It’s not the “Big Island.” It’s the “Hawaii Island,” reminds the island’s visitors bureau.

The biggest island in Hawaii got its nickname for obvious reasons; it’s B I G – about twice the size of the other islands combined, with room to spare. Even the visitors bureau had been promoting the island as the Big Island for more than four decades. They did this to avoid confusion, with Hawaii, the state. (Are you confused yet?)

The push for addressing it as the Hawaii Island started in 2011. Although the Big Island Visitors Bureau itself has not yet changed its name, they decided to rebrand the island by officially using its Hawaiian name. And to help engrain the new concept, they introduced a logo, like the one above.

Calling it by its Hawaiian name is out of respect. But it’s also to be more specific because there are several “Big Islands” in the world. For example, Tutuila in Samoa is also called the Big Island.

To summarize: Hawaii is the name of the state, which is made up of eight islands. One of those islands is called the Hawaii Island. We’re most used to calling it by its nickname, the Big Island.

I’ll try to make more of a conscientious effort in the blog to call it by its Hawaiian name. But if you’re a creature of habit, like me, then it’s likely you’ll forget when in Hawaii. Not a huge deal, though. It’s just good that you’re informed about some of the changes we’re seeing in our islands.


  1. Hello Alyssa, I heard about this Hawaii Island, it is the youngest and biggest island of Hawaiian Chain that’s why it is call by “The Big Island”. If we talk about their history so it was believed that it was the first island of Polynesian voyagers which came at the Ka Lea (south point of Hawaii) about 1500 years ago.I am very happy after reading your blog and it will be good if you upload some pics of this island

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