Gender: Female Pronunciation: MOH-ah-na or MWA-nah Meaning of Moana: "Sea" Origin of Moana: Maori

Moana Origin and Meaning

The name Moana is a girl's name of Maori, Polynesian origin meaning "Sea".

This Maori name, often heard in New Zealand, is an exotic, evocative choice for a sea lover. Moana is a Polynesian sea god and was also an alternate name for the heroine Ofelia in Pan's Labyrinth. Moana may also be a color name for a deep ocean blue ("lanu moana"). Don't be tempted to shorten this name to "Moa" ("chicken").

16 names similar to Moana

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Moana. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Moana, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

Find other names based on Moana using our baby name generator.


- this week

Famous People Named Moana

Pop Culture References for the name Moana


Tora Says:


Like most Disney princesses, his was a name long before the film.

cheesy-biscuit Says:


I love the meaning but I feel like the tie to the film is too much.

annichou Says:


First of all, it’s a Polynesian name as many other countries (Samoa, Tahiti, Hawaii...) commonly use that word and name. It means vast body of water, so the ocean/sea.
For non-Polynesians, they’d surely be stuck on the Disney movie version but for us Polynesians, it’s a good respectful and gender-neutral name that’s been part of our history.

perdireinz Says:


I'm a huge fan of Pan's Labyrinth, and admittedly a part of me wishes I was Princess Moana. I adore fairy tales, fantasy, and that strange, artistic creepiness. Having it all in one, creates the perfect movie. Ofelia has been almost ruined for me, since every time my mother hears it she says "I feel ya!" Now Moana is so closely tied to the Polynesian Disney princess, I'm not quite as into it just because I'm not very fond of such well-known names.

perdireinz Says:


Highly doubt everyone will forget about that movie

Bella Mia Says:


uh disney movie "Moana"? did everyone forget about that?

Daiseymae Says:


This looks like Mona to me.

Miri Says:


Cute! I love it!

AldabellaxWulfe Says:


Moana didn't hold a candle to the etherial beauty of Ophelia in Pan's Labyrinth, so I never paid much attention to it. And seeing advertisments of Disney's new "Moana" movie recently, didn't help improve its appeal. If anything, the name might have gotten a bit uglier to my mind, as I'm not keen on the 'AH-nah' pronunciation, kicked off by Frozen - a movie I detest.

Still, I watched the movie... and I loved it. The beautiful animation, the lovely story, the cool character and the hint of maori mythology gave me a new outlook and overall perspective of Moana. I no longer see it as an exaggerated version of plain old Mona, and nor do I relate it to the (in my opinion) faux-posh Elianna and Liliana crowd. Moana is just a really nice, feminine, cultured sort of name with a strong appeal to boot.

Fluffykitten101 Says:


Looks too much like 'moaner' to me, even though I know it's pronounced as Nameberry states.

Jellybeans_ Says:


I have lived in New Zealand all my life and no one that I personally know by this name ever shortens it to Mo, Moa or anything else, they only go by Moana. Also as far as I know moa does not mean chicken -at least not in NZ Maori anyway- a moa is a large, extinct flightless bird native to New Zealand. Which I guess isn't much better than chicken, but I'm just putting it out there.

95mmaa Says:


You can shorten this to 'Mo' (Moe) if that's what 'Moa' means. :)