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Hawaiian Language

Here's a fun list.  I'll give you some Hawaiian words you should probably get used to, if you don't already know them.  Aside from standard English, there are two types of Hawaiian dialect.  The first is known as Hawaiian and contains some of the words you know, like aloha.  The second, is called Pidgen.  We'll get into that in a bit.
Keep in mind the Hawaiian language only uses 12 letters.  So, many of the words look very similar, which can get a little confusing.  If you've ever driven around Honolulu you know what I mean.  It's easy to get disoriented, because you can't remember if you just turned on Wailua or Kailua or Wailuku Street.


Ali'i - Royalty
Aloha - Hello, goodbye or the spirit of love or kindness
Hale' - House
Ha'ole - Caucasian
Hei'au - Temple
Hula - Storytelling dance
Imu' - Underground oven
Kahuna - Priest or Minister
Kai' - Ocean
Ka'lua - Cooking underground
Kama'aina - Hawaii resident
Kane' - Male
Kapu - Forbidden
Kei'ki - Child
Lana'i - Porch
Lei - Flower, shell or feather necklace
Liliko'i - Passion fruit
Lomi - Massage
Lu'au - Feast
Mahalo - Thank you
Ma'kai - Toward sea
Mauka - Toward mountain
Mo'ana - Ocean

Nui' - Big or important

'Ohana - Family

'Okole - Rear end

'Ono - The best or good

Pali - Cliff

Pani'olo - Cowboy

Poi' - Taro root paste

Pu'a - Flower

Pupu - Appetizer

Wahine - Woman

Wikiwiki - Hurry up


Pidgen is a language which has evolved over the years amongst native Hawaiians.  It's not meant for you to understand or speak.  If it's spoken thick enough you won't.  That's the point.  Kind of a way for them to have a private conversation, kind of a cultural thing.  So don't attempt it.  You'll just look silly.  But it's fun hear.




An' den - And then?

Any kine - Anything

Ass right - That's right

Beef - Fight

Brah - Bruddah, buddy

Broke da mouf - Delicious

Buggah - Difficult, that one

Choke - Plenty

Cockaroach - Steal

Da kine - Thingamijig

Fo Days - A lot

Grind - Eat

Mo' bettah - Better

No mek li dat - Stop it

No, yeah? - Is no correct?

Poi dog - Mutt

Shahkbait - Pale, untanned people

Shaka - Right on!

Sleepahs - Flip flops

Stink eye - Stink eye

Suck rocks - Go pound sand

Talk stink - Badmouth

Tanks eh? - Thanks

Yeah? - Finishes most sentences

Shoots - Yes
Roger that - Yes


That's a brief introduction.  They sell entire books on the subject if you're interested.

Here's a short story from Maui:No Ka Oi Magazine in Pidgen.  

There's even an audio link, if you'd like to hear what it sounds like.

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