Essential Hawaiian Words

Anyone who lives or plans to visit Hawaii should know the following words used frequently:

ListenHawaiian Word English Translation
AlohaLove, affection, hello, goodbye
Aloha kākouAloha to all (including myself) Warmest welcome. Usually said to a group of people. Hawaiian Airlines uses this on all flights.
Aloha kāuaAloha to you (singular) and me
Aloha nui loa Very much love, fondest regards
MahaloThank You
MakaiTowards the sea; the ocean side.
MaukaTowards the mountain; the side facing the mountain.
E Komo MaiWelcome!
PauDone, finished
Pau HanaWork is done
Hana houEncore, do it again. The name of Hawaiian Airlines magazine.
ListenHawaiian WordEnglish Definition
AinaLand especially, Homeland
KamaainaOne of the land. Native-born but also used as a long-term resident of Hawai'i.
AkamaiSmart, clever
HaleHouse or home.
HaoleLiterally, means a person without a country or of known beginning. Often used to identify a person of Caucasian ancestry.
HonuA turtle--especially Hawaiian green sea turtle.
HulaHawaiian dance
KahunaExpert, usually refers to a priest, minister, or person held in esteem.
WahineWoman, female
KeikiChild , children
KuuipoSweetheart. Often used on jewelry--especially the Hawaiian bracelets worn by wahine.
MalamaTo take care of, to tend. Mālama aina: to care for the land.
KapuForbidden. Do not enter.
KokuaHelp, aid, provide assistance.
LanaiPorch, patio, or balcony. Usually at the back of the house.
LeiA necklace, usually, of flowers. Also, shells or kūkui nuts.
LuauHawaiian feast or party
MaikaiExcellent, goodness. Sack and Save grocery has a Maika'i discount card.
MalihiniNewcomer, visitor
OhanaFamily, kin, relative
OnoGood or tasty as in ‘ono grinds (food).
PanioloHawaiian cowboy
PoiA paste made from Taro root. A mainstay of the traditional Hawaiian diet.
PupuSnacks or appetizers
PupuleCrazy (especially referring to a mentally deranged person).
TutuGrandparent (affectionate)
UkuFleas or head lice (as in ‘undesired’ little critters in your hair').
WikiwikiSpeedy or fast. Honolulu Airport has a Wikiwiki shuttle.