Monday, October 26, 2009


Piece labor, pay by the job rather than according to time, as on sugar plantations; used in pidgin for any work that everyone should pitch in gladly to finish; contract labor.

        The word was brought to my attention by a very dear friend of mine, Lisa Wood. She was gathering together common phrases and words used in ranching and this is a word that she heard being used by the cattlemen many times.

        Ukupau is comprised of two words: uku=to pay, and pau=finished.  Finished pay. In other words, you are paid by the job, much like the plantation workers who had to clear out a certain section of land before getting paid, or complete a certain task, whether it took them all day or two days. This enticed the workers to work as hard and as fast as they could!

Hana kākou a ukupau - We work until the task is completed.

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