How do I find a Hawaiian name for my baby?

While there are several websites that supposedly offer lists of Hawaiian names and their meanings, most of the time these sites are simply copying material out of books, and at worst they offer only what random people have suggested as names and their meanings. In fact, many references will merely give you transliterations of English […]

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What does ‘shibai’ mean?

“Shibai” is a Japanese word with varied definitions, but the meaning you’re most likely looking for is the one that’s woven its way into the local language via pidgin (Hawaii Creole English). A polite definition of “shibai” would be “lies.” A more nuanced definition would be “B.S.” The word “shibai” turns up most frequently in […]

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How do you say “Happy Birthday” in Hawaiian?

“Happy Birthday” translates to “Hau`oli Lā Hānau” in Hawaiian. “Hau`oli” means “Happy, glad, gay, joyful,” “Lā” means “Day, date” (as well as “sun, sunny”), and “Hānau” means “To give birth; to lay (an egg); born.” Note that the first “a” in both “Lā” and “Hānau” include the kahakō, or a macron, a Hawaiian diacritical mark […]

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How do you say “I love you” in Hawaiian?

While, as in English, there are many ways to say “I love you,” the most common way in Hawaiian to express this wonderful sentiment is, “Aloha au iā ‘oe.” Note the Hawaiian diacritical markings: the kahakō, or long-vowel marker over the “a” in “iā,” and the ‘okina, or glottal stop marker, in “‘oe.” “Aloha,” in […]

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