Useful Words to Know in Hawaiian
Soon enough when you are on Kauai you will realize that locals intersperse Hawaiian words in their English sentences and speak their only special dialect called “Pidgin English” or sometimes called, “Broken English”. Not to worry if you don’t understand, just ask. “Sorry I nevah catch what you been say”.
At our Poipu Beach vacation rentals you will find a guide in your Suite that will help in your assimilation into the Hawaiian culture. Locals informally greet each other with the phrase, ” Howzit “, meaning ‘How are you doing?”; however in more formal settings they will say the traditional “Aloha”.
Jump right into the language locals will help with your pronunciation when required or they may advise to add a “Shaka” hand gesture to the Aloha for greater emphasis. After all Hawaiians invented storytelling in their dance and movements. Don’t be shy and soon you will talking like a Local.
Here is a short primer to help clear the confusion.
Ali’i: Hawaiian royalty
Aloha: Hello, Goodbye, Love
Aloha Au la ‘Oe: I love you
Hana Hou!: One more time!
Haole: Foreigner, Caucasian
Holoholo: to walk or travel for fun
Hu’hu: angry, upset
Huli: to turn
Kamaaina: Local. Person of the land.
Keiki or pepe: Baby
Kolohe: devilish, usually referencing a child
Luau: Hawaiian feast
Mahalo: Thank you
Mahalo nui loa: Thank you very much
Malahini: Newcomer. Visitor
Pau: finished. Used as, ” It’s pau hana
Pu pu’s: snack, appetizer
Useful Hawaiian Pidgin Phrases:
Aznuts: You’re talking crazy
Boddah you? Is this annoying to you?
Brah or Braddah: brother. Also said to strangers, “Aloha brah welcome to Kauai”
“Pau already, time to go home”. Used primarily at the end of the work day.
Broke da Mout: This is really good food.
Bumbye we make ‘em: One of these days I’ll get around to it.
Choke cars: Too much traffic.
Da’Kine: whatchamacallit! Used like, “That’s da’kine brah”, meaning whatever was being referenced is really cool.
Fo’ Real?: Are you positive?
Geev’um: Go for broke.
Grind: to eat. Used as, “I like grind brah, I stay hungry”.
Hawaiian time: Late
Howzit?: How is it going?
Huli huli: turning, also used to reference rotisserie meats. Also used as, ” Ho brah did you see him Huli on that wave”?
Junk: bad, not good.
Slippahs: ‘flip flops’
Talk Stink: Speaking ill of someone.
Try Move: Excuse me. Please move out of the way.
Shoots We Go: Time to depart.
Shoots We Grind: Let’s go and eat.