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Common Hawaiian Words & Phrases

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Common Hawaiian Words and Phrases to Use on Vacation

Hawaiian Language As an experienced traveler, you’ve probably learned that locals appreciate it when visitors make an attempt at speaking the indigenous language.  Hawaii is no different.  When shopping in stores or eating in restaurants, many locals will use Hawaiian words and phrases when they interact with you.  But you don’t have to feel intimidated.  You probably know some of these words from watching TV or listening to others speak.  But I’m sure there are some phrases you may have never heard but they could come in handy when you reach the beautiful Hawaiian Islands.  Fine Living Enthusiast and our travel partner, All About Hawaii, have some great Hawaii vacation packages for you.  While you are on your amazing Hawaiian vacation, use these key words and phrases to help you during your stay.  Not only will the locals feel that you are trying, it will get you in the Aloha Spirit. You’ll want to give us a Mahalo shout out upon your return.

  • Hello, Goodbye; a feeling of love or kindness – Aloha (ah-LOW-ha)
  • Thank you – Mahalo (mah-ha-low  )
  • Woman – wahine (wa-hee-nee) typically seen on the door to the women’s restroom
  • Man – kane (KAH-neh)  typically seen on the door to the men’s restroom
  • Child – keiki (kay-key)
  • Malihini – visitor or newcomer – (mah-lee-hee-wee)
  • Patio – lanai (la-nie)
  • Undergrounding cooking – Kalua (kah-loo-ah)
  • Feast – lu-au (loo-owa) literal translation is taro leaves
  • Appetizer – pupu (poo-poo)
  • Necklace made from flowers –lei (lay)
  • Ocean – moana (moh-ah-nah)
  • Shuttle at the Honolulu Airport – wikiwiki (wee-kee-wee-kee) Also, means hurry up
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