Talking Story

Hawaiian Language

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou

(how-oh-lee mah-kah-he-key ho)

Hawaiian phrase. In Hawaii people say Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou when they wish someone a Happy New Year. It’s a direct translation from the English: hau‘oli means “happy” or “glad,” hou means “new” or “fresh,” and makahiki is easily translated into “year, age; annual.” Like most English adoptions into Hawaiian it works in a Spanglish sort of way.

But anciently makahiki referred to a season that began around mid-October and lasted four lunar  months. During this time there was feasting, religious observances and ceremonies, games, sports, dancing, a respite from work, and a kapu on war. It was a time of peace and prosperity in honor of the god Lono.

May you and your ‘ohana enjoy the aloha of the makahaki season all year long.

Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou!

Example

English: Happy New Year!

Pidgin: Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou!

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

Pidgin Dictionary

 

ukulele

kaona

(kah-OH-nah)

(n)The hidden meaning of a song, poem, chant, dance, etc. When you see old folks laughing about innocent songs about fishing or mist, you’re missing the kaona.

Example

English: The hidden metaphors in that song are so powerful!

Pidgin: Kaona, yeah?

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

Pidgin Dictionary

‘āina

(EYE-nah)

(Noun) Land.

For example:

“Life is good now, Pua. There’s fish in the sea. We have our ‘āina and our home. We can travel wherever we want; people don’t bother us. Life wasn’t always this easy.” ~ One Boy, No Water

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

Pidgin Dictionary

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