Hawaiian Word of the Day: May 14th

May 14, 2021

  Makua is a very general term for parent, or any relative of the parent's generation, as in an uncle or aunt. Since the main stock of a plant is thought of as the parent, you can also call it a makua. You can modify it to be more specific, as makua kāne for father.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: May 13th

May 13, 2021

Pāʻani means to play, or a sport, game, or amusement. Pāʻani can also mean to joke.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: May 12th

May 12, 2021

Our Hawaiian word for today is kī hōʻalu. is the Hawaiian word for “key” and hōʻalu means “to slacken or loosen.” It is the popular Hawaiian term for what in English we call “slack key.”

Hawaiian Word of the Day: May 11th

May 11, 2021

Our Hawaiian word for today is liʻiliʻi. Be sure to include the diacritical pronunciation mark, the backwards apostrophe called the ʻokina. It means small, little, in bits, or few. If you spell it right with the diacritical pronunciation marks, it is easier to pronounce.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: May 10th

May 10, 2021

Nui means big, greatest, grand, important, as in aliʻi nui. Hale nui would be a big house, and mea nui would be an important thing. Used as an adjective, it follows the noun. It can also mean “many or a group.”

Hawaiian Word of the Day: May 7th

May 7, 2021


ʻElemakule means old man or to become an old man. Although ʻelemakula also means “old,” use it only for males – there's another word, luahine, for old women. And don't use ʻelemakule as a general term for old or things that are old – there are other words for that too, such as kahiko. Use ʻelemakule only for old men.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: May 6th

May 6, 2021

One of the most commonly mispronounced place names in Hawaiʻi nei is Līhuʻe, the name of a city and district on Kauaʻi. It means “a cold chill,” and that's the feeling most Hawaiian speakers feel when they hear this beautiful name mispronounced. Write it out with a kahakō over the first vowel, and an ʻokina before the last one. Then say it.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: May 5th

May 5, 2021

Today's Hawaiian Word of the Day is most often used as a place name. Kapiʻolani is a medical center, a tree-lined boulevard, a park, a school, a playground, and so much more. All are named for Queen Kapiʻolani, wife of Kalākaua. Literally, it means “the arch of heaven,” and refers to the beautiful rainbows so frequently seen in Hawaiʻi. Rainbows signify the presence of royalty in old Hawaiʻi.

The music from tonight's special all-vinyl edition came from my own personal collection of Hawaiian music. The first hour is full of classics and music off of some hard-to-find albums. The second hour is meant to whisk you away with my favorite mix of Hawaiian symphony music mixed with mele kahiko and so much more. Come live the fantasy with me!. 

Listen to the Audio Archive

Hawaiian Word of the Day: May 4th

May 4, 2021


Poke means to slice, cut crosswise into pieces. That's why the delicious dish we all love is called poke. There's poke aku, poke heʻe, and a whole variety of poke dishes. Don't put any stress on the vowels, as that will change the meaning, and don't confuse poke, meaning to cut into pieces, with poki, which among other things  is the name of a supernatural dog.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: May 3rd

May 3, 2021

We often hear haole, meaning white person, in a negative connotation, but it is a perfectly good word, and used often in Hawaiian and English conversation. It means foreign, introduced, of foreign origin, or foreign introduction, as plants, pigs, chickens, yes, even people. So in Hawaiian, anyone or anything that is not native to Hawaiʻi is haole, such as koa haole for the foreign scrub brush koa, or ʻāina haole for a foreign land.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 30th

Apr 30, 2021

Our Hawaiian Word of the Day is moku. We often use moku to mean a district, an island, severed portion, or fragment, or as the root for other common words such as mokuahi for steamship, mokuʻāina for state, mokulele for airplane, or a mokuluʻu for a submarine, a diving ship. But the first use of moku means to be cut, severed, amputated, broken in two. There are many opportunities every day to use that common word, moku.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 29th

Apr 29, 2021

Our Hawaiian word today is a good example of the importance of putting the right stress on vowel sounds, or leaving them off. Lolo means brains, and it is from that root word that we get such new words as lolo uila: one of the words for computer – an electric brain. If you say it with stress on both vowels it becomes lōlō, and that means paralyzed, numb, feeble-minded, or crazy. Be careful how you pronounce Hawaiian words.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 28th

Apr 28, 2021

Our Hawaiian Word of the Day is kāhea meaning to call out, cry out, invoke, greet, or name. You may not use the word, but you hear its application often when you watch a hula performance and hear one or more of the dancers call out the first lines of a stanza as a cue to the chanter. Put stress on the first vowel.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 27th

Apr 27, 2021

Almost everyone knows that hula means, but did you know that hulahula means ballroom dancing with partners? Hulahula also means American dancing, ball, or even masked hula dancing. Don't confuse it with hula for the Hawaiian dance. Hulahula also has other meanings, such as the twitching of an eyelid, or the ceremonial killing of a pig and offering it to the gods during ceremonies dedicating a temple.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 26th

Apr 26, 2021

Māʻili is another one of those commonly used Hawaiian place names that is so often mispronounced, frequently confused with the name of the fragrant vine used as a lei. Today's Hawaiian Word of the Day is Māʻili, name of the community on the Leeward Oʻahu coast . Māʻili is the name of a beach park, surfing area, playground, school, and more.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 23rd

Apr 23, 2021


Our Hawaiian Word of the Day is lānai, a term often used, and most often mispronounced or confused with other similar words. It means porch, veranda, balcony, booth or shed. Don't confuse it with lanai which means stiff backed like a chair, or Lānaʻi, the name of the island. Today's word is lānai – say it with a stress on the first vowel.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 22nd

Apr 22, 2021

Every evening when we look into the sky, and see the planet Venus, we should remember that the stars and planets have Hawaiian names. And hōkūloa, our Hawaiian Word of the Day, is what we call Venus.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 21st

Apr 21, 2021

Hoʻopulapula means to rehabilitate. That's why we use it to describe homestead lands. They're called ʻāina hoʻopulapula, lands for the rehabilitation of Hawaiians/Homestead lands.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 20th

Apr 20, 2021

Nahu means to bite. And it can be the bite of anything – from an insect that bites, to the bite of a dog, or even the bite you take out of a piece of cake.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 19th

Apr 19, 2021

Hoʻonanea means to relax, kick back, mellow out. It's also the name of a beautiful song and hula. E hoʻonanea kākou – let's all kick back.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 16th

Apr 16, 2021

Mana is another Hawaiian word we often hear in English conversation. People will tell of someone or something having mana – supernatural or divine power. It is also a good adjective, and someone with a leo mana is said to have an authoritative voice.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 15th

Apr 15, 2021

Often we hear people talking about their ʻaumakua. It means a family god, or personal god, or a deified ancestor. Our ʻaumakua might be a shark or an owl, or even an inanimate object. It is said that ʻaumakua often warn and reprimand mortals in dreams and visions.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 14th

Apr 14, 2021

A kupua is a demi-god, or cultural hero, especially a supernatural being possessing several forms, one possessing magical powers. Kupua can often change their form and may assume non god-like, very everyday things.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 13th

Apr 13, 2021

Our Hawaiian word for today is puni meaning surrounded, controlled, overcome. Now that you know how to use the hoʻo prefix, you know that hoʻopuni can mean to surround, enclose, get control of: hoʻopuni.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 12th

Apr 12, 2021

Our Hawaiian word for today is nahele, for forest. Now you know the common Hawaiian family name, Kanahele, can mean the forest.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 9th

Apr 9, 2021

Most of us know ipu to be the gourd we see and hear in the hands of many hula dancers and chanters. But it also has other meanings – it can be used to mean any kind of container; even a dish, mug, calabash, pot, cup, urn, bowl, or a utensil.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 8th

Apr 8, 2021

Pulu means wet, moist, soaked, saturated. When you got caught in the rain without your umbrella, pulu is the word you should've known. And if you want to soak something, just put the causative prefix hoʻo in front. Since pulu means soaked, then hoʻopulu means “to soak.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 7th

Apr 7, 2021

Lawelawe means "to serve, work for, minister to, tend, attend to." When you serve dinner, that's what you're doing, lawelawe.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: April 6th

Apr 6, 2021

Our Hawaiian word for today is leho for cowry shell. It is a very generic term for the cowry. Leho can be modified by adding other words to make the name specific for each of the many types of cowry, but leho will always work.