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The Hawaiian Language


    English is the main language in the state of Hawaii but the Hawaiian language still exists today.  Almost all the people in Hawaii speak English as well as a few words of Hawaiian. Most of the street names are Hawaiian such as Kalakaua Avenue.  Some people who have Hawaiian blood have Hawaiian names as well.  This page is basically a glossary of basic Hawaiian words for you people to learn.  Even though most of the people in Hawaii speak English, some of them speak pidgin English.  The way they speak may sound primitive to others (people from the  mainland or other countries that speak standard English).  I think pidgin English is a part of Hawaii's culture.  Below the table of Hawaiian words is a table of pidgin English


Words in green are super common words.  Other words are used averagely. 

Hawaiian Word


'ahi tuna fish (one of local favorite fishes to eat)
'ai yes
ali'i royalty of Hawaii
aloha hello, goodbye, love
auwe alas, woe
hale house
haole Caucasian, foreigner
hula Hawaiian dance, to dance
humuhumu-nukunuku- a-pua'a Hawaii's state fish
kai sea, ocean
kahuna priest
kalua to bake underground
kamaaina old-timer, local
keiki child
kokua assistance, help, cooperate
lanai porch
laulau combination of pork, chicken, and/or fish wrapped in leaves and steamed
lei necklace made of flowers
luau feast
mahalo thank you
mahimahi dolphin fish (another local favorite fish to eat)
makai towards the ocean (used in giving directions)
mele kalikimaka Merry Christmas
muumuu loose Hawaiian dress
ohana family
okole butt
ono delicious
pali cliff
pau done, finished
piko umbilical cord
poi pounded taro
puka hole
wahine female, woman, girl
wai water
wikiwiki quickly

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Here is the table of Pidgin English used in Hawaii.  Try to learn some of them before coming to Hawaii but beware, having the wrong pronunciation, saying the words/phrases with a wrong tone, or using the words/phrases the wrong way in a sentence will reveal to the locals that you are not from Hawaii. 

Pidgin English Meaning Example

Example Meaning

ack acting up, show off, acting stupid No ack k? Don't act stupid ok?
any kine anything What kine you like?  Any kine brah. Which one do you want?  Anything is fine. 
an den? and then? (usually an expression of boredeom) Bob:  Eh, I saw dis girl today.  John (bored):  an den? Bob:  I saw this girl today.  John:  Annnnnnd?
boddah me/you bothering me/you Eh, no boddah me k? Stop bothering me.
brah brother Eh brah, we go shopping. Hey brother/friend, lets go shopping.
brok da mout taste very good (broke the mouth) Ho, da chicken taste so good, brok da mout cuz. The chicken was delicious.
braddah same with brah (see above)    
buggah a fellow Dat buggah went home already. The fellow has already went back home.
bus broke He wen bus his chair cuz he too fat. He broke his chair because he was too fat.
bussum out take it out What get in there?  Bussum out. What's in there?  Take them out.
chang cheap, penny pincher Ho brah, dat guy so chang! That guy is so cheap.
choke a lot, large quantity Da beach get choke chicks brah. The beach has a lot of chicks. 
cuz 1.  cousin  2.  because 1.  Eh, we go cuz.  2.  I no like cuz my feet soa. 1.  Lets go cousin.  2.  I don't want to go because my feet hurts.
da kine that kind (used when you can't recall the name of a noun) 1.  Where you going?  I going da kine.  2.  What food you like eat?  da kine.  3.  Eh, I saw da kine today.  etc. Sorry, I don't know how to translate this one...
das why that's the reason See when you eat choke, das why you fat brah.  See what happen when you eat a lot?  That's the reason why you are fat. 
eh hey Eh, no be like dat! Hey, don't be like that.
fo to Eh, you know how fo do dis? Hey, do you know how to do this?
fo realz? really? Mike:  Eh, I won 1 million dolla today!  Franky:  Fo realz?  Mike:  Nah fo fake!/Nah I kidding around. Mike:  Hey I won a million dollars today.  Franky:  Really?  Mike:  Nah I am just joking. 
fo what? why?, how come? Cindy:  I like borrow 5 dolla?  Jennifer:  Fo what? Cindy:  Can I borrow 5 dollars?  Jennifer:  Why?
get fom? 1. have it?  2.  Got it? (Understand)? 1.  Eh you get fom?  2.  Gotta add 2, get fom? 1.  Hey, do you have it?  2.  You have to add 2.  You got it?
givum give it (to me/him/etc) Brah givum already! Hey just give it to me/him/her/them/etc.
grind to eat I was sooo hungry today, was grinding at Zippy's. I was very hungry today.  I ate a lot of food at Zippy's. 
haole outsiders, Caucasians Ho brah dat hoale dunno where he going cuz. That guy (outsider) doesn't know where he is going.
ho whoa Ho, that was bad brah! Whoa, that was cool!
howzit? How are you?  How is it going?  What't up? Eh, howzit brah?  Long time no see. Hey what's up?  Didn't see you for a long time.
k ok Follow me k? Follow me ok?
k den ok then,  alright then Ryan:  You going home?  Carlin:  Yeah.  Ryan:  Kden Ryan:  You going home?  Carlin:  Yeah.  Ryan:  Alright then. 
like want, want to You like go now? You want to go now?
like beef? Wanna fight? Eh like beef?  No ack k? You want to fight?  Don't act up ok?
like dis like this How you do dis?  Like dis brah! How do you do this?  Like this. 
like dat like that Joe:  How you do dis?  Jerry:  Like dat brah!  Joe:  Like what?  Jerry:  Brah like dat!!! Joe:  How do you do this?  Jerry (pointing to something):  Like that.  Joe:  How?  Jerry (still pointing):  Like that!!!
like how? how? Brad:  Brah, just gotta loop em.  Jason:  Like how brah? Brad:  You just have to loop it.  Jason:  How?
lick'ns spanking You got lick'ns when you was small?  All da time cuz. Did you get spanked when you were a child?  All the time.
lolo stupid, not smart Can tell he lolo. I can tell he is stupid.
mahaloz thanks Eh brah, mahaloz yeah. Hey, thanks. 
mahu gay, homosexual Eh dat guy one mahu yeah? Hey, that guy is a homosexual huh?
mo bettah more better Nah, dat mo bettah. Nah, that one is better. 
no can cannot Da thing fit?  No can brah. Can that thing fit?  No, it cannot fit. 
no like don't want to Eh you like go car show wit me?  Nah I no like. Hey do you want to go to the car show with me?  No, I don't want to.
no moah don't have You get any sodas left?  I no moah already. Do you have any sodas left?  I don't have any left.
no worry don't worry No worry brah, I get fom. Don't worry, I got it.
nuff already enough Like drink some moa?  Nuff already! Do you want to drink some more?  No, I've had enough.
okole butt She get one big okole yea? Does she have a big butt?
one a Eh, we go watch one movie? Hey, lets go watch a movie.
ono delicious Da food ono cuz, try em.  Hey, the food is delicious, you should try it.
pau finished, over, done Rick:  Eh, when the game start?  Kevin:  Pau already! Rick:  When does the game start?  Kevin:  It's already over.
planny a lot How much you get?  I get planny cuz. How much do you have?  I have a lot.
shoots ok, alright, deal (agreeing to something) Jay:  Eh we go beach.  Cisco:  Shoots! Jay:  Hey lets go to the beach.  Cisco:  OK. 
sistah sister Eh sistah, where you going? Hey, where are you going sister?
slippahs slippers, shower shoes Why you wear slippahs fo? Why are you wearing slippers?
solid nice, pretty Eh dat chick solid yeah? Hey that chick is pretty huh?
stay is, at, is at Where da thing stay?  Brah the thing stay right thea! Where is that thing at?  That thing is right there!
stink eye dirty look Ho, da buggah gimme stink eyes! That fellow just gave me a dirty look.
talk stink speaking bad about someone Eh, I think he talking stink about me. Hey, I think he is talking bad about me.
talk story chatting, tell stories, talking Da lazy buggahs stay talking stories brah. Those lazy fellows are chatting.
try please 1.  Try wait.  I stay busy.  2.  Eh, try do dis fo me.  3. Try move.  etc. 1.  Please wait.  I am busy.  2.  Hey, can you please do this for me?  3.  Please move.  etc. 
we go lets go Eh we go eat. Hey, lets eat.
what get? what kinds of... (indicating variety) You like buy shirt?  What get? Do you want to buy a t-shirt?  What kinds of t-shirt do you have?
yeah? huh? Ho, that was bad yeah? Whoa, that was cool huh?
yeah!?!? same as fo realz?:  really? Amy:  Eh, I forget fo bring my money.  Philip:  Yeah!?!? Amy:  I forgot to bring my money.  Philip:  Really?

Go up brah!