A Few Hawaiian Words
The moment you set foot in Hawaii you’re a malihini, a newcomer. Some say you become a kamaaina, or child of
the land, once you can, without pausing, pronounce "Kalanianaole Highway." Others claim only people born here
can truly claim to be kamaainas.
Hawaiians are people with Hawaiian blood. The rest of us are simple Hawaii residents, or "Islanders"
A necessary step toward living here is learning the following words, which everyone uses. They’re easy to say if you remember all words are pronounced just as they are spelled.
AKAMAI – Smart, clever.
ALA – Road, path. Used in Street names such as Ala Moana
ALOHA – Hello, goodbye, love, compassion
AUWE – Oh!, Alas
HALE – House, building
HAMAKUA – Place name for a direction
HAOLE – Caucasian person, formerly, any foreigner.
HULA – Classic dance form of Hawaii
KAI – Sea
KANE – Man
KAPU – Taboo, forbidden, keep out
KAUKAU – Food
KEIKI – Child
KOKUA – Help
LANAI – Porch, balcony, veranda
LEI – Strand of flowers, leaves, shells, nuts
LUA – Restroom
LUAU – Hawaiian feast
MAHALO – Thank you
MAHIMAHI –Dolphin family fish
MAKAI – Toward the sea
MALIHINI – Stranger, newcomer, guest
MAUKA–Towards the mountains
MUUMUU –A long, loose-fitting dress
OHANA – Family. A close group
ONO – Delicious. Also an Island Fish
PALI – Cliff or cliffs
PAU – Done, finished
POI – Hawaiian staff of life, made from taro root
PUKA – Hole or opening
PUNA – Place name used as a direction
PUPU – Hors d’oeuvre
WAHINE – Woman