HWOTD

Hawaiian Word of the Day: September 12th

Sep 12, 2019

Our Hawaiian word for today, hāpai, is one most people in Hawaiʻi already know and use, even in English conversation. It means to carry, and is most often used to describe a woman who is expecting a baby. It also means “to lift, raise, hoist, hold up, or support.”

Hawaiian Word of the Day: September 11th

Sep 11, 2019

Manu means bird or any winged creature, even the wing of a kite. We have many kinds of beautiful manu in Hawaiʻi, many of them found only in Hawaiʻi, and threatened with extinction.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: September 10th

Sep 10, 2019

Oli means a chant that was danced to, especially with prolonged phrases chanted in one breath, often with a trill at the end of each phrase. We call a chanter a mea oli.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: September 9th

Sep 9, 2019

Kiʻekiʻe means: height, tallness, high, tall, lofty, exalted, majestic, superior, prominent. In 1845, the legislature conferred the title mea kiʻekiʻe upon the Premier. Kiʻekiʻe is also how we differentiate high schools from elementary schools, we call a high school a kula kiʻekiʻe.

Hawaiian Word of the Day: September 6th

Sep 6, 2019

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, 2019

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, 2019

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, 2019

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, 2019

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: August 30th

Aug 30, 2019

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, 2019

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, 2019

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, 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.

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