We often hear aliʻi in conjunction with pageants and other places where our chiefs are portrayed. Yes, aliʻi means chief, chiefess, officer, ruler, monarch, king, queen. And aliʻi nui then is the “High Chief.” Now days we often hear mōʻī for king, but he was an aliʻi nui in the old days.
Pahu and hau combine to give us the Hawaiian word for ice box or refrigerator. Pahu is a box, chest, cabinet, or similar container, and hau means cool, iced, ice, frost, dew, snow. Put them together and you have an ice box: pahu hau.
Puaʻa means “pig, swine, hog, pork.” And although it is a commonly used Hawaiian word, even in English conversation, it is often mispronounced. Say puaʻa as in kamapuaʻa. Puʻa is also another pronunciation you might hear, especially among native speakers.
Wai wai means goods, property, assets, valuables, value, worth, wealth. We most often hear wai wai to mean rich, wealth, or value, as in the popular song “Iesū me ke kanaka wai wai,” – Jesus and the Rich Man – written by Johnny Almeida.
Paʻa is a very commonly used word that can mean: firm, solid, tight, adhering, durable, fast, fixed, stuck, secure, closed, and so much more. Paʻa ā paʻa means held fast, so hoʻo paʻa means to make fast, to bind.
Kāne is the Hawaiian word for man. You see this often in names like Kāneʻohe, which means bamboo man, and in many family names as well. It is also used for: male, husband, male sweetheart, and masculine.
Most people who live in Hawaiʻi know what a maile lei is, but it is one of those Hawaiian words that is all too often mispronounced. Maile is a native twining shrub with shiny, fragrant leaves, used for decorations and lei, especially on important occasions. Maile is pronounced “mai-lei,” not to be confused with the Leeward Oʻahu community called Māʻili.
ʻAʻole means “no.” ʻAʻole is an interjection which also means “not, never,” and you may hear it pronounced ʻaʻale. You will commonly hear it even in English conversation when people say - ʻaʻole pilikia – no trouble.
Here's a simple, short Hawaiian Word of the Day for you, it is ʻae. It means “yes, to say yes, consent, to confirm, grant, agree, approve, permit.” It is the word you so often want to hear in answer to your questions.
Puakō is the name of a place on the Big Island, a beautiful place on the Kohala Coast where some 3,000 petroglyphs have been found. It means sugar cane blossom. “Pua”is blossom and the modifier “kō” means sugar cane.
Our Hawaiian word for today, hāpai, is one most people in Hawaiʻi already know and use, even in English conversation. It means to carry, and is most often used to describe a woman who is expecting a baby. It also means “to lift, raise, hoist, hold up, or support.”