Almost everyone knows that hula means, but did you know that hulahula means ballroom dancing with partners? Hulahula also means American dancing, ball, or even masked hula dancing. Don't confuse it with hula for the Hawaiian dance. Hulahula also has other meanings, such as the twitching of an eyelid, or the ceremonial killing of a pig and offering it to the gods during ceremonies dedicating a temple.
Māʻili is another one of those commonly used Hawaiian place names that is so often mispronounced, frequently confused with the name of the fragrant vine used as a lei. Today's Hawaiian Word of the Day is Māʻili, name of the community on the Leeward Oʻahu coast . Māʻili is the name of a beach park, surfing area, playground, school, and more.
Although mahina has several other meanings, the most common usage of the word is for moon, or month, or moonlight. It is also a crescent shaped fishhook, the eye of the snail at the end of its horn, a farm, plantation or patch, a variety of onion, and a variety of sweet potato. You hear it most often as moon or month – it's mahina.
Everyone is familiar with the word hānau from the popular greeting “hauʻoli lā hānau,” but many mispronounce it and often use it incorrectly. Hānau means “to give birth.” To say that one was born, requires adding the passive article ʻia, as in, “Hānau ʻia ʻo Kaʻimi Pono” – “Kaʻimi Pono was born.” In either case, be sure to stress the first vowel.
A kupua is a demi-god, or cultural hero, especially a supernatural being possessing several forms, one possessing magical powers. Kupua can often change their form and may assume non god-like, very everyday things.
Our Hawaiian word for today is puni meaning surrounded, controlled, overcome. Now that you know how to use the hoʻo prefix, you know that hoʻopuni can mean to surround, enclose, get control of: hoʻopuni.
Our Hawaiian word for today is leho for cowry shell. It is a very generic term for the cowry. Leho can be modified by adding other words to make the name specific for each of the many types of cowry, but leho will always work.
Ikaika means strong, powerful, sturdy, and more. It is a very popular name now days, especially for boys whose parents want them to grow up ikaika. Be careful how you pronounce it, and don't insert an ʻokina that doesn't belong.
Our Hawaiian word for today is mea maʻa mau, meaning “a common thing.” Be sure to sound the glottal stop or ʻokina when you maʻa. Hamburgers and French fries are a mea maʻa mau for our youngsters now days.
Poeko means “fluent.” There are not many people who are truly poeko in the Hawaiian language, but the number is increasing. You don't have to be Hawaiian to be poeko in Hawaiian and you don't have to be a native speaker. Many who are poeko have learned Hawaiian as a second language.
Our Hawaiian word for today is lawa, enough. You might hear it from a hula dancer who wants to end the song right then and there, and who tells the singer, “Lawa, enough already.” Or “aʻohe lawa ka Manawa” – “there is not enough time.”
For the caller who wanted to know what puana meant, as in the line so commonly used in the last verse of a song. In that case, puana means the attack or beginning of a song. Haʻina ʻia mai ana ka puana just means to start to tell the summary, refrain of the song.
Our Hawaiian word for today is kāpae, meaning to throw out, discard. Before you kāpae your old clothing, think about others who might be able to use them. Perhaps you could give them to someone, or to the Salvation Army or Goodwill industries.
If you listen to Hawaiian speakers, you often hear the word mea. Mea just means “thing,” and it can be used in so many different ways, usually with a modifier. A mea hula is a dancer, a mea nui is a large or important thing, and a mea oli is a chanter.