Leilani Poli`ahu

Host, Hawaiian Word of the Day

We so often see kuʻuipo on Hawaiian jewelry that we tend to overlook another beautiful Hawaiian word for sweetheart. It is huapala. Literally, it means “ripe fruit,” a fruit that is ready for picking, and that's how Hawaiians call their sweetheart.

Another Hawaiian place name that is often mispronounced is Waiāhole. It is a compound name from wai for “water,” and āhole for a type of fish.

Today's Hawaiian Word of the Day is another beautiful place name: Kōkeʻe. It means "to bend" or "to wind." We all know it as the name of the beautiful state park and area on Kauaʻi.

Pīkake is our name for the fragrant jasmine flower, and it is also the Hawaiian word for peacock.

Our Hawaiian Word of the Day is another frequently mispronounced Hawaiian place name: Keʻeaumoku. That well-driven street was probably named for a governor of Maui who bore the same name as his father, and ally, and father-in-law of Kamehameha the First.

If youʻve ever walked the beach looking for a glass ball, youʻll enjoy todayʻs word of the day: pōpō aniani which means glass ball.  Pōpō means “ball,” and aniani means “glass.”

Koʻolau means windward. A very appropriate name for a mountain range that runs up the windward side of the island of Oʻahu. It can be used as an adjective too, to describe something that is on the windward side.

Koko means blood. It took on a special meaning when blood quantum was used by the U.S. government as a way to decide which Hawaiians would receive benefits and which ones would not.

Molokaʻi is often called the “friendly island.” And although it's well known in song and chant, it is not known for sure what the name means.

ʻĀkau means "north" when used as a direction. But is more commonly used to mean "right," as opposed to left.

Kalaupapa a beautiful place on Molokaʻi that is often in the news. It means “the flat plain” and is another one of those often mispronounced Hawaiian place names.

Another of those beautiful Oʻahu Hawaiian place names so often mispronounced is Mōʻiliʻili, a residential area near Mānoa. It means pebble lizard.

We hope you find this Hawaiian Word of the Day interesting. If you do, the word to describe your feelings is hoihoi. It means "pleasure, interest, happiness, joy, delight, enjoyment," and  much more.

The muʻumuʻu is often called the “Mother Hubbard” or loose-fitting dress. Don't confuse it with mumu which is a thud-like sound. The dress is a muʻumuʻu.

Hapa is most often used in English conversation to describe something that is mixed or part of something. And although, it comes from the English word “half,” it means portion or part. We hear hapa used in hapa Hawaiʻi for part Hawaiian, or hapa haole for part foreign.

Manō means shark. Every so often a manō is in the news in Hawaiʻi. The manō is also an ʻaumakua, or family god to some Hawaiians.

Today is the day that the United States celebrates its independence. So our Hawaiian word for today is ea. Ea means "independence, sovereignty, rule, life, air, breath."

Manaʻo means "to think, thought, idea, belief, meaning, opinion, suggestion." We often talk about our manaʻo, and we often share our manaʻo with our friends.

ʻOhana means family. It is one of the most popularly used Hawaiian words in English conversation, and is often used in names of organizations, as well as family units.

Nūpepa is another Hawaiian word that comes from the English word newspaper. Did you know that there have been more than fifty Hawaiian language newspapers published in the Islands? Think about that the next time you read your morning nūpepa.

Puke is from the English word for "book." You can modify the word to describe it in greater detail; for example, a puke vehe vehe ōlelo is a dictionary – a book to explain words.

Pūpū is the name for marine and land shells, such as pūpū o Niʻihau: Niʻihau shells. It is also the Hawaiian word for appetizers, and that is how we most often hear it used.

Hōkū means "star," and is often used in names such as Hōkūlea, the star of gladness, or Na Hōkū, the local recording industry awards program. Be sure to include the stresses, for it takes on a different meaning if you do not.

Wahiawā is one of those beautiful Oʻahu place names that is so often mispronounced. It means "place of noise," for the rough seas could be heard all the way to Wahiawā.

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.

Hoʻopau means to "put an end to, finish, conclude, completely, all." To finish your work is to hoʻopau i kau hana. Hoʻopau also means "to waste," as in hoʻopau manawa – to waste time.

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.”

Mōʻī means "king, sovereign, monarch." And mōʻī followed the word wahine means "queen." The word mōʻī is of recent origin, and may be used by itself to mean a monarch of either gender.

Mākaukau means "able, competent, prepared." You often hear this word called out by chanters who are asking the hula dancers if they are ready. The answer is always ʻae, for yes.