HWOTD

Hawaiian Word of the Day: September 6th

Sep 6, 2020

Kumu means source, foundation, basis, root. Nana i ke kumu means to look at the source, and we use the same word for teacher. O wau ke kumu -  I am your teacher.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: September 5th

Sep 5, 2020

Although it is often mispronounced,  muʻumuʻu is one of the best known of Hawaiian words. It means “cut off, shortened,” and is the name so often given to a large fitting gown, because the yoke was often missing, and the sleeves short. It's first meaning, however, is “amputated, maimed.”

Hawaiian Word of the Day: September 4th

Sep 4, 2020

Haʻahaʻa means “lowly, humble, unpretentious, modest, and unassuming.” Remember it as a good way to sign off a letter – me haʻahaʻa – with humility.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: September 3rd

Sep 3, 2020

Aupuni means “government,” and can be modified to tell what kind of government we are talking about. For example, aupuni peke lala is the federal government, and aupuni koloniala is the colonial government.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: September 2nd

Sep 2, 2020

Since we don’t often use north, south, east, and west in giving directions in Hawaiʻi, hikina might be a new word to you. It means “east,” and when capitalized it can also mean the “Orient.” Ka Hikina means the East.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: September 1st

Sep 1, 2020

Our Hawaiian word for today is another borrowed word, kepakemapa. And yes, it’s the Hawaiian word for “September.” Like other names of the months, it was borrowed from English.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 31st

Aug 31, 2020

Kahaluʻu, the proper name for a beautiful Windward Oʻahu location. It means diving place. Kaha is “place” and luʻu is “diving.” Be sure to sound the glottal stop, or ʻokina.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 30th

Aug 30, 2020

Waihona is a depository. It can be a closet, a file, even a bank – any place for laying up things for safekeeping. A waihona noʻo noʻo, or place to store thoughts, for example, is your mind.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 29th

Aug 29, 2020

means to cry, weep, lament, or to mourn. You might hear a mother say, “Mai ʻue” – don't cry – or you might use it to discuss the reactions of the Hawaiians to the loss of their Queen: ʻue nakanaka – the people weep.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 28th

Aug 28, 2020

Mākaukau means able, competent, capable, skilled, expert, prepared. We often hear a kumu hula call out that one word question to her students – “Mākaukau?” – and the answer is always ʻae – yes.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 27th

Aug 27, 2020

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, 2020

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 25th

Aug 25, 2020

Our Hawaiian Word for today is kau wela. Kau means “season,” and wela is “hot.” Yes, summer is the hot season, even in our beautiful Hawaiʻi nei.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 24th

Aug 24, 2020

Pāʻia means noisy. It is best known as a small town in East Maui, and because it is so often misspelled, it is mispronounced.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 21st

Aug 21, 2020

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, 2020

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, 2020

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 18th

Aug 18, 2020

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: August 17th

Aug 17, 2020

We often hear kakahiaka as part of aloha kakahiaka, a greeting early in the day. And most know it means morning. The popular greeting came in to use only after the arrival of the poʻe haole, as a translation for “good morning.”

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 14th

Aug 14, 2020

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, 2020

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, 2020

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 11th

Aug 11, 2020

ʻOno is another of those very frequently used Hawaiian word understood by most people, even those who do not speak the language. ʻOno means delicious. Be sure to start it with that glottal stop, because ono without the glottal stop, is the popular and tasty fish known in English as the wahoo.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 10th

Aug 10, 2020

Even people who do not speak Hawaiian often use the word huhū. Huhū means angry, offended, indignant, mad, or scolding.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 7th

Aug 7, 2020

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 5th

Aug 5, 2020

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 4th

Aug 4, 2020

Kahakai means beach, sea shore, sea coast, seaside, or strand. Ke kahakai o waikīkī is Waikīkī Beach, but it works just as well as a generic term: e helekako i kahakai – let's go to the beach.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: August 6th

Aug 4, 2020

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 3rd

Aug 3, 2020

Ala, meaning path or way, is used in so many of our street names, that is pretty well known, and most people know that it is a redundancy to say “Ala Wai Boulevard” or “Ala Moana Boulevard.” Our Hawaiian Word of the Day is alanui, the natural extension of ala. It means a big path, or a big way, a highway or a freeway.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: July 31st

Jul 31, 2020

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

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