Hiapo means "first born." It is used often in Hawaiian to describe the eldest child, the first born. Like many cultures, there is a special significance attached to being the first born, or hiapo, in a Hawaiian family.
Kula has a number of meanings including: "plain, field, or open pasture." It also means "a source" and it is Hawaiian for the English word "gold." But perhaps the best known usage in English is to mean "school." Say it with a modifier, such as kula kiʻe kiʻe, a high school.
Today’s Hawaiian word of the day is one of the most commonly used of Hawaiian words, Lani. It means "sky, heaven, or heavenly," and can also mean "spiritual." Lani is part of many proper names, such as Leilani for “heavenly lei.”
Papaheʻenalu. Well Papa can mean a "board or almost any kind of flat surface." Adding heʻenalu to it makes it a surfboard. Heʻe means "to slide or surf," and nalu means "wave." Put it all together and you get a surfboard.
Another popular Hawaiian place name that is often mispronounced is Nānākuli. It has stresses on both the first and second syllables. It is that beautiful place on leeward Oʻahu and it means “look” (Nānā) “at me” (kuli).
Mākaʻi means policeman, also means to police or inspect. Since all of our policemen speak English, you won’t need to ask for one in Hawaiian. But it will impress many of them if you can call them a mākaʻi.
Our Hawaiian word for today is kahuna, a word that is so often misused. Kahuna means “priest, sorcerer, magician, wizard, minister, expert in any profession whether male or female.” In the year 1845, lawyers, doctors, surgeons, and dentists were all called kahuna.
Whether you are talking about the place on Maui or a shawl that is draped over your shoulders, it is pronounced Kīhei with a stress on the first vowel. It means a shawl or cape, and is a well-known destination on the Valley Isle.
Pilikia is another of those Hawaiian words already in common usage in English conversation in Hawaiʻi. It means trouble of any kind, great or small, from a problem or nuisance, to an affliction or tragedy.
Our Hawaiian word for today, hāpai, is one most people in Hawaiʻi already know and use, even in English conversation. It means to carry, and is most often used to describe a woman who is expecting a baby. It also means “to lift, raise, hoist, hold up, or support.”
Our Hawaiian Word of the Day is mokupuni. It means island, from the word moku which means “cut or severed,” and puni which means “surrounded.” So it's a piece of land cut off and surrounded by water. It is commonly used even in English conversation.
We told you about ʻelemakule, which means old man, and today's Hawaiian Word of the Day is luahine, or old woman. It can also mean old lady. Both are proper terms, and it is perfectly all right to describe our older friends as ʻelemakule and luahine.