. im not sure what the baby is yet but I have looked at many names for both…. my thing is i just want something i can pronounce… although i do find some of the more difficult to pronounce names very beautiful..

    1. Thanks! And I just found out its a girl! I have one other daughter named Malia although I americanized the spelling..Maliyah.. wish I didnt:/ but I still love the name Talia.

    2. So the father and i decided to name her Isalei alaya…. he asked for her name to be Isalei and the alaya is hebrew for to be lifted up or exalted. … i think its so pretty! And thanks!

    3. Awww Isalei is a pretty name – I know it from that one Fijian song. Nice touch with ‘Alaya’!

  11. Hi Lillian,

    I noticed you go by “Lei’a” My boyfriend’s Samoan family name is Lei’a and we are trying to figure out what it means and the name’s lineage. Any help would be appreciatedl Thanks!

    1. Hey Kayla … Lei’a is actually the name of my great-great-great (maybe one more great? lol) grandfather … Its literal meaning is ‘the fish’ (i’a means fish)… but I know the word itself has another meaning, not just in the higher Samoan language, but also in reference to something that is part of our family history. I don’t know the details yet, sorry. But as soon as I find out, I’ll post it up here k? 🙂

  12. Hi all my name is Faimasulu and it means -let me be the light to others or maybe me being the shining light to others. I am proud to be the light to others and i got my name from my aunty, and she passed away….Here I am taking our name everywhere.

    1. Hi Kirsten. My only understanding of the word ‘maligi’ is in the phrase ‘ua maligi loimata’. Loimata means tears. The phrase refers to that moment when tears start to well up in the eyes 🙂 .. like, ‘ua maligi o’u loimata i le matagofie o le aso’ which means, I begin to tear up at the beauty of the day… or something like that lol

      There might be another meaning for the word maligi, but I can’t think of one right now. Maybe someone else can help…?

    2. “Pele” is another beautiful Samoan name for girls. It can mean “Treasure” or “Precious”, depending on how anyone would want to interpret their daughter’s name. For a firstborn girl, it would suit her very well because it would be your first “Precious” one, your first Pele…. (:

    3. Maligi can mean either Drops of rain or tears falling or it can also mean Marine… alot of times Samoans are named after one another so a common name with a common meaning could be a uncle or aunts name passed down it is customary

    4. Maligi is Samosn translation of the english word marines as in the American branch of the military. It is also mean Ma Ling a can of grind up meat similar to spam.

  13. My name is Nele Logotaeao named after my Great Grandmother and Grandmother respectively. Nele is German pronounced Nela and my bdautiful Samoan name Logotaeao supposedly means morning bells, yet I recently was told it meant bells of the day. So, if anyone knows please reply. Thanks. My heritage relates back to Queen of Tonga Salote.

  14. I’m playing Smackdown vs. Raw 2010, a video game which has a problem: it doesn’t allow men to hit women or vice versa. That’s all well and good, I get it; let’s not teach little boys that beating up girls is totally fun. Okay.

    But for my poor girlfriend, if she wants to play, she can only fight a few different ladies, and doesn’t get a story mode. But that is why I bought this version. Because it has a story designer mode.

    I have made her a fantastic story, where her female character, The Crimson Tigress, a chinese outlaw who sells organs on the black market (never should have let me make the story up) and I am going to have her accomplice, Omega, a vicious, ruthless ninja, give her a very perverse gift: a one year contract for a personal wrestler bodyguard. Basically, the gift of a slave.

    And I think all the nice ladies and friendly fellas on this website would be happy to know, I have created a very unique bodyguard for The Crimson Tigress: a female Samoan midget who will be well known as a wrecking ball. She’ll teach all The Tigress’ enemies a valuable lesson.

    And you’ll all no doubt be happy to know, and praise me accordingly, that her name shall be Talalelei (Good News for Tigress, but sometimes Bad News, for her enemies)

    Her last name shall be Matasaua, for she shall be the black sheep of a very good family, who brings a bad name and is despised by the rest of the Matasaua family.

    Yes, the evil is flowing nicely. And Telelelei Matasaua shall forever be known to my specific copy of the game of Smackdown vs. Raw 2010 as ‘The Samoan.’ Because she will obviously be the first and only Samoan in all of wrestling.

    Thank you all for your help!

  15. Hi my name is Fiatagata after my grandma and I always get looks when I tell people my name cause they say it means something like wannabe. I was wondering what the actual meaning is. Also what does Fasila’afai mean?

  16. “tay-weela”? Nope. E is pronounced “eh” like in “egg” and U is pronounced “ooh” like in “you”. Teh-ooh-weela. You egg 😛 😉

  17. I’m having a baby girl next month and I’ve been having a hard time finding a name that starts with an E. A Samoan name. any suggestions?

  18. I loved all of these names! I think they’re beautiful and so unique.
    I’m Samoan, and my last name is ili. Does anyone know what it means? I don’t talk to my Samoan side of the family, so I can’t ask them..

  19. I have a friend who’s name is Liumeitupou she goes by Tupou or just Pou . Id love to know what the meaning behind her name is .

    1. Hi Tiffany. Sorry for the late reply. The name Liumeitupou is pretty, but it’s not Samoan. It sounds Tongan. I know that tupou (in both Samoan and Tongan) refers to royalty, so that at least is a starting place for your search 🙂

  20. i have a cousin her name is Lupeolefoagasausauimoanamataniufeagaimaleata i asked my aunty where she gets her daughter’s name and she say its all combine named from her mother mother in law grandmothers both sides and great great grandmothers. We called her Lupe for short and it doesnt stop there she has all her girls with samoan names there is Nafanuapapafaotumua and the youngest girl Aliitaeaofaigameailetai… and the stories behind these names i cant stop having my aunt tells it all over again…

    1. Lupe o le Foaga Sausau i Moana Mataniu Feagai ma le Ata…. Netta if I may….. your absolutely right its a combination of alot of different names and different historical references Lupe o le Foaga Sausau i Moana…. reminds me of the Alagaupu “Ua sausau fia lele le manu nai utufiu” its a story of a tamed bird who was so happy to see wild birds flying that it flapped with Joy in the hope of joining them… its used in Lauga when you are addressing a Happy occasion…. o le aso ua sausau fia lele le manu nai utufiu ona o le fa’aipoipoga o pai ma lafai etc…. as for Mataniu Feagai ma le Ata… this is a Malae a famous Malae because in Samoan history Mataniu Fegai ma le Ata was where Christianity came into Samoa and the day or “Taeao” is honored as “Le Taeao na i Mataniu Fegai ma le Ata” alot of times in speeches or in welcoming visitors folks will name all the important Taeao of Samoa…. Taeao na i Namo… Taeao na i Saua…. Taeao na i Mataniu Feagai ma le Ata… and at the end… they’ll say a’o sili le taeao lenei aua ua tatou feiloai ma paia o lena itu o le Aiga… in other words all these great days in Samoan history but today we celebrate because we can be together… Usually when you have names like this in your family its because your family is directly linked to the stories that are connected to the names or places and names are usually a way for Samoans to keep alive the history of the family to say Mataniu Feagai ma le Ata everyday makes it easier to remember than to say it just in times of Fa’alavelave or Fa’atasiga… well I hope e aoga la’u fa’aopo’opo mo oe… ma le ava tele ma le fa’aaloalo….. Ma’osi I O M Tuitele

  21. Anyone know what mine means “Styson” I also have a middle name and it’s my Uncle’s first name “Telesoma” thank you and I only came on here for a name for my daughter

  22. Have you done a thread like this for male names? I am in search of baby boy samoan name? Also does kevesi mean anything?

    1. sometimes it’s easier to go backwards in Samoan if you want a Samoan name for it’s meaning think of something in english and than look up the Samoan meaning cause if you try to go from Samoan to english you can have a word that has many meanings where as if you go the other way you can have many meanings for one word… if you get what the Rock is cooking

      Kevesi i think is Travis I’ve seen it also as Tavesi or Tevesi… many translated names have more than one Samoan version ie John….


      even in the bible the book of James is “o le tusi o Iakopo”
      but Iakopo is more commonly known as Jacob… so yea…

      I just have one suggestion for anyone naming a child a Samoan name most of the time if you are naming a child a Samoan name you are probably Samoan so alot of these names have not only a meaning in Samoan but family historical reference so if you have alot of family members with the same name there’s probably a reason for that and also there are certain names that belong to certain families….

      ie Taupou names like Fenunuivao, Punipuao, Tinumasalasala, Apa’ula, Samala’ulu etc…

      and not limited to Chiefly titles which are too many to begin listing…

      just keep in mind that if you name your child something that they aren’t connected to it can cause problems and I know its nobody’s business what you name your child but there are people who have gotten sick because a name belonged to a spiritually strong family and that family’s ancestors were not pleased with the child carrying the name so im not saying this to be politically correct but rather to warn folks Samoan names aren’t to be taken lightly because Samoans are a very spiritually sensitive people and stuff does happen…

      Knowing a Samoan name’s meaning also comes with a responsibility of knowing it’s history if the name be family oriented a little research will make the name worthy of your precious child…

      anyways afai iai so’u upu ua tiga ai se finagalo a se isi ia lafo ia ia fogava’a ma natia ita i fatualavai…

      ma le agaga maualalo…


  23. My daughters name is Aimeamiti Taupou. She has her Great Great Great Grandmothers first name and her aunties middle name. I have never known what her first name means. Her Father named her and it always been a mystery.
    My sons name is easier to translate; Iosefa Siosi Tautua. First name is after his first uncle, first middle after his grandfather, and second middle is after is great grandfather. First day of school is always fun in our home. Lol

  24. I’m having my second daughter and wanted her to have a Samoan name as well, my name is Nive Vaiola and my first daughter is named Lanuola Aute. I like the name Natia especially because we found out late that we were expecting again, but I wanted her name to have more meaning and not just a definition. Any suggestions for a longer version of this name?

    1. “Natia ita i fatualavai” it’s a proverbial saying that comes from a story of how the first Pua’a was brought from Samoa but today it is used as a way of humbling oneself in a meeting of many dignitaries.

    2. I love that name, “Talimailelagi”! How do you pronounce it? Is it tah-lee-M(EYE)-lay-LONG-EE? Or tah-lee-mah-ee-lay-long-ee?

  25. I’m named after my grandma and she told me what our name meant before she passed, but I forgot. So I was just wondering what my name meant. (My name is Vaitu’u.)

  26. I know this is an old thread but I need help!!! I’m looking for the Samoan translation of the girl’s name, Grace. I looked online and Answers.com said it’s Kalasia. Another website said the attribute of grace was alofa tunoa. A friends dad who lived in Samoa till he was a teenager said it was alofa fua. Which is it??? Anybody know?? My husband is Samoan but he was never taught the language and his dad said he didn’t know. Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Sue,
      The samoan word for Grace is talosaga which means its a prayer..
      It is a very beautiful name for a baby girl…

  27. My wife and I are having a baby soon. It’s a girl and I was leaning more towards Sefina. I am of Samoan culture but have not had time to study upon it. What is the traditional meaning for it so when she’s born and we go back to visit my family we can become immersed in our native culture?

  28. The name Sawaiigaea is in our family, & I gave one of my sons that name. Does anyone know it’s meaning?

    1. Hi Kristin. The Samoan language doesn’t have a ‘w’ in it. Is the name actually Savaiinaea? Savai’i, of course, is our largest island. I’m not sure what Savaiinaea means, but I have heard it around. It’s most likely a title name. Hopefully someone who reads this will have a better idea for you (assuming, of course, that this is the correct name)>

    2. Thank u for the reply…the name is pronounced exactly how u have it written…W=V & G=N. I asked my grandmother & she said you are right. It is spelled wrong, & someone in the family changed the spelling for some reason.

    3. Hi again Kristen… I know that w is pronounce v in the Hawaiian language. Do you have any Hawaiian family? 🙂

  29. Love looking at all the Samoan names. Expecting later this year and I am named after my grandfathers sister. (Lelia). And my great grandmothers name was Elenise. I am still looking for a Samoan girls name to carry on the heritage. If its a boy iI think I will name him after my grandfather. Isaia.

    1. would love to hear from you Lelia – my name is Lia’i named after my grandmother Lia’i from Moata’a – she had a brother Isaia and sister Lelia

      1. I love my name Epenesa.I’m named after my Great Great Grandmother.. My name is also in the bible.. Epenesa (Ebenezer) meaning Ma’a Fesoasoani. Ma’a (Rock/Stone) Fesoasoani (Help/Helpful). A church in my mothers village of Moata’a is also called Epenesa.After the 1st church was destroyed another 1 was built and is called Epenesa ll.. I get called Epe,Nesa,Espenzer,Nes,Eps,Nescafé.. gosh I can on for ages.. lol but the 1 I get called when I’m in trouble is EPENESA (with a angry tone!!) lol

  30. Why is Sina excluded? its a beautiful legendary name…anyways I’m Ruth named after my nana Ruta…why do my elders say Luka even though my name is spelt Ruta.

    1. Hi Ruth… I love the name Sina, but it’s often short for other names, like Masina or Sinalei. One of the most beautiful versions I’ve heard of a name that can be shortened to Sina is ‘Ma’asina’… which refers to a stone that bleeds. I also love ‘Sinasina’ (emphasis on the last syllable), which refers to how the wisdom of our elders is apparent in the white of their hair. Samoan language is so beautiful 🙂

      As for Luka (which I think is a cute variation of your name)… The letter R was not in our original alphabet. It was adopted later, along with H and K. Before that, L was the closest phonetic sound we knew, so even today, we often replace Rs with Ls … The story with the letter T is a little bit different. While ‘proper’ Samoan requires us to pronounce Ts correctly, informally – I don’t know why or when this started – we just like to use the K sound instead of T … lol

  31. THESE ARE SUCH BEAUTIFUL NAMES! Samoan culture is truly beautiful. I use to HATE my name as a child since no one could pronounce it properly here in Australia lol. My full name is Lupesina. However, as I grew up. I started to love my name because my parents didn’t give me that name for no reason. I knew that I was Lupesina, a name which made me so unique. I was wondering if you’ve heard that name before or know things about it…?

    1. Hi Sina. It’s difficult to say what many Samoan names refer to because they are often specific to the history and titles of individual families. I can tell you, though, that lupe means pigeon and sina means something that is grey or white (usually due to age, ie. White hair on our elders). So, without knowing your family’s history or titles, my guess is that your name is probably referring to a dove. At least, I like that idea 🙂

  32. My daughter is half Western Samoan and has chosen Samoan names for her little girls: Le’ai and Vaie’e, after their great-grandmother and Grandmother, respectively. It may fall to me, however – an Italian – to teach them Samoan, because my daughter has neither interest nor natural skill with languages, while Samoan has a vowel system so very similar to our Italian I find it easy to learn. I am determined that they should value and protect their Samoan heritage, even though they may look European.

  33. Thank you for sharing this!!!. I am expecting my first GrandDaughter and her name is Natia Aulelei, which fits her perfectly! Her Mom, My only Daughter was afraid to tell her Dad and I she was expecting so hid her from us. I can’t wait to meet my beautiful “hidden” treasure.

  34. My dad begged me to name my daughter after his mother. Not sure if the spelling is correct. What is the meaning? He tells me a weird story that doesn’t sound appealing. It’s Fa’aleanoanognutupua’aelo’i’tamali’i.

    1. Hi Petero. I know of a lot of Samoan names that don’t sound very appealing at all. They will have come from events in our family histories – some that no one even remembers anymore. But these not-so-nice names continue to be handed down only to honour our loved ones with namesakes.

      The name you mention is definitely one of these kinds of names. I have no idea what event it refers to, but I can tell you what the individual words in it mean.

      Fa’aleanoano = to not care (as in, apathy)
      Gutu = mouth
      Pua’a = pig
      Elo = (adjective that describes) an offensive odor
      Tamali’i = high chief

      I can only imagine what amazing story resulted in this name.

      Please remember that while Samoans love our history, we love our people more… so your dad begging you to give your daughter this name is more about honouring his mother than it is about the name itself.

      That’s how I would see it, anyway 🙂

  35. hi there a very old post but hopefully hamogeekgirl you might still be about. Had our baby girl last week and my partner would like to turn back to his samoan roots and he likes the name Talia as listed on this site but living in nz I feel she might spend her entire life correcting people how to pronounce it properly. Is there another way of spelling this so the pronunciation isn’t missed ie Tuleah? I also love the name Ester which means star is there a samoan translation for this name at all?

    1. Hi Sas

      Yes I’m still here 🙂

      I’ve lived in Auckland for a couple of decades now and in my experience, Talia is one of the easier names for non-Samoans to pronounce. I don’t know of any other established spellings for this name, but I think if you ask around, t-a-l-i-a makes more sense as a spelling than t-u-l-e-a-h (to me, that reads, “too lee” – but maybe it’s cause I’m reading with my Samoan eyes..? lol)

      That said, of course it’s up to you how you want to spell your child’s name.

      I’m so happy you’re thinking of Talia as a name for your baby, though, because it really is beautiful.

    2. Ohh, and Ester in Samoan is Eseta. (Check out our other post about Biblical names for more of those). But the word, “star” in Samoan is fetu (feh TOO), also a popular name for children.

  36. I love that name, “Talimailelagi”! How do you pronounce it? Is it tah-lee-M(EYE)-lay-LONG-EE? Or tah-lee-mah-ee-lay-long-ee?

    1. PharmD, in Samoan vowels always end a syllable. Most of the time the second to last syllable gets the emphasis. So Talimailelagi would be tah-lee-meye-lay-LAH-ngee. In practice though, a name that long would be shortened to probably Lagi, Tali, (not maile) but mostly just “Teine”.

  37. I love the name Tausa’afia.. I like how it sounds and its meaning. And the fact that its so difficult for most people to pronounce it..

  38. My husband and I are planning to name our daughter,
    Sa’otama’ita’i Tausala Tausa’afia, let me know what you all think. Alofas.

    1. I love that you’re using ‘Sa’otama’ita’i’ (= what we call the highest taupou title of a clan) as a name 🙂 That’s like the name ‘Aloali’i’ (= refers to the son of a high chief) for boys. It sounds powerful and regal. Your daughter’s proposed full name sounds perfect to me.

  39. I have 2 daughters and both their names are listed here- Eleitino for short we call her Elei and my youngest who was born with a congenital heart defect carries the name Tausa’afia her father wanted a name that talked about having a good kind heart etc

  40. Hi, I love languages and have a male Samoan student named Sialiinofo. I am so curious to know what that means, but he only said it was his grandfather’s name, although he speaks fluent Samoan. Any ideas as to the meaning?

    1. Hi Maria

      A lot of our names come from chiefly titles, or our ‘higher’ Samoan language, so they’ll often have more than one meaning – a simple, everyday meaning, and then a deeper, more poetic meaning, usually based on their family history.

      I can tell you what the literal meaning of your student’s name is, but please note that it might not be the actual, intended meaning. Only he (or his family) can confirm that for you.

      Si = the (but a more endearing term for “the”, which is actually “le”)
      Ali’i = high chief
      Nofo = sitting

      What I can tell you about this phrase is… our highest ranking chiefs (ali’i) usually don’t say much in village/family counsel meetings. They let their talking chiefs (tulafale) do all the deliberating and will only make the final decisions, which they pass along to their tulafale to announce. Because of this, they’re also known as ‘sitting chiefs’.

      So I’m going to conclude that this name is just referring, affectionately, to a high chief, particularly one who is in a counsel meeting.

      You should ask your student if he or someone in his family is willing to share with you any other, more accurate meanings for his name.

  41. Hi there. My husband and I are expecting our first daughter shortly, my husband is of Samoan decent and we woukd like to give our daughter a Samoan middle name. We love the name Manaia, im just wanting to check that this name can be given to a girl or not.

    We are already using a uni sex name for the first name Blake, so are hesitant to give her two prominent male names.

    We are currently looking at Blake Manaia Grace.

    There are some other Samoan girls name I like but ever since I saw the name Manaia on this website we can’t seem to move past it.

    Many thanks in advance for any advice given.

    1. I love Manaia for a girl. Most Samoan names are unisex (the ones I posted here just sound more feminine to the Western ear) so it’s absolutely fine to give this name to your daughter.

    2. I like the name SAILIMALO…… it means to succeed, loll its actually my birth name but I don’t use it cause people find it hard to pronounce, the story behind it is actually quite cool and funny at the same time

  42. I am a whitey, but the name “Natia” was sounding pretty good for my half-Chinese daughter. I jazzed up the spelling a little and decided on “Natiya”. People scratch their heads when I say I chose a Samoan name, like those names are only meant for offensive linemen. Again, thanks for the beautiful suggestion.

  43. Hello! We are fostering-to-adopt a newborn girl. We are told her father is Samoan (mother is Hispanic), and according to the social worker, her name is Malaua. Can anyone tell me what that means, if it is Samoan? Google translate says “they” which seems random. I love that she has a Samoan name and would like to honor that heritage (assuming we adopt her, of course) but would prefer one with meaning, maybe Natia or Manuia. Thank you!

    1. Malaua = For they or for them. may be for you guys. Ma = For, Laua = They or Them.

      A difference pronunciation could mean a neck curse. lol

  44. Hey I was just wondering because my brothers name is Lagiselota Solomona Sosaia I was just wandering what is the meaning of his name

    1. Which one? or do you mean all three? The first one means the heaven is locked. too bad he isn’t receiving any blessings.. lol

  45. I am afa-kasi (aka half samoan, half palagi), a middle child with an older sister named Theresa, younger brother named David…..why my parents chose me to have the only Samoan name is beyond me. It was difficult for me when I was younger growing up in Calif. in the 60’s-70’s in grade school when most people didn’t even know what or where Samoa was. I got teased a lot. As I grew older, my name didn’t bother me as much, and I learned to accept it as ‘exotic’. That being said, my name is Luana Manaui. Luana, derived from the first three letters, ‘lua’, meaning number 2 – I am the second daughter. My middle name, Manaui, was my paternal great-grandmother’s name. The meaning is translated as, “Gift from God you cannot keep” – children are gifts from God that to Him must return. My maternal grandmother’s name was Melenalenu’u -or- Mele for short (Mary). One of my cousin’s middle name is ‘Moana’, meaning ocean. I hope these have been suggestions for some :-).

  46. Im married to a palagi and wanted to give my kids Samoan names. My daughters name is Eline. I found the name Eline when I was looking through my family history, shes named after my deceased aunty that I have never met, but I fell in love with the name. Do you know what Eline means in Samoan?

      1. Hi Sinaleavele… Eline is a beautiful name. I personally have never known anyone with that name, so I’m not sure what its origins are. It sounds like part of the Samoan name for Evelyn (ie. Eveline). Or it might be part of a longer phrase in Samoa’s higher, matai language – which is often the case with unusual names. If you can, definitely connect with elders in your family to see if they know the story behind Eline.

        I’d love to hear it, too 🙂

    1. Hello to you too Sinaleavele, there may be a special meaning to the name in your family line, but when EL precedes a name It’s Not, So E le or El means Not. therefore Not Evelyn.. lol The only used of this word that I know was in expressive slang used to emphasize a spectacular scenery or event, but E is separated from Line. like e line or e ‘ila’ila or sparkle. but not sue if that is the application here.

      1. JJW.. You’re the reason for all those silly names that came up in the Ville (and inspired this article)… You’re still the same, I see loll..

        Lucky you’re really smart about Samoan things, too 😀

        Good to see you in the comments again x

    2. Hi Geek, its nice to know that I was an inspiration for something, but I shouldn’t be taking all the credit, those sleazy names I mean silly names were born from the families of the au kalepes. lol. but its nice to see the familiar name of One Samoana again.

      Hope all is well with thee.

  47. Talalelei,it means good news a father was in-prison when his wife gave birth of his daughter soon as he got the news he send a message to his family with the name
    It is also a message of his excitement.

  48. Am Samoan and part Nigeria but i was born and brougth up here in Nigeria and it really hurts i’ve never been to Samoa

  49. Hi, I know this is a really old thread but hoping someone still checks on it and can help me out! My husband is Samoan and we gave our son an American first name, but used Ahsan as his middle name which is the last name of my husband’s Samoan family still on the islands. Unfortunately our son passed away last year, and we recently found out we’re expecting. We’re hoping to honor him in some way in the meaning of this next baby’s name. Any suggestions? We don’t know the gender yet.

    Leilani is a family name, but I know that’s Hawaiian and not Samoan. Still, I love the meaning “heavenly flower” and “child of god”. Anyways, just seeing if anyone has something that we haven’t seen or thought of!

    1. Actually, when I was expecting my 3rd daughter my husbands uncle who is Samoan said that Leilani is a Samoan name as well.
      Sorry for the loss of your son. Hope this pregnancy is treating you well.

    2. Hey Kendall… so sorry to hear about your son’s passing. I think it’s beautiful that you’d want to honor him in the name of your new baby.

      So I always have old Samoan songs playing on my hour-long drive to work, and this morning I heard a line in one song and for some reason, I immediately thought of your question.

      The song was Samoa Matalasi (https://samoan-lyrics.com/samoa-matalasi/). It’s performed here by Five Stars, but I don’t know who wrote it… I just know it’s a very old, very famous, very passionate tribute to Samoa… it might as well be another national anthem for us.

      Anyway, in the chorus is the line, “Le Atua o lou fa’avae e moni lea, le Ao o lou Malo tali’ilagi” … And the word I love in there is the last one, which should actually be three words: tali i lagi

      Okay, please bear with me while I try to explain why I love it so much :).

      The literal meaning of “tali i lagi” is … “to wait on Heaven”.

      That particular line up there from the song is referring to Samoa’s national motto: ‘Fa’avae i le Atua, Samoa’, or ‘let God be the foundation of Samoa’.. and it talks about how our Head of State and government should be guided by the Heavens.

      But the word/phrase “tali i lagi” is used a lot in lauga (formal speeches) given by matai in a range of different situations…for example, if they’ve been debating a difficult issue, our chiefs might console each other by saying something like, let’s pray on this and ‘wait on Heaven’ for inspiration. Or if the family is going through a serious hardship, they might say, let’s do the best we can and ‘wait on Heaven’ to provide.

      So yeah… I guess when I heard the song again this morning, I was thinking Tali’ilagi might be a name you could consider…? Especially given your story. It could be like a message to your new baby that someone special is up in the Heavens – hanging out with Jesus 🙂 – looking out for him or her.

      I asked my mom – my personal consultant on all things Samoan lol – and she says she has known of girls named Tali’ilagi, but it wouldn’t be wrong to give this name to a boy (not many Samoan names are gender-specific).

      Anyway… that’s my humble suggestion.

      Oh, and in case anyone reading this is not sure about pronunciation, it’s pretty straight forward (listen out for it in the song). It’s just [TAH-lee ‘ee LAH-ngee] , with the ‘ng’ pronounced like in ‘hanger’… or if you’re an IPA reader like me lol, it’s [‘tɑliːʔiː’lɑŋiː] .

      1. Thank you so much for the reply! That name is absolutely beautiful! I love it. I will have to let my husband know 🙂

  50. My daughter is afakasi and we gave her a Samoan middle name- Aulelei.
    It sounds just as beautiful as it means, in my opinion 🙂

  51. Does anyone have suggestions for a middle name with Tala?
    Also has anyone seen the name Talia spelled Ta’lia so it isn’t pronounced Tal-ya?

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