What does "Hawaii" mean?
The name "Hawai'i" is possibly based on the native Hawaiian word for homeland (Owhyhee). All State Name Origins
Captain James Cook discovered the islands in 1778 and 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."