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Aloha! If you’re wondering about the meaning and origins of the name Kimo, you’ve come to the right place. Kimo is a common Hawaiian name with an interesting history behind it.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Kimo is a Hawaiian form of James or Jim. It comes from English missionaries in the 1800s translating Biblical names into Hawaiian.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the linguistic roots of Kimo, how it became popular in Hawaii, famous Kimos in history, and more.

The Meaning and Origins of the Name Kimo

The name Kimo is a popular Hawaiian name with a rich history and cultural significance.

Let’s explore the origins and meaning behind this common Hawaiian name.

Comes from the English Name James/Jim

The name Kimo is derived from the English name James or Jim. It is a variation of the name commonly used in the Hawaiian language. The pronunciation and spelling of Kimo have been adapted to fit the unique phonetic qualities of the Hawaiian language.

Many individuals with the name Kimo have English ancestry or connections to the English language. The name Kimo serves as a bridge between the English and Hawaiian cultures, reflecting the diverse heritage of the Hawaiian people.

Popularized By Christian Missionaries in Hawaii

The name Kimo gained popularity in Hawaii during the 19th century, largely due to the influence of Christian missionaries. These missionaries came to the Hawaiian Islands to spread Christianity and played a significant role in shaping Hawaiian culture.

As part of their efforts, the missionaries introduced Western names to the Hawaiians, including the name Kimo as a Hawaiianized version of James. The name Kimo became widely adopted and has since become a common name in the Hawaiian community.

Common Nickname for Kimberly

In addition to its association with the English name James, Kimo is also a common nickname for the name Kimberly. This usage of Kimo is not limited to the Hawaiian culture and can be found in various English-speaking communities.

It is interesting to note the versatility of the name Kimo, as it can be used to represent both male and female individuals, depending on the context and the name it is derived from.

Use of Kimo Through Hawaiian History

The name “Kimo” holds a significant place in Hawaiian history and culture. It has been used for centuries and has deep roots in the island’s traditions.

Let’s take a journey through time and explore how the name Kimo has been utilized throughout Hawaiian history.

Adopted During the Reign of Kamehameha II

One of the earliest recorded instances of the name Kimo can be traced back to the reign of Kamehameha II, who ruled Hawaii from 1819 to 1824.

During this time, the name Kimo began to gain popularity among Hawaiian families. It was often given to male children as a way to honor their ancestors and connect them to the rich history of the islands.

According to historical records, Kamehameha II himself had a close advisor named Kimo, who played a significant role in shaping the king’s decisions.

The name Kimo, therefore, became associated with wisdom, leadership, and loyalty, further solidifying its significance in Hawaiian culture.

Used Extensively After the Arrival of Missionaries

The usage of the name Kimo experienced a significant surge after the arrival of Christian missionaries in the early 19th century.

The missionaries introduced a writing system to the Hawaiian language, which allowed for the translation of Hawaiian names into English. As a result, Kimo became a popular alternative to the English name “James”.

The widespread adoption of the name Kimo during this period can be attributed to the influence of the missionaries and their efforts to Christianize the Hawaiian population.

Many families embraced the name as a way to embrace their newfound faith while still maintaining their cultural identity.

Remains Common in Hawaii Today

Fast forward to the present day, and the name Kimo continues to be widely used in Hawaii.

It has become a beloved and common name, with many individuals proudly carrying on the tradition of their ancestors. Kimo’s enduring popularity can be seen in various aspects of Hawaiian society, such as sports, entertainment, and politics.

Whether it’s a famous athlete named Kimo, a popular musician, or a respected community leader, the name Kimo has become synonymous with success, talent, and resilience. It serves as a reminder of the rich history and cultural heritage of Hawaii.

Famous Historical Figures Named Kimo

Kimo Wilder McVay – WWII Diver and Scientist

One of the famous historical figures named Kimo is Kimo Wilder McVay. He was an exceptional individual who made significant contributions during World War II.

Kimo served as a diver and scientist, playing a crucial role in underwater operations and research. His expertise in marine biology and underwater exploration helped the military gain a deeper understanding of the ocean’s mysteries and develop innovative strategies.

During his time as a diver, Kimo Wilder McVay discovered several new species of marine life, some of which were unknown to science.

His findings not only expanded our knowledge of the underwater ecosystem but also highlighted the importance of preserving and protecting these fragile environments for future generations.

Kimo’s dedication to his work and his passion for the ocean is truly inspiring.

Kimo Kāʻeo – 19th Century Hawaiian Chief

An influential figure in Hawaiian history, Kimo Kāʻeo was a prominent chief during the 19th century.

Known for his wisdom, leadership, and commitment to his people, Kimo Kāʻeo played a vital role in preserving Hawaiian culture and traditions during a time of immense change.

As a chief, Kimo Kāʻeo was deeply respected by his community. He was known for his ability to bring people together, resolve conflicts, and make decisions that benefitted everyone.

Kimo’s leadership skills and his dedication to the well-being of his people made him an iconic figure in Hawaiian history.

Kimo Hussey – Hawaiian Musician

Kimo Hussey is a renowned Hawaiian musician who has made a significant impact on the world of music. With his ukulele skills and captivating performances, Kimo has brought the beauty and richness of Hawaiian music to audiences around the globe.

As a master of the ukulele, Kimo Hussey has inspired countless musicians and enthusiasts. He has dedicated his life to preserving and sharing the traditional Hawaiian style of playing the ukulele, known for its intricate fingerpicking patterns and melodic tunes.

Kimo’s passion for music and his ability to connect with his audience through his performances have made him a beloved figure in the Hawaiian music scene.

These three historical figures named Kimo have each left their mark in different fields, showcasing the diverse talents and contributions of individuals with this common Hawaiian name.

Their stories serve as a reminder of the rich history and cultural heritage of Hawaii, and the impact that individuals can make in their respective fields.

Variations and Related Names

Shortened Forms Like Kim

While Kimo is a popular Hawaiian name, it is often shortened to Kim. The name Kim has its own origins and meanings, depending on the culture and language it is derived from.

In Korean, Kim is a common surname and it means “gold” or “metal“. In English-speaking countries, Kim is often used as a given name for both boys and girls, and it has become a name in its own right.

So, if you come across someone named Kim, whether they are of Hawaiian descent or not, it is possible that their full name is Kimo or that Kim is their given name.

Creative Spellings Like Kymo

As with many names, Kimo has also seen creative spellings over the years. One such variation is Kymo. This spelling variation adds a unique twist to the name while still maintaining its Hawaiian roots.

Kymo can be seen as a more modern and innovative way of spelling Kimo, and it adds a touch of individuality to the name.

So, if you come across someone named Kymo, you can be sure that it is a variation of Kimo and that they have chosen this spelling to make their name stand out.

Kimona for Girls

While Kimo is traditionally a name given to boys, there is a feminine variation of the name called Kimona.

Kimona is a beautiful Hawaiian name for girls that carries the same meaning and essence as Kimo. It is a unique and elegant name that exudes the beauty of the Hawaiian culture.

If you meet a girl named Kimona, you can appreciate the creativity and uniqueness of her name, while still understanding its connection to the more commonly known name, Kimo.

Cultural Significance and Popularity Today

Hawaiian man

Kimo is a name deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture and continues to hold significant meaning in modern times. It has remained one of the top 100 Hawaiian boys’ names, reflecting its enduring popularity among parents seeking a name that embodies the spirit of the islands.

The name Kimo has a rich history and is associated with various positive qualities that make it a beloved choice for many families.

Remains in the Top 100 Hawaiian Boys’ Names

Despite the evolving landscape of baby names, Kimo has managed to maintain its status as a popular choice for parents in Hawaii. It consistently ranks in the top 100 Hawaiian boys’ names, a testament to its enduring appeal.

The name’s timeless charm and cultural significance have contributed to its continued popularity, making it a beloved choice for many families.

Associated with Friendliness and Compassion

Kimo is often associated with qualities such as friendliness and compassion. Hawaiian culture places great emphasis on the importance of community and treating others with kindness, and the name Kimo reflects these values.

Those named Kimo are often seen as warm-hearted individuals who prioritize building strong relationships and helping others. It is no wonder that parents are drawn to this name, as it embodies the spirit of aloha and fosters a positive outlook on life.

Gift Idea: Kimo Necklace or Bracelet

If you are looking for a unique and meaningful gift, consider a Kimo necklace or bracelet. These pieces of jewelry not only showcase the beauty of Hawaiian design but also carry the cultural significance of the name.

They serve as a reminder of the wearer’s connection to the islands and the values associated with the name Kimo. Whether it’s for a birthday, anniversary, or just to show someone you care, a Kimo necklace or bracelet is a thoughtful and special gift choice.

Read also: Most Common Hawaii Last Names And Their Origins


In summary, Kimo is a Hawaiian form of James or Jim that became popular during the early 19th century and remains common in Hawaii today. It has a friendly, laidback image while also honoring Hawaiian culture and history.

We hope this guide gave you insight into the origins and meaning behind this special island name. Let us know if you have any other Hawaiian word or name you’d like us to research next!

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