Hawaiian Words and Phrases

How To Say It In Hawaiian On Special Occasions

Happy Anniversary hauʻoli lā hānau
Congratulations Aloha nui
Happy Birthday Hauʻoli Lā Hānau
Happy Mothers Day hauʻoli lā Makuahine
Happy Fathers Day lā hauʻoli nā lā
Merry Christmas Mele Kalikimaka
Happy New Year hauʻoli makahiki hou
All my love Aloha Nui Loa
Good luck Pomaikia’i
Best wishes lana ‘iʻo ka manaʻo

Most Common Hawaiian Phrases

Aloha kakahiaka Good morning
Aloha auinala Good afternoon
Aloha ahiahi Good evening
Aloha ‘oe Farewell
E komo mai Welcome
Pomaika’i Good luck
Hana hou! One more time! Encore
Mahalo Thank you
Kokua Help or support
Mauka Towards the mountain; used when giving directions.
Makai Towards the ocean; used when giving directions.
Ohana Family. Also used to describe close relationships beyond blood relatives like community, organization or workplace.
Kama’iana Locals refer to this as a long time resident of Hawaii. The literal meaning is child of the land.
Keiki Child, children
Lanai Patio or balcony. Also the island of Lanai.
Pau Finished, done, completed.
Pau hana Happy hour, after work; when pau with work.
Ono Delicious

Meaning of Aloha

Aloha has a broad meaning and is used to evoke good intentions and feelings of love and affection. A salutation in greetings and departures, Aloha means hello and goodbye.

Meaning of Mahalo

Although you’ll often find the “Mahalo” printed on trash cans throughout Hawaii, Mahalo means Thank You (opala means trash in Hawaiian).
Mahalo nui loa means thank you very much.

How To Pronounce Hawaiian Words

The Hawaiian language is a simple and easy to learn language. It may seem intimidating at first, with its use of many vowels, but if you learn the basic pronunciation and take your time to break up the words in syllables, words are easy to pronounce. The Hawaiian alphabet contains 12 letters: five vowels and eight consonants. The five vowels are: A, E, I, O, U; the seven consonants are H, K, L, M N, P, W. Traditionally, native speakers pronounce the W as you would sound a V. For instance, the word Hawaii would be pronounced, huh-vai-ee.

Vowels in the Hawaiian language are pronounced as follows:

A ah, as in car
E eh, as in set
I ee, as in bee
O oh, as in solo
U oo, as in spoon

Hawaiian Love Phrases

I love you Aloha Au Ia ‘Oe
I desire you Nou No Ka `I`ini
My beloved Ku`u Lei
My precious sweetheart Ko Aloha Makamae E Ipo
Warm love and affection Aloha Pumehana
All my love (often used as a sign off on a letter) Aloha Nui Loa

Hawaiian Slang Words

Howzit? How are you? Used as a greeting.
Grinds Food. “Ono grinds” or delicious food.
Da kine “You know” or whatchamacallit. Used when you don’t want to use the actual word or phrase.
Pidgin to da max book

Pidgin English is Hawaii’s local dialect. If you want to know what the locals are saying, read our favorite book on common pidgin term. It’s a really fun read!
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Send Someone A Gift of Aloha

Looking for the perfect gift? Send a lei for graduation, Mother’s Day Leis, Father’s Day, Leis for a wedding or leis in bulk for a large event.