HWOTD

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 27th

Aug 27, 2019

Pau is one of the most commonly used, and misused, of Hawaiian words. Pau kahana – the work is finished. Yes, pau means finished, ended, all done, final, even consumed and destroyed. Work is finished, so you can say “pau kahana.” But donʻt say “I'm pau,” that would mean you are dead or finished. And don't ask, “Are you pau?”

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 26th

Aug 26, 2019

Especially during pageants and parades, we see flowers that have been designated as the island flower for each major island. The kaunaʻoa of Lanaʻi is such a flower. It is the native daughter, a parasitic vine belonging to the Morning Glory family.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 23rd

Aug 23, 2019

Lāʻie is one of the most often mispronounced Hawaiian place names on Oʻahu. It means the ʻie leaf.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 22nd

Aug 22, 2019

Ask any fourth grader, “What is Hawaiʻi's state bird?” and you will hear nēnē. Nēnē, the endangered Hawaiian goose, still lives in the wild on Maui and on the Big Island.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 21st

Aug 21, 2019

Another very commonly used Hawaiian word is nani. Nani means beautiful. It is often used in names as in pua nani for “beautiful flower.” Nani nō ʻoe – you are beautiful – is a nice expression we hope you hear everyday.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 20th

Aug 20, 2019

Yesterday we told you about mauka, a direction meaning “at the upland.” Today's Hawaiian Word of the Day is makai, meaning “at the sea” the opposite direction of mauka. It is actually two words: ma meaning “at” and kai meaning “sea.”

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 19th

Aug 19, 2019

One of the first words new residents in Hawaiʻi learn is mauka, meaning inland or upland. It is one of the most commonly used Hawaiian terms, since we don't give directions as many other folks do. It is actually two words: ma meaning “at,” and uka for “upland.”

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 16th

Aug 16, 2019

Our Hawaiian Word of the Day is koa and most of us know it because of the fine things made from the koa tree: canoes, calabashes, furniture, jewelry, ʻukulele, and more. Yes, it is the name of the large native hardwood tree, but koa also means brave, bold, fearless, soldier, warrior, hero, and much more.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 15th

Aug 15, 2019

Kai, for ocean, is another of those short, simple Hawaiian words used by so many who do not speak the language. It is part of many names such as: Kai Nalu, Kai Nehe, Kai ʻOlu, Kai ʻOli, Kai Oʻo, and even Hawaii Kai. And it is often mispronounced.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 14th

Aug 14, 2019

Our Hawaiian Word for today is a beautiful Oʻahu place name, Kawaiahaʻo. And it means the water used by Haʻo. Some say Haʻo was a chief. As most of you know, it is a name for the most famous church on the island, often called the Westminster of the Pacific.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 13th

Aug 13, 2019

Our Hawaiian Word for today is a beautiful Oʻahu place name, Kaʻaʻawa. It is often used as an example of a Hawaiian word with so many vowels in a row. But if you spell and pronounce it correctly, you will note that every vowel is separated by a consonant sound, the glottal stop or ʻokina. And it means the wrasse fish.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 12th

Aug 12, 2019

Oʻahu is the name of the third largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. Although it is often disputed, many say it means “the gathering place.” The main thing is to pronounce it correctly.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 9th

Aug 9, 2019

Wela means hot. You'll hear both wela (well-a) or wela (vel-a) as correct pronunciations, depending on the sound it follows. Wela means hot, burned, heat, temperature, but can also mean “lust” or “passion” or “feeling lust.” Wela wela is “doubly hot.”

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 8th

Aug 8, 2019

Makau means fishhook, something we see everyday in Hawaiʻi, even if you don't go near the water. The beautiful fishhooks carved form bone and used as a decoration around the necks of so many men and women in Hawaiʻi today are correctly called makau.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 7th

Aug 7, 2019

Makaʻu means fear, frightened, afraid, cowardly, timid, unsafe, or dangerous. Makaʻu ʻoia aʻu – “he is afraid of me,” or mai makaʻu – “donʻt fear.”

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 6th

Aug 6, 2019

Hema means left or left side. When you watch a marching group pass by, you will often hear, “hema, hema, hema, ʻākau hema,” or “left, left, left, right, left.” It also means “south,” as in Kona hema – south Kona.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 5th

Aug 5, 2019

Hale is a word we all use in Hawaiʻi whether we speak Hawaiian or not. And hale, meaning house or building, is our Hawaiian Word of the Day. There are many kinds of hale from the hale ʻaina, or restaurant, to the hale pule, or church.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 2nd

Aug 2, 2019

Poko liko is another term given to an ethnic group that has settled in Hawaiʻi. Poko liko is the Hawaiian transliteration of the English words Puerto Rico or Puerto Rican. And there are many poko liko in Hawaiʻi nei.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 1st

Aug 1, 2019

Our Hawaiian word for today is another borrowed word, ʻAukake. And it is the Hawaiian word for August. Yes, it was borrowed from English, as is the case for all the names of the months.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: July 31st

Jul 31, 2019

Pukīkī is the Hawaiian word for the English word “Portuguese” – a group of people who arrived here by the thousands in the late 1800s.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: July 30th

Jul 30, 2019

ʻŪala is the Hawaiian name for the sweet potato. Did you know that this delicious and popular Hawaiian staple came from South America?

Hawaiian Word of the Day: July 29th

Jul 29, 2019

Laiki is how we say rice in Hawaiian. And since we who live in the Islands eat so much of it, you should know how to say it in Hawaiian. Like so many of our newer Hawaiian words, it was borrowed from the English language.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: July 26th

Jul 26, 2019

We so often see kuʻuipo on Hawaiian jewelry that we tend to overlook another beautiful Hawaiian word for sweetheart. It is huapala. Literally, it means “ripe fruit,” a fruit that is ready for picking, and that's how Hawaiians call their sweetheart.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: July 25th

Jul 25, 2019

Another Hawaiian place name that is often mispronounced is Waiāhole. It is a compound name from wai for “water,” and āhole for a type of fish.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: July 24th

Jul 24, 2019

Today's Hawaiian Word of the Day is another beautiful place name: Kōkeʻe. It means "to bend" or "to wind." We all know it as the name of the beautiful state park and area on Kauaʻi.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: July 23rd

Jul 23, 2019

Pekelala is another Hawaiian word borrowed from English, and it means federal. If you listen to the news of the day discussed in Hawaiian, you often hear pekelala, because so much of what is in the news relates to the U.S. federal government.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: July 22nd

Jul 22, 2019

means: night, darkness, obscurity, the realm of the gods. The Hawaiian day begins at nightfall, so instead of using the word for the days of the week, as is done in English, we use for nights, and then modify it to make the nights of the week. For example pō akihi or pō alua.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: July 19th

Jul 19, 2019

If youʻve ever walked the beach looking for a glass ball, youʻll enjoy todayʻs word of the day: pōpō aniani which means glass ball.  Pōpō means “ball,” and aniani means “glass.”

Hawaiian Word of the Day: July 18th

Jul 18, 2019

Koʻolau means windward. A very appropriate name for a mountain range that runs up the windward side of the island of Oʻahu. It can be used as an adjective too, to describe something that is on the windward side.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: July 17th

Jul 17, 2019

Koko means blood. It took on a special meaning when blood quantum was used by the U.S. government as a way to decide which Hawaiians would receive benefits and which ones would not.

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