|To help prepare you for your visit
to Kauai, we have provided a short list of some of the most common Hawaiian
words and expressions. For more complete Hawaiian language information,
please visit our Related Links page.
Did you know... There
are only 12 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet:
a, e, i, o, u, h, k, l, m n, p and
||Love, affection, compassion, mercy,
sympathy, pity, kindness, sentiment, grace, charity; greeting, salutation,
regards; sweetheart, lover, loved one; beloved, loving, kind, compassionate,
charitable, lovable; to love, be fond of; to show kindness, mercy, pity,
charity, affection; to venerate; to remember with affection; to greet,
hail. Greetings! Hello! Good-by! Farewell! Alas!
||Love of the land; to nurture and
care for the land.
||Long house, as for canoes or hula
instruction; meeting house.
||1. A dance characterized by rhythmic
body movements, a hula dancer; to dance the hula. 2. Song or chant
used for the hula; to sing or chant for a hula.
||To turn, reverse; to curl over,
as a breaker; to change, as an opinion or manner of living.
||Sea, sea water; area near the sea,
seaside, lowlands; tide, current in the sea.
||Native-born, one born in a place,
host; acquainted, familiar. (Commonly referred to a long-time resident
of Hawai'i, as distinguished from a visitor.)
||Full-blooded Hawaiian person. (Also
refers to an indigenous person of Hawai'i whose ancestry predates the arrival
of Captain Cook in 1778, such as a Native Hawaiian.)
||Tapa, as made from the inner bark
of various plants.
||Stone carving, petroglyph.
||Help, aid, assistance, relief, assistant,
associate, deputy, helper; co-operation; to help, assist, support, accommodate.
||1. Teacher, tutor. 2. Beginning,
source, origin; starting point. 3. Bottom, base, foundation, basis,
main stalk of a tree, trunk, handle, root; hereditary, fundamental.
4. Reason, cause, goal, justification, motive, grounds, purpose, object,
||1. Grandparent, ancestor, relative
or close friend of the grandparent's generation, grandaunt, granduncle.
2. Starting point, source; growing.
||Garland, wreath; necklace of flowers,
leaves, shells, ivory, feathers, or paper, given as a symbol of affection;
beads; any ornament worn around the head or about the neck; to wear a lei;
||Hawaiian feast, named for the taro
tops always served at one. This is not an ancient name, but goes back at
least to 1856, when so used by the Pacific Commercial Advertiser newspaper;
formerly a feast was pa'ina or 'aha'aina.
||1. Thanks, gratitude; to thank.
2. Admiration, praise, esteem, regards, respects; to admire, praise, appreciate.
||On the seaside, towards the sea,
in the direction of the sea.
||Parent, any relative of the parent's
generation, as uncle, aunt, cousin; progenitor; main stalk of a plant;
adult; full-grown, mature, older, senior.
||To take care of, tend, attend, care
for, preserve, protect, maintain; care, preservation, support, fidelity,
loyalty; caretaker, keeper.
||Stranger, foreigner, newcomer, tourist,
guest, company; one unfamiliar with a place or custom; new, unfamiliar,
unusual, rare, introduced, of foreign origin; for the first time.
||Inland, upland, towards the mountain,
in the direction of the uplands.
||Song, anthem, or chant of any kind;
poem, poetry; to sing, chant.
||Wave, surf; full of waves; to form
waves; wavy, as wood grain.
||Family, relative, kin group; related.
||Dancer, as contrasted with the chanter
or ho'opa'a (memorizer); now, any dance accompanied by chanting and drumming
on a gourd drum.
||Language, speech, word, quotation,
statement, utterance, term; to speak, say, state, talk, mention, quote,
converse, tell; oral, verbatim, verbal.
||Chant that was not danced to, especially
with prolonged phrases chanted in one breath; to chant thus.
||Delicious, tasty, savory; to relish,
crave; deliciousness, flavor, savor.
||Trouble of any kind, great or small;
problem, nuisance, bother, distress, adversity, affliction, accident, difficulty,
inconvenience, perturbation, tragedy, lack; in trouble, troubled, bothered,
cramped, crowded. See 'a'ole pilikia.
||Prayer, incantation, blessing, grace;
to pray, worship, ask a blessing.
||A four-stringed instrument shaped
similar to a very small guitar. (Literally defined as "leaping flea"; probably
derived from the Hawaiian nickname of Edward Purvis, who was small and
quick and who popularized this instrument brought to Hawai'i by the Portuguese
||Water, liquid or liquor or any kind
other than sea water; to flow, like water, fluid.
||Fast, speedy; to hurry, hasten;
quick, fast, swift.