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POPULAR
HAWAIIAN
WORDS & PHRASES

Popular Hawaiian Words and Phrases

 

The 5 vowels a,e,i,o and u as well as the 7 consonants h,k,l,m,n,p, and w make up the entire Hawaiian alphabet. In the Hawaiian language a consonant is always followed by a vowel which also means all Hawaiian words end in a vowel.

Names and words are more easily pronounced when they are broken down into single syllable chunks. Take the name of Hawaii’s state fish, humuhumunukunukuapua’a, and pronounce it hu-mu-hu-mu-nu-ku-nu-ku-a-pu-a-a.  Phonetically pronounced who-moo-who-moo-new-coo-new-coo-ah-poo-ah-ah. Sometimes the letter W is pronounced the same as V as in the traditional pronunciation of Hawai'i which is phonetically pronounced huh-vi-ee rather than huh-why-ee.

 

Stressed vowels

a - ah, as in car: aloha

e - a, as in may: nene

i - ee, as in bee: honi

o - oh, as in so: mahalo

u - oo, as in spoon: kapu Unstressed vowels

a - a, as in about: ali`i

e - eh, as in met: kane

 In the Hawaiian language a symbol directly over a vowel called a kahakô indicates that the vowel sound is to be elongated. A apostrophe like symbol called an `okina indicates a quick pause in the word, as in "ah-ah" for the word a`a. Note: These Hawaiian vocabulary words have not been written with the use of the correct kahakô markings due to the absence of a Hawaiian Font.

 

Below is a sample of popular Hawaiian phrases and words. Keep in mind we can not list every word translation. Tip: A trick if you are looking for a specific word translation is to depress the control key and the letter "f" key at the same time. It will bring up a find box. Type in the English word you would like a translation for and click the find next button. If the word is translated on this page it will bring you to it.

Days of the Week in Hawaiian

Sunday - Lapule (lay-poo-lay )

Monday - Po’akahi (poh ah-kah-hee)

Tuesday - Po’alua (poh ah-loo-ah)

Wednesday - Po’akolu  (poh ah-ko-loo)

Thursday - Po’aha  (poh ah-ha)

Friday - Po’alima  (poh ah-lee-mah)

Saturday - Po ‘aono  (poh ah-o-no)

Months of the Year in Hawaiian

January - ‘Iaunuali (ee-ya-oo new-ahlee)

February - Pepeluali  (pay-pay loo-ahlee )

March - Malaki (ma-la-key)

April - ‘Apelila (ah-pe-lee-la)

May - Mei (may-ee)

June - Iune (ee-oo-ney)

July - Iulai (ee-oo-la-ee)

August - ‘Aukake (ah-oo-ka-key)

September - Kepakemapa (key-pa-key-ma-pa)

October - 'Okakopa (oh-ka-ko-pa)

November - Nowemapa (No-vay-ma-pa)

December - Kekemapa (key-key-ma-pa)

Hawaiian Phrases For Hawaii Theme Party & Luau Invitations

Invited: Kono

Invitation: Palapala kono

Date/Time: Manawa

Place: Kauwahi

Directions: 'Ao'ao

Bring: Lawe mai

Attendance: Ma’ane’i

Reply/answer: Hua loa’a

I am coming/I will come: E hele mai ana au

I am busy: Pa`ahana nõ au

Don’t forget: Mai poina!

Anniversary: La ho'omana'o

Baby: Keiki or pepe

Birthday: La hanau

Come and eat: Mai e `ai

Celebration: Ho`olaule`a

Congratulate: Ho'omaika'i

Congratulations: Ho'omaika'i 'ana

Our Wedding Day: Ko maua la male 'ana

Promotion/promote: Ho’opi’i

Retirement/retire: Ho’omaha loa

Shower: Kuaua

Wedding: Male 'ana

Wedding feast: 'Aha'aina male

Sweet Sixteen: Momona 'Umi Kumaono

Please join us: Ho'olu komo la kaua

Come celebrate: Hele mei hoohiwahiwa

Come celebrate Taylor's first birthday: Hele me hoohiwahiwa Taylor’s mua loa la hanau

Come celebrate Joe’s 30th birthday: Hele me hoohiwahiwa Joe’s 30th la hanau

Come celebrate the wedding of Bob & Sue : Hele mei hoohiwahiwa Bob a me Sue’s la male’ana

Come celebrate our wedding day: Hele mei hoohiwahiwa ko maua la male 'ana

Come celebrate Jack & Jill's 25th Anniversary: Hele me hoohiwahiwa Jack & Jill's 25th la ho'omana'o

Come celebrate George's retirement: Hele me hoohiwahiwa George's ho'omaha loa

Come celebrate Sharilyn's promotion: Hele me hoohiwahiwa Sharilyn's ho'opi'i

Come to Tiffany's baby shower luau: Hale mai Tiffany's pepe kuaua luau

Thank you for celebrating with us: Mahalo nui loa na ho'olaule'a me la kaua

Holidays in Hawaiian

Happy Thanksgiving ~ Hau’oli La Ho’omakika’i (pronounced how-oh-lay la ho-o-ma-key-kah-ee)

Happy Holidays ~ Hau’oli Lanui (pronounced how-oh-lay la-new-ee)

Merry Christmas ~ Mele Kalikimaka (pronounced may-lay ka-lee-key-ma-ka)

Happy Hanukkah ~ Hau’oli Hanukaha (pronounced how-oh-lay ha-new-ka-ha)

Happy Kwanzaa ~ Hau’oli Kawanaka (pronounced how-oh-lay ka-wa-na-ka)

Happy New Year ~ Hau’oli Makahiki Hou (pronounced how-oh-lay ma-ka-hee-key ho)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year ~ Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou

Happy Hanukkah and New Year ~ Hau'oli Hanukaha me ka  Makahiki Hou

Happy Birthday ~ Hau`oli la Hanau (pronounced how-oh-lay la ha-now)

Happy Anniversary ~ Hau`oli la Ho'omana'o (pronounced how-oh-lay la ho-o-ma-na-o)

Happy Retirement ~ Hau`oli la Ho’omaha loa (pronounced how-oh-lay la ho-o-ma-ha low-a)

Happy Sweet 16 ~ Hau`oli Momona 'Umi Kumaono  (pronounced how-oh-lay mo-mo-na oo-me ku-ma-o-no)

Popular Hawaiian Phrases

A hui hou kakou ~ Until we meet again

Aloha kakahiaka ~ Good morning

Aloha `auinala ~ Good afternooon

Aloha ahiahi ~ Good evening

Aloha `oe ~ Farewell to you

A`ole pilikia ~ No problem, Your welcome

E komo mai ~ Welcome, come in

Hana Hou! ~ One more time!

Kipa hou mai ~ Come visit again

Mahalo ~ Thank you

Mahalo nui loa ~ Thank you very much

Malu No ~ Reserved For

Me ka `oia`i`o ~ With sincerity

Mau Loa ~ Forever

Nau wale no ~ Just for you

`O wai kou inoa? ~ What is your name?

Pomaika`i ~ Good Luck

People Titles in Hawaiian

alaka’i ~ leader

ali`i ~ Hawaiian royalty

`anakala ~ uncle

`anake ~ aunt

haumana ~ student

hoahanau ~ cousin

hoa kula ~ classmate

hoaloha ~ beloved friend

hoapili ~ close friend

hui ~ staff, team, group

kahu lio ~ groom

kahuna ~ priest

kahuna pule ~ pastor

kaikamahine ~ daughter

kaikua'ana ~ older brother of a male

kaikaina ~ younger brother or sister of the same sex

kaiko'eke ~ brother in law

kaikua'ana ~ older sister of a female

kaikunane ~ older brother of a male

kaikuahine ~ sister of a male

kahuna ~ priest, skilled person, expert in a field

kamali`i ~ children

kanaka ~ human

kane ~ man

kane male ~ married man

kupunakane ~ grandfather, grandpa

kupunawahine ~ grandmother, grandma

keiki ~ child, children, kid, kids, offspring

keikikane ~ son

koa ~ soldier

kumu ~ teacher

kupuna ~ grandparent

ku`uipo ~ sweetheart

lawai ~`a fisherman

makamaka ~ intimate friend

makua ~ parent

makuahine ~ mother, mom, mama, mommy

makuakane ~ father, dad, pa, daddy

mo`i ~ royalty, King or Queen

mo`opuna ~ grandchild

ohana ~ family

paniolo ~ cowboy

wahine ~ woman

wahine makua ~ sister in law

wahine male ~ married woman

wahine male hou ~ bride

Hawaiian Expressions of Love

These Hawaiian Words and Phrases are ideal for Valentines, love notes, wedding invitations, wedding announcements, wedding gift thank you notes, and to add a Hawaiian flare to any wedding ceremony. If you choose to use Hawaiian phrases be sure to also provide the English translation so the phrase and your sentiment can be understood.

 

'Aha'aina Male ~ Wedding Feast

Aloha Au Ia 'Oe ~ I Love You

Aloha Aku No, Aloha Mai No ~ I give my love to you, you give your love to me

Aloha Kaua ~ may there be love between us (said to one person)

Aloha Kakou ~ may there be love between us (said to more than one person)

Aloha No Au Ia 'Oe ~ I Truly Love You

Aloha Nui Loa ~ All my love

Aloha Pumehana ~ warm love, affection

E Hoomau Maua Kealoha ~ May our love last forever

E Kipa Mai ~ Come to me

E Ku'u Aloha ~ My Love

Eia Au, Eia 'Oe ~ Here I am, here you are

Hele Mai 'Oe I Ko Maua Male 'Ana ~ Come to our wedding

Ho'i Hou Ke Aloha ~ Let us fall in love all over again

Hokeo - to secretly love

Ia Iho Ke Aloha ~ To my love

Ka Honi Mai Me Ke Aloha ~ And with love is a kiss

Ke Aloha ~ Beloved

Kipona Aloha ~ Deep love

Ko Aloha Makamae E Ipo ~ Sweetheart you are so precious

Ko`u Aloha ~ My Love

Ku`u Lei ~ My beloved

Ma'ane'i No Ke Aloha ~ For love is here and now

Mahalo E Ke Akua No Keia La ~ Thanks be to God for this day

Male 'ana ~ Wedding

Male Ana E Pili Mai Aloha Kaua ~ We two will cling to love in marriage

Mau Loa ~ Forever

Mea Aloha ~ loved one

Me Ke Aloha ~ With love

Me Ke Aloha Pumehana ~ With the warmth of my love

Nau ko`u aloha ~ My love is yours

Na'u `oe ~ You're mine

No Kau a Kau ~ For Eternity

No Keia La, No Keia Po, A Mau Loa ~ From this day, from this night, forever more

Nou No Ka `I`ini ~ I desire you

'O Ku'u Aloha No 'Oe ~ You are indeed my love

Pa'ipunahele ~ An expression of love for a favorite

Pilialoha ~ To be in a bond of love

Additional Hawaiian Vocabulary Words

A

 

a`a ~ sharp jagged lava rock

`a`ala ~ smell good

ae ~ yes

ahe ~ breeze

ahi ~ fire

ahi`ahi ~ evening

'ahui mai'a ~ banana bunch

`aina ~ land, earth

'Aina Kakahiaka ~ breakfast

alanui ~ street

`aka`aka ~ laugh

akahele ~ be careful of

akamai ~ smart, intellegent

aloha ~ is a greeting used to say hello or goodby. Aloha can also mean love.

anuanu ~ cold

anuenue ~ rainbow

a'ole ~ no

`auinala ~ afternoon

`aumakua ~ family guardian spirits

apolima ~ bracelet

awakea ~ noontime

'awe ~ backpack

H

 

hahai ~ follow

hakaka ~ fight

hala kahiki ~ pineapple

halau ` hula troupe

hale ~ house, building

hana ~ work, bay

hanau ~ give birth

haole ~ foreigner, Caucasian

hapa ~ mix

hapai ~ pregnant

hapalua ~ half

hau`oli ~ happy

heiau ~ ancient Hawaiian religious temple

hohono ~ smell bad

ho`i mai ~ come back

hoku ~ star

holoholo ~ to walk or travel for fun
honi ~ kiss

honu ~ turtle

ho`okipa ~ hospitality

ho'okomo ~ enter, come in

ho`oku`i ~ to join together

ho`olauna ~ introduce

ho`olohe ~ listen

ho`omo`a ~ cook

ho`opono ~ faithful

hu hu ~ angry, agitated

hui ~ group organization

hu'i hu'i ~ cool

hula ~ Hawaiian form of communication using dance

huli ~ turn

Humuhumunukunukuapua'a ~ Picasso triggerfish (State Fish)

 I

 

ihu ~ nose

ikaika ~ strong

`ilio ~ dog

inu ~ drink

imu ~ underground pit oven used in luau

 K

 

ka'a ~ automobile

kahakai ~ beach

kahiko ~ traditional, old, ancient

Kohala ~ humpback whale

kai ~ ocean, ocean water

kala ~ dollar, money

kalo ~ taro

kama`aina ~ native-Hawaiian or long-time resident

kama'a 'ole ~ barefoot

kapa moe ~ blanket

kapu ~ forbidden, sacred

kaukau ~ food

kini ~ aluminum can

koa ~ strong, soldier, native acacia tree

kui ~ to string as a lei

kokoke ~ close, near, almost

kokua ~ help, cooperation

kono ~ invite

 L

 

lama pa'ipa'i ~ cocktail

lanai ~ porch, veranda

lanakila ~ to have victory

lani ~ heavenly

laulima ~ cooperate

lei ~ garland of flowers, leaves, nuts, or shells

lewa ~  air

lima ~ arm (body part)

limu ~ seaweed

lole 'au'au ~ bathing suit

lolo ~ crazy

lua ~ bathroom, toilet

lu`au ~ feast

luakini ~ temple for human sacrifice

 M

 

mahalo ~ thank you

mahimahi ~ dolfin fish

mahina ~  moon

maika`i ~ good

makaainana ~ commoner

makahiki ~ Ancient Hawaiian celebration held annually with sports and religious festivities

maka`ika`i ~ tour, sight see

makai ~ towards the ocean

makana ~ gift

malihini ~ newcomer, visitor

mana ~ spiritual power

mana`o ~ think

mauka ~ inland, towards the mountains mauna mountain

maunu ~ bait

mele ~ song, sing

menehune ~ mythical elf like people who are rumored to have inhabited the Hawaiian islands before Polynesians

moe'uhane ~  dream

moku ~ island

mokulele ~ airplane

moana ~ ocean, sea

mo`o ~ lizard, reptile water spirit

mu’umu’u ~ long and loose fitting dress

 N

 

na`au ~ pretty

nai'a ~ dolphin

nani ~ beautiful, enjoyable

napo'o 'ana o ka la ~ sunset

nene ~ endangered Hawaii native goose

niu ~ coconut

nohea ~ handsome, loveliness

 O

 

ola ~ healthy, alive

`olu`olu ~ nice, pleasant

`oma`ima`i ~ not feeling well

`ono ~ delicious

`opala ~ trash

 P

 

pa`akiki ~ stubborn

pahoehoe ~ smooth lava

palama ~ palm tree

pa'i palaoa ~ cake

pali ~ cliff

pau ~ done, completed

pinao ~ dragonfly

pipi ~ cow

pohaku ~ stone, rock

poi ~ pounded taro root

pololi ~ hungry

pomaika'i ~ good fortune/good luck

pu`iwa ~ surprise

puka ~ hole

pulehu ~ cook over hot coals

pulelehua ~ butterfly

punahele ~ favorite

pupu ~ appetizer, snack

pupule ~ crazy

pu`u ~ hill, cinder cone

 U

 

ua ~ rain

ue ~ cry

u`i ~ youthful looking, beautiful

uku ~ pay

ukulele ~ stringed instrument, small guitar

 

 W

 

wa`a ~ canoe

wai ~ water (not salt water)

wikiwiki ~ quickly, fast

wiwi ~ skinny

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