This tropical treat of a girls" name stems from “lani” (meaning “heaven, royal”) and “lei” (“lei, flowers, child”); a secondary meaning is “royal child.” Pronounced lay-LAH-nee, the name is very popular in Hawaii—no surprise there—but it also has its admirers on the mainland. This exotic flowery name first made it on the baby-naming charts in the late 1930s, way before Hawaii became a state in 1959. Getting a lot of mileage from the name: race car driver Leilani Münter.


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