Leilani Poli`ahu

Host, Hawaiian Word of the Day

For the caller who wanted to know what puana meant, as in the line so commonly used in the last verse of a song. In that case, puana means the attack or beginning of a song. Haʻina ʻia mai ana ka puana just means to start to tell the summary, refrain of the song.

Peʻa means a cross, or to cross. That's just one meaning, and there are many. But think of it when you make an “x” on the paper in a game of tic-tac-toe – that's a peʻa.

Our Hawaiian word for today is kāpae, meaning to throw out, discard. Before you kāpae your old clothing, think about others who might be able to use them. Perhaps you could give them to someone, or to the Salvation Army or Goodwill industries.

If you listen to Hawaiian speakers, you often hear the word mea. Mea just means “thing,” and it can be used in so many different ways, usually with a modifier. A mea hula is a dancer, a mea nui is a large or important thing, and a mea oli is a chanter.

Our Hawaiian word for today is a new one, pāmia. It means used, as in second hand. So a second hand car is a kaʻa pāmia.

Whether you use them as fences to keep cattle from strolling into your yard, or decoration in your home, pānini are a pretty popular plant in Hawaiʻi nei. Pānini is a cactus, from which we can also make liquor.

Paleʻili is another word for what we used to call a palule-t (a T-shirt). Since so many of us wear t-shirts, it should come in handy.

Wili which means “to wind, twist, crank, screw,” is a word you often hear with regard to leis. And it is but one method of making leis.

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.

Our Hawaiian word for today is alaheʻe haole. Together alaheʻe haole is the Hawaiian name for mock orange, that handy bush so many of us use to make leis.

Leʻa means joy, pleasure, happiness, merry, and many more wonderful feelings. Yes, it is the same leʻa we use in the name of the double hull sailing canoe Hōkūleʻa. Hōkūleʻa translates to mean “star of lgadness.”

Lehiwa means “admirable, attractive, to admire.” It's a beautiful word to know, to use, and to hear. Try it: kuʻu pua lehiwa – my lovely blossom.

Hoʻomākaʻikaʻi means to escort or take someone on a tour, like we often do for visiting friends.

Hoʻomana means religion. For example, Ka Hoʻomana o Iesu Kristo o nā Poʻe Hoʻāno o nā Lā Hope Nei is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Meʻe is a hero, heroine, or an important person. For many of our youngsters, their meʻe is Superman, for others it might be you. Do you have a favorite meʻe? A meʻe punahele? (A favorite person?)

Neʻe means to move along little by little, as many of us do everyday in heavy traffic. It can also be used to tell someone that you have moved from one place to another – ua neʻe ō – I have moved.

Mānaleo means a native speaker. Mānaleo is a relatively new Hawaiian word for someone for whom the language was a first or inherited language.

Most people know the ipu is a musical instrument made out of a gourd. But ipu is a general word for any type of container such as a dish, mug, calabash, pot, cup, bowl, basin, or even a utensil. Ipu is a very handy word to know.

Most people know the ipu as a musical instrument made out of a gourd. But ipu is a general word used for any type of container. Such as a: dish, mug, calabash, pot, cup, bowl, basin, or even a utensil.

We all fill out forms, and you should know that those blanks you must fill in are hakahaka. Hakahaka just means “vacant space,” like those blanks on a form.

Pāʻia means noisy. It is best known as a small town in East Maui, and because it is so often misspelled, it is mispronounced.

If you've ever walked the beach looking for a glass ball, you'll enjoy today's word of the day: pōpō aniani which means glass ball.  Pōpō means “ball,” and aniani means “glass.”

Here's a fun Hawaiian word of the Day, mū pākē. is how we say “checkers,” and pākē is the Hawaiian word for “Chinese.” So mū pākē is Chinese checkers.

Wakinekona is a Hawaiian-ization, if you will, of Washington. It is how we say the name of the state, the nation's capital, and the first president of the United States. Even the Honolulu home of our last queen. Wakinekona, a borrowed word for Washington.

Did you ever sit on a stool without a back and wonder what to call it in Hawaiian? Well, you might say noho kū.

Our Hawaiian word for today is wai honua for “ground water.” Wai, is for water, and honua for ground or earth. There are many different kinds of water, all beginning with the word wai. Try to think of a few others.

Our Hawaiian word for today is koʻo for “support.” Koʻo has many meanings and many uses, but most commonly is used to describe a brace or a prop, a helper, something used to help support something else – even a cane become a koʻo koʻo.

Punahou is another beautiful Oʻahu place name that is often mispronounced. Punahou means “new spring.” When you say it don't drop that last vowel sound. Reshape your lips so you end up forming the last half of that “o-u” diphthong.

Another of our beautiful place names so often mispronounced is Kuapā. Kuapā is the old name for Maunalua Fish Pond where the Hawaiʻi Kai Marina is now located. Kuapā was partly filled in when Hawaiʻi Kai was built.

Not to be confused with kamaliʻi, which means children, kamāliʻi means “royal child.” Kamāliʻi has a macron or kahakō over the second letter “a” – that's the difference between the two words. So a kamāliʻi kane is a prince.