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.

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