The name ‘Hilo’ carries several meanings. Hilo is the name of a renowned Polynesian navigator who is believed to have discovered this coast. His chief, to honor the feat, named the area for him. Hilo means "twisted," like a thread or rope as in spun, drawn out and twisted into thread.
Hilo is the name of the first day of the month according to Hawaiian calculation (the first night of the new moon - the first thin, twisted sliver of light.) (It was a favorable day, and the potato, melon and banana seeds planted by the farmer on this day would bear well. While we call the district and broad Bay Hilo, there are three parts of Hilo: Hilo Pali Kū, Hilo One and Hilo Hanakāhi.