Hawaiian Pidgin “Creole” an Official Language of Hawaii. 15 Good Words and Phrases to Know.
Updated: Apr 24
The Hawaiian Language is called ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i and is now being spoken by more and more Native Hawaiians and residents due to its resurgence over the past couple decades. It is now even taught in Hawaiian Immersions schools and any student Hawaiian or non Hawaiian is welcome to learn the language.
Hawaiian Pidgin was formed/used way back in the 1830s on the sugarcane plantations as a way for many of the workers to communicate. The cane workers were a melting pot of Hawaiian, Japanese, English, Filipino, Portuguese and Chinese. It was based on an existing Hawaiian Pidgin already in use and is considered a creole language.
Pidgin’ is still used often today and sometimes mixed in with English. There is a great book of commonly used words and terms, Peppo’s: Pidgin to Da Max Hana Hou! and here are some of the most commonly used phrases/words.
1) Da Kine or D’kine
Is an all-purpose noun, verb, adjective, and adverb. It is similar to saying “whatchamacallit” or thing or the kind. But can go deeper and mean more if you are true pidgin speaker. It has multiple meanings and uses much like the word Aloha.
“She wen go to da kine and picked up carton of d’kine.”
“Ok”, “Awwright”, “Laters”, “Peace”. “Shoots Brah” is a way to say ok and goodbye.
You going to. D’kine tonight?
“Shoots Brah yay!”
3) Hana Hou!
Means “do it again”, “one more time”, “to do again”.
When the band finished their “last” song.
The crowd yelled “Hana Hou!”
Plenty, Many, A lot of something.
“There were choke people at the party.”
Exclamation used before any very emotional statement.
“Ho!, da waves was pumping yestaday!”
6) Kapu (ka POO)
Forbidden, Keep Out.
“No go ovah dare, dat place kapu.”
7) Kamaaina (comma EYE nah)
Word mainly used by haoles to denote a long time haole resident. Also used for a discount applying to locals only.
“Eh Brah?! You got kamaaina on this spam musubi.”
8) Bus’ Nose
Reaction to nasty arse breathe, potty, or body odor. Also, for just about anything else that has a rank odor.
“Shoots, brah, her shoes bus’ nose.”
Local d’kine food, Rice, fried egg, hamburger patty, and gravy on top. Add Spam as a side!
10) No-boddah Time
Do NOT disturb. Leave alone. Give rest.
“Eh haole boy no-boddah aunty Whitney she bath time.”
11) Maui Cruiser
An old beat up barely running car. Most importantly CHEAP! Also a Maui classic song by Barefoot Natives!
“Wen go buy a Maui Cruiser for $500 she run good but total rust bucket.”
12) Huli Huli Chicken
A Hawaiian originated style of cooking and marinating chicken. Huli means to turn or reverse. Baked on a roadside rotisserie and basted in the FAMOUS huli huli sauce. Not to be missed!!! A sight to see.
A glaring, squint like Clint (Eastwood) glance and not in a good way. You done did some-ting really bad or wrong if you get Stink-Eye. Trust us you don’t want to be on the receiving end of stink-eye.
“Dang Aunty gave him serious Stink-Eye when he came home all late smelling of booze.”
Local people call squid/octopus.
15) What Snapping?
Are you having a mental problem? Meltdown?
Be Your Own Snorkel Guide and save time by planning your Maui adventure.
Maui no Ka ‘Oi - Maui is the Best
Aloha Nui Loa (With Much Love)