Nom de Palme

Dhivehi script for “Fushi” which means “Island”

Last year, I added a new field to the Maldives Complete resort database, “Name Meaning” in Dhivehi, but I thought I would share a synopsis of all of them for Dhivehi Language Day today.

First of all, not all resorts have Dhivehi names. The non-native monikers tend to fall in one of these three categories…

  • Brand Name – eg. Ayada, Conrad, Centara Grand, Dusit Thani, LUX, Robinson Club The Residence, W,
  • English Names – Tend to be the older resorts, eg. Cocoon, Cocoa, Taj Coral Reef, Equator Village, Taj Exotica, Full Moon, Fun Island, Hideaway Beach, Holiday Island, Lily Beach, Paradise Island, Palm Beach, Royal, Safari Island, Summer Island, Sun Island
  • Unknown – Despite some fairly extensive research and enquiries, a number of resorts are simply named after the islands that they are on whose Dhivehi meaning has long been lost, eg. Amari Havodda, Dhigali, Filitheyo, Gangehi, Hurawalhi, Komandoo, Kooddoo, Kuramathi, Kuredu, Maafushivaru, Milaidhoo, Vilamendhoo, Vilu Reef (if anyone does know the etymology of these names, please let me know!)

In my research, my favourite response was from the Assistant Director of Marketing Communications & Social Media at Atmosphere Kanifushi…

  • · “Fushi is from a variety of names specifically given to islands depending on their type/formation (eg: fushi, gili, finolhu, dhoo). Fushi is associated with larger islands, with vegetation (as Kanifushi is). The word Kani, is of old Maldivian terminology – there are other islands such as Kanifinolhu etc. its specific meaning varies in context, typically associated with water vapor-like droplets/ salt mist – we assume this may have been because Kanifushi is situated on the edge of Lhaviyani Atoll so waves crash on the Atoll Reef on the islands South-East side and caused quite a bit of salty mist sprayed throughout the day over the island – which however is not apparent at the moment as a resort, but may have been in the past. There is no exact literal meaning of older island names however – especially considering the island has been around for quite some time, however was never fully inhabited by any communities.” – Ali Abdulla

Like the infamous adage that Eskimos have dozens of words for “snow” and the Chinese have a similar lot for “rice”, no surprise that the Maldivians have a multitude of words for subtly different “islands”.

The Maldives Complete list of Dihvehi resort names…

  • Amilla Fushi – Island Home
  • Anantara Dhigu – Tall
  • Anantara Veli – Sand
  • Atmosphere Kanifushi – Sea Mist Island
  • Centara Ras Fushi – Royal Island
  • Cinnamon Dhonveli – Fair Sand
  • Cinnamon Hakuraa Huraa – Reef Over Water
  • Club Med Kani – Large Island
  • Constance Moofushi – Root Island
  • Dhigufaru – Long Reef
  • Embudhoo – Island of ‘Ximenia Americana’ (a plant)
  • Finolhu – Sandbank
  • Four Seasons Kuda Huraa – Small Island
  • Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru – Parrotfish Shifting Sands
  • Fushifaru – Reef Island
  • Gili Lankanfushi – Small Island in a Lagoon
  • Huvafen Fushi – Dream Island
  • Iru Fushi – Sun Island
  • Kandima – (Boat) Channel
  • Kandolhu – (flower found on the island)
  • Kanuhura – Corner Island
  • Kihaa – Young Coconut
  • Kudafushi – Little Island
  • Kurumba – Coconut
  • Medhu Fushi – Middle Island
  • Meedhupparu -“island that someone saw”
  • Meeru – Delicious
  • Mirihi – Yellow Maldivian Flower
  • Nika – Banyan Tree
  • NIYAMA – Bon Voyage
  • Olhuveli – (type of sand formation)
  • Reethi Beach – Beautiful Beach
  • Reethi Rah – Beautiful Island
  • Rihiveli Beach – Silver Sand
  • Soneva Fushi – Island
  • Soneva Jani – Wisdom
  • Thudu Fushi – The Point Island
  • Vakarufalhi – Plank of a Coconut Tree
  • Velaa – Turtle
  • Velavaru – Turtle Island
  • Veligandu – Sandbank


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