Almost everyone knows that a doorway is a puka. But how do you say door? Try pani puka. Pani puka is the thing that closes, blocks, or covers an opening. Puka is the doorway, ke pani puka is the door itself.
Kaimukī, the name for a section of Honolulu, is another name often mispronounced by those familiar with the common Hawaiian word kai. Actually, Kaimukī means “the ti oven” and is a compound word made up of ka for “the,” imu for “oven,” and kī for “ti.”
Many people who don't speak Hawaiian ask how to make the glottal stop in your speech at the beginning of a word. ʻIolani is a good example. ʻIolani is the name of a palace, an avenue, a fine school, and many other things. And ʻiolani means “royal hawk.”
Our Hawaiian word for today is kēhau for “dew.” Kēhau is often seen on the grass in the higher elevations, and the word kēhau comes up often in Hawaiian songs and chants. Kēhau is also a popular given name.
Hoʻoponopono means to make right. And it is a Hawaiian way of putting things in order, settling problems by sitting down together and talking it out. Hoʻoponopono is something we should all be aware of and practice.
Our Hawaiian word for today is a famous Kauaʻi place name, Waiʻaleʻale. It means “rippling, or overflowing water.” Waiʻaleʻale is the highest mountain on Kauaʻi, and boasts an annual rainfall of more than 475 inches a year.
Often we hear Hawaiians speak of their ʻaumakua, their family or personal god – deified ancestors who might assume the shape of sharks, owls, hawks, mud hens, octopuses, eels, mice, rats, even clouds or plants.
Our Hawaiian Word of the Day is wailele or waterfall. Literally, wailele means leaping water. And although it is a generic term, it is also is used in many place names and songs. Such as the popular wailele o ʻakaka.
It's so often mispronounced that the incorrect version has become an accepted pidgin word. But our word for today is mea ʻono puaʻa, or delicious pig thing. It is a popular and tasty steamed or baked Chinese bun with pork inside.
Nui means “big, greatest, grand, important.” As in aliʻi nui. Hale nui would be a big house. And mea nui would be an important thing. Used as an adjective it follows the noun. It can also mean “many or a group.”
Heluhelu means “to read.” Helu, by itself, is to count, but re-duplicating it gives us a new word: to read. All of us can heluhelu and we do it everyday reading books, newspapers, magazines, signs, and more.