Our Hawaiian Word for today is a beautiful Oʻahu place name, Kaʻaʻawa. It is often used as an example of a Hawaiian word with so many vowels in a row. But if you spell and pronounce it correctly, you will note that every vowel is separated by a consonant sound, the glottal stop or ʻokina. And it means the wrasse fish.
Wela means hot. You'll hear both wela (well-a) or wela (vel-a) as correct pronunciations, depending on the sound it follows. Wela means hot, burned, heat, temperature, but can also mean “lust” or “passion” or “feeling lust.” Wela wela is “doubly hot.”
Makau means fishhook, something we see everyday in Hawaiʻi, even if you don't go near the water. The beautiful fishhooks carved form bone and used as a decoration around the necks of so many men and women in Hawaiʻi today are correctly called makau.
Hema means left or left side. When you watch a marching group pass by, you will often hear, “hema, hema, hema, ʻākau hema,” or “left, left, left, right, left.” It also means “south,” as in Kona hema – south Kona.
Ala, meaning path or way, is used in so many of our street names, that is pretty well known, and most people know that it is a redundancy to say “Ala Wai Boulevard” or “Ala Moana Boulevard.” Our Hawaiian Word of the Day is alanui, the natural extension of ala. It means a big path, or a big way, a highway or a freeway.
Poko liko is another term given to an ethnic group that has settled in Hawaiʻi. Poko liko is the Hawaiian transliteration of the English words Puerto Rico or Puerto Rican. And there are many poko liko in Hawaiʻi nei.
We so often see kuʻuipo on Hawaiian jewelry that we tend to overlook another beautiful Hawaiian word for sweetheart. It is huapala. Literally, it means “ripe fruit,” a fruit that is ready for picking, and that's how Hawaiians call their sweetheart.
Pekelala is another Hawaiian word borrowed from English, and it means federal. If you listen to the news of the day discussed in Hawaiian, you often hear pekelala, because so much of what is in the news relates to the U.S. federal government.
Our Hawaiian Word of the Day is another frequently mispronounced Hawaiian place name: Keʻeaumoku. That well-driven street was probably named for a governor of Maui who bore the same name as his father, and ally, and father-in-law of Kamehameha the First.
The 41st Annual Prince Lot Hula Festival is set for this Saturday and Sunday in a new venue. This event, now at ‘Iolani Palace, is cherished as the largest non-competitive hula gathering in the islands. Twenty distinguished hālau will perform, as the Moanalua Gardens Foundation pays tribute to chant and hula from Hawai‘i Island. HPR’s Noe Tanigawa spoke with Professor Kalena Silva, who will be honored with the Namakahelu Oli Award.
Koʻolau means windward. A very appropriate name for a mountain range that runs up the windward side of the island of Oʻahu. It can be used as an adjective too, to describe something that is on the windward side.
Hapa is most often used in English conversation to describe something that is mixed or part of something. And although, it comes from the English word “half,” it means portion or part. We hear hapa used in hapa Hawaiʻi for part Hawaiian, or hapa haole for part foreign.