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Learning the Lingo of Hawaii

As soon as you arrive in Hawaii, you’ll be greeted with smiling faces and friendly locals, welcoming you with open arms to the islands. Though your stay will be temporary, Hawaii will leave a lasting impression and by learning to speak the language, your interaction with everyone that you encounter will be authentic. The lingo in Hawaii is fun, and learning new words and phrases will take your experience to a whole new level.  

These are the most popular words and phrases in Hawaii, and knowing how to use them properly will make a big difference. Don’t be afraid to expand on your knowledge and learn new things once you arrive.

Aloha – This is THE key phrase in Hawaii. Aloha encompasses the spirit of Hawaii, and means so many things, including hello and goodbye.
Mahalo – Aside from aloha, Mahalo might be the most important word in Hawaii. Meaning thank you and expressing gratitude, it is always important to say Mahalo.
Da Kine – Use this for anything and nothing. Da kine is a filler, like when you can’t think of a word, Da Kine will take its place.
Imu – The underground oven at a luau, the pig comes out of the Imu, which is built in the ground and lined with ti leaves.
Luau – The word for party, a luau is a celebration, and Hawaii loves a luau.
Ohana – If Aloha is the most important phrase in Hawaii; Ohana is the most important thing. Meaning family, Hawaiian Ohanas are big and a close-knit group. The best part of a Hawaiian family is that you don’t have to be blood related to be in the Ohana.
Lanai – The best place to take in a sunset is out on the lanai, or balcony. Many restaurants feature lanai seating, and it is usually the best seat in the house.
Keiki – Hawaiians are always on the lookout for their keiki, or children, and we're always looking to preserve the islands for the keiki.
Pau – Typically associated with the end of a work day or Pau Hana (Happy Hour), pau simply means done, or finished.
Honu – The Honu is one of the most precious creatures in Hawaii, and if you are lucky enough to spot a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, be sure to keep your distance and enjoy their presence.
Lei – The Lei is presented upon arrival to the islands or to a luau. Hang the lei in your hotel room and your trip will be filled with intoxicating aroma.
Ono – Delicious, tasty, or good, it is customary to say that the food is ono.

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