Wednesday, December 18, 2013


nit; louse egg.

Okay, this is sort of a play on yesterday's word, liʻa, or desire. If you pronounce it incorrectly, then instead of referring to your "craving", you might be calling him/her an ʻuku egg. That's right. Lia, without the ʻokina, is an ʻuku egg. A nit. Louse egg, as they say in the other 49 states.

Ua ʻike au i ka lia ma kona lauoho - I saw ʻuku eggs in her hair.
Pilikia ka lia - ʻUku eggs are a problem. (and take it from me. They are. Not fun.)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


1. nvt. Strong desire; yearning, amorous; to wish for ardently, crave.

I absolutely LOVE that Hawaiian has several words for desire or to crave someone...
says something about the language and its attention to this strong emotion to be in the midst of someone, whether it is true love or a hormonal fog...

Kuʻu liʻa - my craving.
ʻAuhea ʻoe e kuʻu liʻa - where are you, my desire.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Garden, plantation, patch, cultivated field

Hopefully many of you are working in your māla this fine month. Whatever type of māla you have, whether it be flowers, sweet potato, vegetables, herbs, just put that word after the word māla, make your little māla sign on a cute stick, put it in the ground and be "official!" Take a picture and send it to me! Here's some help:

māla 'ai - food garden
māla pua - flower garden
māla kalo - taro garden (commonly referred to as "patch" but I just don't like that word. Doesn't do the task justice)
māla  - sugarcane plantation
māla lā'au lapa'au - medicinal herb garden

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


1. to go down, descend; downhill, towards the sea.
2. core, as of an apple, breadfruit, or pandanus.
3. directional, down, below; used with words describing activities of ones own body, as eating, drinking, etc. ('ai iho - to eat. No'ono'o iho, to think) "self" personally.  

E hana ana 'o ia nona iho - he will work for himself.  Used with words of time, usually present or future, or just past.

WOW. The first two are pretty straightforward.

Iho i lalo - go down.
Ua iho a i ke kai - (It) descended until it reached the ocean.
He iho ko ka 'ulu - the 'ulu has a core.

The third translation is a bit more tricky.  In an English teacher's term, it is a particle, and its placement usually (but not always) follows the verb:

hele iho - go down, descend
makewai iho 'o Kaniela - Daniel was thirsty.
'O au iho nö me ka ha'aha'a - I am yours, humbly
ma hope iho - right afterwards
kēia lāpule iho - this coming Sunday
There are four directional words: mai, aku, iho, a'e. Iho is not as straightforward as mai (since mai is generally a direction towards the speaker). Iho is used in reference to a downwards motion, such as rain or tears, a motion unto oneself, such as inu iho, drinking, reflecting unto oneself, pa'akiki me kāna iho - stubborn with his own self, and has a time reference, such as i kēia mau lā iho nei - a few days ago (though the other directionals has a reference to time, also). Not always an easy concept to grasp, the unconscious use of directionals in speaking Hawaiian is hard to explain by a native speaker and very difficult to understand and use by a second language speaker. As with anything, practice makes almost perfect.  Pay attention to Hawaiian songs, which tend to use the directionals a lot. if you don't know what the whole line is referring to, at least you'll have an idea of what direction it's happening in!

Ke iho la ka ua - The rain is falling

Iho i lalo! - get down!

'O au iho nō me ke aloha nui no ka 'ōlelo makuahine (just me, with great aloha for the mother tongue)

Monday, December 7, 2009


Smooth, thin, as poi; fine, mashed, soft, powdery, supple, limber, as a dancer's body.
Ho'owali is the word used when mixing something, like poi or dough, because your main goal when doing this is to get to that smooth, fine consistency. NEVER a good thing to have lumpy poi.  You MUST ho'owali until it is wali. Bad karma to have lumpy poi.

Ua wali ka poi
- The poi is smooth.

'uala ho'owali 'ia - mashed sweet potatoes.

Nā mea ho'owali o loko - digestive organs (literally "the smoothing things inside)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Puaʻa Hame


And what's Thanksgiving without ye ole pua'a hame?  Can't live without that word!  I'm sure many of you recognized the word pua'a in there because where do we get the ham from?  That's right!  Porky Pig!   Other words for ham include 'ūhā hame ('ūhā means hindquarters) or ''ūhā pua'a or just plain hame.

He pua'a hame nui kā mākou no ka Lā Ho'omaika'i - We have a big ham for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Gravy, sauce, dressing, soup, broth

Yes, gravy.  Of course kai also means sea or sea water but I didn't want to "water" down the focus on FOOD!  Kai, or gravy, because it always has a nice salty taste to it, is referred to as kai.  And nothing goes better on pelehū or pua'a hame or palaoa that has been puhi 'ia than kai.

'Ono loa ke kai ma luna o ka 'i'o pelehū - Gravy is very delicious on top of the turkey.

Loa'a ke kai no ka lau'ai? - Is there dressing for the green salad?