Hawaiian Words and Phrases

This unique and stunningly beautiful flower is from a passion fruit vine. The flower has a sweet smell and the ball shaped passion fruit is sweet and tangy. In Hawaiian the fruit is called Lilikoi. There are seeds inside the fruit that are not edible and must be spit out. Passion fruit vines first came to Hawaii from Australia around 1880, however, the purple fruit itself originates from Brazil.

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.

Close up of a fuzzy Heliconia flower.

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)

Kahili Ginger has a beautiful fragrant flower that grows in the shape similar to a Hawaiian feather staff called a Kahili. These are wonderful to encounter on hikes and to see in floral arrangements. Be sure to stop and smell the blooms!

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

New Guinea Red Jade is a strange and exotic flowering vine that grows wild in the rainforests around the Hawaiian Islands.
There is also a blue variety.

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)

Tulip Torch Ginger can be encountered while hiking in the rainforests around the Hawaiian Islands. Close to the base of the plant are firm hard pedals that form a tulip shape but the flower is actually a small pink bloom that comes out of these tulip shaped pedals.
A flower can be seen in the photo above on the left.

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

Cannonball Flower from the Cannonball Tree at Foster Botanical Garden. This alien looking bloom has a sweet fragrance and when it is pollinated a fruit that looks like a cannonball grows.

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

Jasmine grows in the Hawaiian Islands and is a delicate fragrant flower made into special leis especially for weddings.
In Hawaiian Jasmine is called Pikake.

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

Ornamental Red Banana Flower

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

 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

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 ~ ckiss

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)

 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

WANT TO GET MARRIED, ELOPE OR RENEW YOUR VOWS ON OAHU? CONTACT ME!

I will officiate your wedding anywhere on Oahu!
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