If you’re just getting started, this page is for you. It’s simply built for everyone, and you can listen as often as you’d like. Enjoy Essential Hawaiian Words!
If you’re in the mood for a bit of tropical romance, this is the page for you! Make sure you get the pronunciations right!
If you plan on visiting Hawaii and driving around the islands you need to listen to how the places are pronounced with this page. Hope you enjoy!

Common Hawaiian Words and Phrases

This page contains some of the more common Hawaiian words and phrases. Click on one of the icons to listen to the word or phrase spoken at normal speed and in slower speed.

Normal Slower Hawaiian Word English Translation
A hui hou Until we meet again
A hui hou kākou Until we meet again–said to a group
A‘ā Sharp jagged lava rock
‘A‘ole pilikia You're welcome/No problem
‘Ae Yes
Ahupua‘a Land division
‘Āina Land, especially Hawaiian ancestral lands
Akamai Smart, Clever, Intelligent
Akua God
Ala Road, way, path
Alelo Tongue, language.
Ali‘i Chief, chiefess, or royalty
Aloha Love, affection; greeting, salutation; Hello! Good-bye!
Aloha ‘auinalā Good afternoon
Aloha ‘oe Farewell to you
Aloha ahiahi Good evening
Aloha ‘āina Love of the land; to nurture and care for the land.
Aloha au ia ‘oe I love you
Aloha kakahiaka Good morning
Aloha nui loa Very much love
‘A‘ole pilikia No problem, no trouble.
‘Auana Modern; Especially relating to hula.
‘Aumakua Ancestral spirit, family or personal gods
E Komo Mai Welcome! Enter
Hālau Long house, as for canoes or hula instruction; meeting house
Normal Slower Hawaiian Word English Translation
Hale House, building
Hana Work
Hana hou Encore, do it again.
Hānai Adopted, to raise, rear, feed
Haole A foreigner; Pidgin slang – Caucasian
Hapa haole Person of mixed racial ancestry
Hāpai To carry, pregnant
Hau‘oli lā Hānau Happy Birthday
Hau‘oli lā Ho‘omaha loa Happy Retirement
Hau‘oli lā Ho‘omana‘o Happy Anniversary
Hau‘oli Happy, glad, joy
Hau‘oli Hanukaha Happy Hanukkah
Hau‘oli Hanukaha me ka Makahiki Hou Happy Hanukkah and New Year
Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou Happy New Year
Hehena Raving mad, possessed, lunatic
Heiau Pre-Christian shrine or place of worship
Hele Move, go, travel
Hiapo First Born
Hina To fall, topple over from an upright position
Hoaloha Friend
Hō‘ike Show, display
Hōkū Star
Holoholo Out on a lark, fishing, to wander
Honu Turtle
Huhū Angry
Normal Slower Hawaiian Word English Translation
Hula The dance of Hawaii
Huli-huli Rotisserie or 'end-over-end' as in chicken cooked this way.
Humuhumunukunukuapua'a The State fish. A Triggerfish.
I'a Fish
Imu An underground oven you will see at a luau
Kahiko Ancient hula dance
Kahu Guardian, leader, minister
Kahuna Expert. A priest, minister, or an expert at any profession
Kai Sea, sea water; seaside
Kālā Money
Kala mai ia‘u Excuse me
Kalo Taro
Kama‘āina Commonly referred to a long-time resident of Hawai'i.
Kāne A man or boy
Kanikapila Musical jam session
Kapa Cloth made from the bark of the wauke tree
Kapu Sacred, taboo, forbidden, no trespassing
Keiki Child, offspring, or children
Koa Warrior
Kōkua Help, aid, assistance, relief.
Kolohe Rascal
Kuleana Responsibility
Kulikuli Be quiet! Shut up!
Kumu Teacher
Kupuna Grandparent, ancestor
Normal Slower Hawaiian Word English Translation
Ku‘uipo Sweetheart
Laki Lucky
Lanai A porch, patio, or balcony
Lani Sky, the heavens
Lau Leaf
Laule‘a Peaceful, happy
Laulima Cooperation
Lehua The flower of the ‘ohi‘a tree
Lei A necklace of flowers, leaves, shells, feathers, given as a symbol of affection;
Leilani Heavenly flower
Lo‘i Taro patch
Lolo Feeble minded, numb
Lū‘au Literally means taro leaves, but used for a Hawaiian feast
Luna Foreman, boss, supervisor
Mahalo Thank You
Mahalo nui loa Thank you very much
Maha‘oi Insolent, rude, brazen
Mahina Moon
Maika‘i Excellent, goodness
Maika‘i no au I am fine
Maka Eye
Makai Toward the ocean
Makana Gift, present
Makua Parent, any relative of the parent's generation
Mālama To take care of, preserve, protect, maintain;
Normal Slower Hawaiian Word English Translation
Malihini New comer, visitor
Mana‘o Thought
Manapua Chinese dim sum
Manini Stingy
Manō Shark
Manu Bird
Manuahi Free, gratis
Maoli Native, indigenous, genuine.
Mau Loa Forever
Mauka Inland, upland, toward the mountains.
Mele Chant or melodic song for hula dancing
Mele Kalikimaka Merry Christmas
Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Menehune Legendary race of small people believed to have worked during the night building roads, fish ponds and temples.
Moana Ocean
Moku Island
Mo‘o Lizard
Mo‘opuna Grandchild
Nalu Wave, surf
Nani Pretty
Nīele Nosy, frivolously inquisitive
Niu Coconut
Nui Big, large, great, or important
‘O ia mau nō Same as usual
‘Ohana Family, relative, kin group; related.
Normal Slower Hawaiian Word English Translation
‘Ōkole Ass or butt (slang)
‘Ōlelo Language, speech, word, quotation, statement, utterance, term; to speak, say, state, talk, mention, quote, converse, tell; oral, verbatim, verbal.
‘Oli Chant
‘Ono Delicious or tasty, and also a large mackerel type of fish
‘Ōpala Garbage, trash
‘Ōpū Stomach, abdomen
Pāhoehoe Smooth, ropey lava
Palahē Flattened, crushed
Pali Cliff, a steep hill or slope
Paniolo Hawaiian cowboy
Pau Finished, ended, all done
Pehea ‘oe? How are you?
Pilau Stinky, smelly
Pilikia Troubles
Pōhaku Stone, rock
Poi A paste made from pounded taro root
Pakalolo Marijuana
Pōmaika`i Good fortune, blessing
Pua‘a Pig
Pule Prayer, incantation, blessing, grace; to pray, worship, ask a blessing.
Pūpū Snacks or appetizers
Pupule Crazy
Pu‘uwai Heart
Tūtū Grandfather, Grandmother
U‘i Handsome, pretty, beautiful, youthful
‘Uku Louse, flea. Small, tiny
Wa‘a Canoe
Wahine Woman, lady
Wai Water, usually fresh water
Waipahē Good-natured
Wikiwiki Fast or speedy

Facts about Hawaii

  • The earliest habitation of the Hawaiian Islands supported by archaeological evidence dates to around 800 AD, probably by Polynesian settlers from the Marquesas Islands, followed by a second wave of migration from Raiatea and Bora Bora in the 11th century.
  • The eight main islands are—in order from northwest to southeast: Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui and the Island of Hawaiʻi.
  • Hawaiʻi is the 50th and most recent U.S. state to join the United States, having joined on August 21, 1959.
  • Hawaii is the 8th-smallest and the 11th-least populous, but the 13th-most densely populated of the fifty U.S. states.
  • It is the only state with an Asian plurality.
  • The island of Niʻihau is privately managed by brothers Bruce and Keith Robinson; access is restricted to those who have permission from the island’s owners.
  • Filipino Americans comprise 13.6% of Hawaii’s population and represents the largest single group.
Home Page

Hawaiʻi is one of four U.S. states that were independent prior to statehood.

Hawaii is one of four U.S. states—apart from the original thirteen—the Vermont Republic (1791), the Republic of Texas (1845), and the California Republic (1846)—that were independent prior to statehood. Along with Texas, Hawaii had formal, international diplomatic recognition
Home Page
Visitors to Hawaii in 2014
US visitors in 2014
International visitors in 2014
Japanese visitors in 2014