Talking Story


(j’un-ken-POH) Pidgin for rock, paper scissors from the Japanese  jan ken pon. How you choose who picks first, does the dishes, or buys the round. As a kid on Maui we’d swing our closed fist in time with a chanted rhyme and shoot three times for a two out of three win:

Junkenpo (shoot),
I can show (shoot),
Wailuku, Wailuku,
Bomb, bomb, SHOW! (shoot)



English: Todd, let’s do rock, paper, scissors to see who has to stay and babysit.

Pidgin: Junkenpo, brah. Loser sits, winner splits.

Note: ‘Ōlelo is a Hawaiian word meaning language, speech, word, etc.  To see the current list of words, definitions, and usage please click on ‘Ōlelo Archive.

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