Sunday, January 10, 2010

Tongan Name Games

Besides the traditional Tongan names – Tupou or Salote (traditional royal family names) – there are more... unique... names also. Here’s a list of names I’ve encountered. Guess which names are male and female.

1. Hina (Bottle/Spider)
2. Vai (Water)
3. Lua (Vomit)
4. Puke (Sick/To Hold)
5. Mahina (Month/Moon)
6. ‘Aho Lelei (Good Day)
7. Po’uli (Night)
8. Uike Lotu (Holy Week)
9. Eva (Wandering)
10. Tasi (Chalkboard Eraser)
11. Ika (Fish)

Female: odds

Male: evens

Except 11, which is both.

In case you forgot, my Tongan name, Pele, means not only “Darling,” but also “Playing Cards” and a kind of leaf here.

There are also a number of Western names, Tongan-ified. Here are some of them:

Julie – Suli
Rebecca – Lepeka
Sarah – Sela
Marie – Malia/Mele

William – Viliami
George – Siaosi
John – Sione
Fred – Feleti


  1. That's interesting. I don't know why you would name someone vomit or chalkboard eraser. That's cool, I hope you don't mind being bombed by post's from W.T. Anyway peace.

  2. I'm a chalkboard eraser!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. ‘Aho Lelei(=

    Wow, that's so interesting how different their language is compared to English.
    I hope you are having truckloads of fun,and thank you for sharing your progigious experiences with us.(;

  4. Your immensely wonderful experiences have vastly intrigued me! I hope you are having a ton of fun over there in Tonga, and good luck to your future experiences.

  5. I think that the idea of naming someone after an object or animal is pretty funny XD I laughed out loud when i saw that someone would name their kid "vomit" or "fish". I hope you are having a nice time in Tonga. The weather must be nice! Here, it's a bit cold but we can all manage. Well I have to go now! stay safe and have a nice time!
    -Liliana From Mrs.Arnold's class (aka Lettuce. Yes very odd nickname I have XD)

  6. Wow. Their names are really weird. I can't really believe that they would give insulting names to people. Then again, I guess the people are so used to the names that they don't think of them as insulting. It is a little amusing to see them "Tonga-fy" Western names.

    1. Well, we Tonga-fy Western names because we don't have a complete alphabets like y'all. I mean we had our very own way back in ancient times but of course like most of our oral stories we didn't realize how important it is to record it down. The only ones who remembers alot of things are the royal family(well come of them actually). Anyway, the name now like lua again had different meaning way back in the ancient times but eh don't remember much anymore(*sighs*). But my middle name is Uikelotu and my aunt's have that name so it's not a male name. And the name of a kid Kuli well I'm not quite sure anyone called there kids that it's usually accomany with another name like Kuliha'apai meaning The Dogs of Ha'apai(a village in third major island in Tonga) which indicates Ha'apai had strong aloof loyal people. FunFact they have their own connections to the royal family.

    2. Sorry to be clear in the beginning we don't have a complete alphabets so we tend to try to go along with putting something that sounds like it with our consenants and vowels together to create the Tongan version of a western name.

  7. Hahaha Tongans also name their kids kuli which means fog hahahahaha tonga 4life hha