Thursday, July 23, 2009



One of my favorite children's books is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or as it was translated in my Hawaiian immersion classroom, ʻO Ka ʻEnuhe Pōloli Loa, by Eric Carle. 

There is a native ʻenuhe, a carnivorous caterpillar, as a matter of fact (Eupithecia spp). This is quite unusual as nearly all caterpillars are leaf eaters but our local, native ʻenuhe is a predator.

There is a wahi pana, or place name, in Hawaiʻi with the word ʻenuhe in it:  Puʻuʻenuhe (caterpillar hill) is located in Kaʻū on Hawaiʻi Island.  Legend says that a legendary ʻenuhe, named Kumuhea, married a girl living in the area and would only visit her at night and in human form. Eventually, he was cut up into small pieces and each piece became little ʻenuhe.

ʻEnuhe eventually morph into pulelehua but that is a momi for another day.

He hamuiʻa ka ʻenuhe ʻōiwi - the native caterpillar is carnivorous.

ʻAʻole au makemake i ka ʻenuhe ma kaʻu sāleta - I do not like caterpillars in my salad.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Papa Hoe

Paddle board

I love how languages grow and change and evolve. Hawaiian is no exception. When new words pop up in the English language, a Hawaiian word has to be developed. Hawaiians have been doing this since the arrival of Captain Cook!  And when the Hawaiian language immersion schools first started, WHOA, tons of words had to be developed. 

So today I have developed a word for paddle board. I have no idea if someone already came up with one. But why the heck not :-) It makes sense, I've done it before, and people will have no trouble figuring out what I (or you for that matter) are referring to when it is heard.

So try it out. Papa hoe - paddle board. 
He papa hoe kēia - This is a paddle board.
ʻO kēia ka hoe papa hoe - This is a paddle board paddle.
Pono e kū ma luna o ka papa hoe - You have to stand on the paddle board.

If you know of a different word being used for this new sport, let us all know!



I have several friends who have a pēpē (baby) in their pūʻao. Sometimes we refer to our pēpē as being in our ʻōpū (stomach) but pūʻao is the "official" word for womb.

I just want to take this opportunity to wish all of them a safe and healthy labor and hānau!

E hoʻoulu lāhui! Increase the nation!

Monday, July 20, 2009

hua ʻai

fruit or seed

Oh I love hua ʻai. The first thing I like to do in the morning (after my cup of coffee) is to make a hua ʻai smoothie. And two of my favorite hua ʻai are in season right now: manakō (mango) and laikī (lychee) (neither of which I have ready access to so if you do, LET ME KNOW!).

The word hua actually refers to a bunch of things, like fruit, seed, ovum, grain, tuber. The ʻai following hua means edible. So hua ʻai literally means edible fruit or seed. I guess that is to distinguish hua ʻai from other tubers and fruits and seed that are not edible.

ʻOno au i ka hua ʻai - I am ʻono for fruit.
ʻO ka manakō kaʻu hua ʻai punahele - Mango is my favorite fruit.
He aha kāu hua ʻai punahele? - What is your favorite fruit?

Write your response below under "comments".

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Friday, July 17, 2009


n. Head, summit, head or director of an organization, executive, principal; end, as of a rope, leaf, pole, cane, kōnane board; head of a penis or boil; headline, heading, title; father.

That is a lot! Mainly, poʻo refers to head as that which sits on your neck or head, as well as in that who "heads" your office/organization/business.

In the hālau hula (hula school), poʻo is used to refer to the poʻo puaʻa (literally the pig head), the number one person who assists the kumu, a position of high esteem. The poʻo is also the top of the ipu heke (the double gourd) and as such is considered sacred, much like the poʻo of a person. That is why it drives me CRAZY when I see kumu hula (say, at Merrie Monarch) hitting their ipu heke on the poʻo. Auē. Now I understand as much as the next person that ʻaʻole pau ka ʻike i ka hālau hoʻokahi, not all knowledge is found in one school, so some hālau do not have this same belief but still, it pains me to see it done. Same way it pains me when some hālau flash the piko of the ipu (the bottom part) out to the audience, very blatantly.

ʻO wai ke poʻo o kēia keʻena? - Who is the head of this office?
ʻEha kuʻu poʻo - My head is sore.
ʻO Kāhealani ke poʻo kumu o ke kula - Kāhealani is the principal (teacher head) of the school.


nvs. Able, competent, capable, handy, efficient, proficient, versed, adept, skilled, expert, qualified; prepared, ready; competence, proficiency, efficiency, aptitude, preparation; to know how, to know well. 

This is a familiar word to many. Most often heard in days gone by during hula practices or performances, as I recall. The kumu would yell out, "Mākaukau". And the dancers would reply, "ʻAe". Sometimes one would hear, "Hoʻomākaukau". Remember the hoʻo-? Get ready! Literally "to cause readiness".

If someone is mākaukau in a sport or profession they are really good at it. What are you mākaukau at doing? I know there is something! Let me know in the comment section below. Here is mine:

Mākaukau au i ka huakaʻi hele - I am proficient at traveling.
ʻAʻole au mākaukau i ka ʻūlū paiki - I am not adept at packing suitcases.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


nvt. Hot, burned; heat, temperature.

It has been a wela summer! HOTNESS! Whew! So learn this word, if it is new to you. You can look straight into the next Hawaiian's eyes and say "WELA" and hopefully they will get the gist of your word.

Wela also refers to another kind of heat and that is the heat of passion and lust. You know what I am talking about, right? Yeah. That's a wela of a different sort. That's a wela that is wela even in the dead of winter.

Wela ka hao - The iron is hot (as in strike while the iron is hot...DO IT NOW!)
Wela kēia lā - Today is hot


nvt. To answer saucily or rudely; rude, sarcastic, insolent, saucy, impudent; rudeness.

When I was a young adult, I used to listen to a kupuna who would always say this word, pākīkē, and I would assume he was saying paʻakīkī (difficult), a word I grew up hearing frequently (not directed at me, of course). My own grandma could be heard spewing out "poʻo paʻakīkī" for "hard head" all the time.

Turns out this kupuna was teaching me a whole new and useful word. Pākīkē translates as rude or sarcastic. I could have used THAT word on a few people (hmm, was that me being pākīkē?). I could also draw the conclusion that I was never rude nor was anyone around me rude so my grandma never had to use pākīkē with us. Or maybe she did use it and my untrained ear just thought she was saying paʻakīkī. Again.

Keu nō hoʻi ʻoe he keiki pākīkē - But oh my goodness arent you a rude child.
Mai hana pākīkē - Do not be rude.
...a huhū, a pākīkē, ʻaʻole malu ka hale, ʻaʻole ʻoluʻolu ka noho pū ʻana - and angry, and rude, the house was not at peace, the dwelling together not pleasant. (from the newspaper Ka Nonanona, March 18, 1845)

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009


1. vs. New, fresh, recent. Ka-puna-hou (place name), the new spring. (PPN foʻou.)

2. vs. Again, more, re- (as in hoʻoponopono hou, re-edit). Hana hou, do again, repeat; encore.

3. vt. To push, thrust, poke, stab, shove, prick, plunge, ram, jab, drill, bore, pierce, inject. See also houhou. Hou kui, injection needle. Ka hou ʻana o ka ihe (FS 55), the hurling of the spear. (PPN fohu.)

4. nvi. Perspiration, sweat; to perspire, sweat. (PCP (f,s)ou.)

5. n. Varieties of wrasse (Thalassoma) shallow-water fish, as T. purpureum. The following names have been recorded for the young stages of the hou: ʻāwela, kanaloa, ʻōlali, ʻōlani, pāhouhou, pākaiele, pākaueloa, palaeʻa, pāʻouʻou.

6. Same as pakaweli, a variety of sugar cane.

     As you can see, one small word in Hawaiian can have several meanings.  Such is the case with hou. You probably know this word from the phrase "Hana hou" - do it again! Or perhaps in a place name such as Punahou - new spring. Hou is also used a lot to refer to perspiration (SWEAT).

Pulu au i ka hou - I am drenched in perspiration.

He lā hou kēia - This is a new day.

E kākau hou ana au i ka leka - I am going to write the letter again.

E hīmeni hou i ke mele - Sing the song again.

Monday, July 13, 2009


1. nvs. Weary, tired, fatigued; wearisome, burdensome, tiresome, laborious, tedious; burden, wearisome or tedious task; labor, work, pains, toil. Koʻu luhi, my fatigue. 

Busy weekends tend to require another weekend to recuperate, especially when hopping from one island and back.  Today's Hawaiian word, luhi, refers to that tired and fatigued feeling. Perhaps you've heard this word in another word: māluhiluhi - tired (we tend to learn this one when taking a Hawaiian language class -- Pehea ʻoe? How are you? Māluhiluhi au. I am tired).  

An interesting form of luhi is hoʻoluhi (there it is again, a hoʻo- word). Hoʻoluhi means "to bother" as in, Hiki iaʻu ke hoʻoluhi iā ʻoe? Can I bother you? With hoʻo- in front of luhi, it literally means to make tired or fatigued which is, generally, what you are doing when you are bothering someone :-)

Luhi au i kēia lā - I am tired today.
Mai hoʻoluhi mai ʻoe iaʻu - Donʻt make me tired.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Aloha kākou! It is another hoʻo- word! Remember hoʻo- from yesterday's word? Hoʻo- is the causative, causing the verb to have action. See if you can follow along.

Mahanvs. Rest, repose, vacation; freedom from pain; at ease, comfort.

Hoʻomaha - To cause rest. In other words, to go on a vacation!
Of course, maha has tons of other meanings:

1. n. Temple, side of the head. (Lunk. 4.21.) (PNP mafa.)

2. n. Gill plate of a fish.

3. n. Wings of a flying fish.

4. n. Preputium, foreskin.

5. n. Lower portion of a canoe manu.

7. n. Severed portion Cf. maha lāʻaumahamaha, maha ʻōʻō.

8. Same as mahamoe 1.

9. Same as māhana, twin. Maha puʻu, twin hills.

10. Rare. var. of mahamaha 3, to show affection.

11. n. Fishes. See maha mea, maha ʻōʻō, maha wela.

But we are just sticking to the main one for today, which is "to rest". And today is Sunday, the day of rest and I am going to Oʻahu for a mini rest/vacation.

Mai poina e hoʻomaha - Do not forget to take a rest.

Ke hoʻomaha nei ʻo ia ma kahakai - He is vacationing at the beach.

He lā hoʻomaha kēia - This is a day of rest.

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Saturday, July 11, 2009


vs. to practice, become accustomed; to train, drill.

     I am sure many of you grew up familiar with the word maʻa - accustomed to, adept, familiar. If you are maʻa to something you are at ease with it because you "know it". This is part of the word hoʻomaʻamaʻa - to practice. In other words, practice in an effort to get familiar with it. 
     The hoʻo- is a causative. Yikes. What does that mean? Well, I think in its simplest terms, a causative "causes" the verb following it to happen. Here is an easy example: hauʻoli - happy. Hoʻohauʻoli - to cause happiness (to make happy).
     Maʻamaʻa is a reduplication (in the dictionary it will say redup.) of the word maʻa. Hawaiian is into reduplication (check the recesses of your memory for all the Hawaiian redup. words you know. Here are a few: Likelike, haʻahaʻa, wikiwiki.  So when you stick hoʻo- in front of it, as in hoʻomaʻamaʻa it means to cause maʻa-ness. Get it? To cause familiarity. And the only way you are going to cause familiarity with something is to practice it, right? You have to hoʻomaʻamaʻa in order to get maʻa(maʻa) to it. Whew. 

E hoʻomaʻamaʻa i ka haʻawina - Practice the lesson.
Ua hoʻomaʻamaʻa anei ʻoe i ka hula? - Did you practice the hula?
ʻAʻole au e hele ana i ka hoʻomaʻamaʻa i kēia lā - I am not going to go to practice today.

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Thursday, July 9, 2009


vs. Satisfied after eating, full, satisfying; to have eaten, to eat one's fill. Fig., intoxicated. For a rare use of māʻona as a noun, see kuenenuʻu. Ua māʻona ʻoe? Have you eaten? Have you had enough? Are you full? Māʻona maikaʻi, to have had enough to eat, but not to have overeaten. Māʻona piha, māʻona loa, completely full. He lau māʻona (For. 4:43), a leaf that gives plenty to eat. Inu mai nei a māʻona, a laila hoʻohakakā, drinking until drunk, then starting fights. Māʻona ka ʻuhane i ka ʻōlelo a ke Akua, the spirit is sustained by the word of God. ʻhoʻo.mā.ʻona To eat all one wants, to feed all that is wanted. (PPN maakona.)
     Growing up we didnʻt really use this word, māʻona, when we were full. It was always "piha ka ʻōpū" - the stomach is full. I donʻt know why we didnʻt use it but I like it much better. It is usually pronounce māʻana. A native thing. So you should say it that way, too, because seriously, I donʻt hear anyone use the "o" sound in māʻona.
     I like the fact that māʻona refers to being satisfied rather than being FULL. Being full, to me, means overeating. Just a bit too much. Māʻona is like just right. And having lived with a habit of overeating (maybe the piha ka ʻōpū thing was a foretelling of the future?) I am now focusing on living a māʻona lifestyle.


nvs. Hurt, in pain, painful, aching, sore, pained; pain, injury, ailment, suffering, soreness, aching; to hurt, pain, cause suffering or pang.

Yesterday's word, māloʻeloʻe, related to the achiness of your body from working out and using muscles you have not used in a while. Todayʻs word, ʻeha, just deals with overall general soreness and hurt, both of the physical and emotional type, as in, ʻEha koʻu kino - My body is sore. Ua ʻeha kona naʻau - His feelings were hurt. Or hereʻs another good one: ʻeha koni - throbbing ache. I know in your mind you are thinking of the kind of ache like when something falls on your toe, that kind of throbbing, but this one refers more often than not to that ache from love. You know what I am talking about. He ʻeha konikoni i ka puʻuwai - The heart throbs with agony.

ʻEha i ka ʻeha lima ʻole - Aching with an ache not inflicted by hands (in other words, inflicted by love. UGH!)
Mai hōʻeha i kou tita - Donʻt hurt your sister.
Ua ʻeha anei kou lima? - Is your arm sore?
ʻAʻole ʻeha koʻu kua i kēia lā - My back is not sore today.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009


vs. 1. Tired, exhausted; stiff or aching, as from unaccustomed exercise. Also loʻeloʻe. hoʻo.mā.loʻe.loʻe Caus/sim. (Ier. 9.5.)

It is summer and as a result I am a mad woman about exercise. Only during the summer when I do not have to teach. It is either exercise or eat. And the results are quite different. But boy am I experiencing bouts of māloʻeloʻe, that achiness that comes with using bones and body parts that are not normally used. You know the have to either plow through it the next few days or simply veg out on the couch. And for once I am choosing to plow. Ouch. Getting up hurts. Sitting down hurts. Plowing through hurts. But if a choice has to be made might as well plow right?

Aole ona makau i ka maloeloe a me ka wela - He was not fearful of the exhaustion or the heat. (from Ke Kumu Hawaiʻi 1839)

aole oia i maloeloe e like me ka lio, a ee hou oia maluna o ka lio - He wasnʻt achy/exhausted like the horse and proceeded to get on top of the horse again. (from Ka Hōkū o ka Pākīpika 1861)

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Monday, July 6, 2009


1. nvs. Cooked crisp, as pig; overdone, burned, parched; scab, of a sore; crust. Cf. palaoa pāpaʻa, pāpaʻa palaoaand saying, kūmau 2. ʻIli pāpaʻa lā, sunburned or tanned skin. ʻAʻohe nao ʻai i ka pāpaʻa, what a calamity to eat the burned food [a calamity]. hoʻo.pā.paʻa To make crisp, brittle; to burn, scorch. Hoʻopāpaʻa palaoa, to toast bread. Palaoa hoʻopāpaʻa, toast. Also paʻapaʻa. (PEP paka.)

It is summer. And I am feeling a bit pāpaʻa, as in ʻili pāpaʻa lā (see #2 above).  After a week in Tahiti and two days in Waikīkī, plus some time in Waipiʻo, I am feeling pāpaʻa. Notice that pāpaʻa has a kahakō over the ā. Without it, papaʻa means tight and secure. A far cry from being overdone from heat.

I donʻt know about you, but pāpaʻa was one of those staple words when I was growing up, along with pau, ʻauʻau, lepo, pupule, pīlau, hauna (omg, there seems to be a trend going on here). Love my toast all pāpaʻa. Or the pāpaʻa part of the puaʻa kālua (roast pig) when it comes out of the imu, skin all stuck to the wire, peeling it off when itʻs still hot and crispy. Maybe it was because hanging out and then living in Mākaha there were plenty opportunities to get all pāpaʻa in the blazing sun.  That is what I love about this summer: the fond memories it conjures up of summers in Mākaha, going to the surfing beach falling asleep under the coconut tree shade only to wake up an hour later and the shade is totally gone and your body is all pāpaʻa, then jumping into the water and walking home along the beach. Or going to paddling practice during the week and races on the weekends. Beach all day. Everyday. Plenty chance to get pāpaʻa.

Iʻm going to enjoy my pāpaʻa-ness this summer because once work starts again in August, my days of lounging will be far and few between.

Pāpaʻa koʻu ʻili i ka lā. - My skin is tanned from the sun.
He palaoa pāpaʻa kēia. - This is burnt toast.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


nvt. Hope, confidence, expectation; to hope.

I was trying to think of a more "appropriate" word for this time of year (summer, heat, fun) but manaʻolana kept popping into my head.  And when that happens to me, I gotta roll with it. Seems there are so many things going on around me...people dying, friends going through rough times, and, of course, there are our own personal struggles we deal with on a day to day basis. And at times like these we have to hope. Sometimes itʻs all we have!

Now is as good a time as any to share this word with all of you: manaʻolana - to hope. You can break the word into two separate parts: manaʻo = thought, belief, meaning. Lana = to float, buoyant. So put together manaʻolana can literally mean buoyant thoughts. Hmm...when you put it that way it seems to make good sense. When we are hopefully our thoughts seem to float, right? Better than sinking!

He manaʻolana koʻu - I have hope.
Manaʻolana au e maha kou naʻau - I hope that your naʻau (insides) will be put at ease/freed from pain.


nvs. Peace, quiet, security, tranquillity, serenity; safety; solemn awe and stillness that reigned during some of the ancient taboo ceremonies; peaceful, restful. E hoʻomaha me ka maluhia, rest in peace. hoʻo.malu.hia To cause or give peace, protect; to arbitrate between warring parties.

A part of this word, malu, also refers to peace but more often translates as shade. E noho ma ka malu - Sit in the shade.

All this talk about independence day and freedom and yet fighting and unrest continues in areas throughout the world, namely Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. Fighting  occurs in the continental U.S. and here in Hawaiʻi we have our battles. 

All we need is maluhia. Peace.

E maluhia mai - Let peace be with us.
Ua maluhia ihola ka waonahele - The forest was peaceful.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


n. Companion, partner, associate, fellow worker, mate, partnership, second (in a dual), union (always of two). Kona kōkoʻolua, his companion. ʻO ʻoe koʻu kōkoʻolua - You are my companion.

The main part of this word is kōkoʻo - n. Partnership, partner, associate, companion (nearly always followed by a number designating the number of associated persons, as kōkoʻolua, kōkoʻokolu. (See koʻo-, Gram. 10.3.) Nā lawaiʻa kōkoʻo o nā moku, the associated fishermen of the islands.

I like the idea that you can add a number onto the tail end of kōkoʻo to specify your "associates". When I am with my BFF she is my kōkoʻolua, but frequently there are three of us, ʻekolu, so together we are kōkoʻokolu. The more the merrier.

ʻO wai kou kōkoʻolua? Who is your partner?
ʻO _____ koʻu kōkoʻolua. ______  is my partner. (fill in the blank with your bff!)