What does "Hawaii" mean?
The name "Hawai'i" is possibly based on the native Hawaiian word for homeland (Owhyhee). All State Name Origins
The islands were first settled by the Polynesians as early as 400 A.D. In 1778 Captain James Cook landed at Waimea Bay on the island of Kauai, becoming the first European to make contact with the Hawaiian Islands. He named the group "the Sandwich islands" (in honor of the Earl of Sandwich). This name lasted until King Kamehameha I united the islands under his rule in 1819 as the "Kingdom of Hawai'i.".