Monday, April 28, 2014

XYZ in Hawaiian

None. No X, No Y and No Z. Couldn't find a single Hawaiian word. Zip. This challenge is over and you've learned some important words for getting along in paradise.

AND...if you can't go island hopping right now, don't forget Penniless Hearts can virtually whisk you away from your favorite reading chair--but hold on tight because just like this challenge--it's a wikiwiki (fast) ride.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

W is Crucial

Your first time in Hawaii and the Mai Tai made you tipsy, so please remember that...
Wahine written on a door means-"Ladies Room". (girls, women, wife--these are all examples of wahine.) Don't go in the wrong door!!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Victory Tour

Since there are no words in Hawaiian beginning with the letter V, I thought this would be a good time to remind those of you planning a trip to the islands to set aside a visit to the Pacific Visitor Center and The U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. Prior to boarding the Arizona you can watch a short documentary about the December 7th 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor where 1,177 crewmen lost their lives.
Sometimes, there are no words.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

U is Ukulele

I used to dream of playing the ukulele. Must have been some Elvis movie that made me think it's better than the woodwind instrument I was plagued with in high school band.

A ukulele is a folk instrument resembling a small guitar with four strings. How hard could it be folks? Sure looks like fun. Have you ever played one?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T is for Tako

You get off the plane and immediately feel like eating some tacos. Right? Okay, but be careful because the word taco in Hawaiian is spelled Tako and is actually the word for octopus. Seriously. So, unless you love calamari, you might want to wait with the Mexican food.

You can thank me by reading Penniless Hearts or if you've already read it, then maybe you can tell one of your friends about how much fun you had reading it! Reading Penniless Hearts is like a first class trip to Hawaii without squiggly surprises on the menu.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S is....

Yes, I actually have this word in Penniless Hearts. It's in a dream sequence where Penny is sleeping on a beach and she's frowning at a group of people trying to feed her poi.

S is for Stinkface. It's that look on your face that shows you are unhappy about something.Slang of course,it's a facial expression used to show displeasure. Now go use stinkface in a sentence. Dare ya.

Monday, April 21, 2014

R is Fishy

Roi is a colorful fish from the grouper family, that obviously wasn't named by the locals because Hawaiians don't have much use for the letter R. (See previous post.)Territorial and invasive, the fish is becoming an annoying member of the undersea reefs around Hawaii.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

No Q

Sorry but the Hawaiian language is made up of only 12 letters.Which means there are no words beginning with the letter Q.
The letters they use are:
A,E,I,O,U,H,K,L,M,N,P and W but I'll try and write meaningful posts all the way to the end of the challenge. 

Can you imagine Shakespeare using only 12 letters? 

Friday, April 18, 2014

P for Poi

I mention poi a lot in Penniless Hearts. Maybe I feel it's my civic duty as an author to gently warn my readers about it, kind of like a public service announcement or something. 

Anyway Poi is a paste made from pounding taro root and it is definitely an acquired taste. In fact, I've heard of people who use it for other applications, such as a substitute for wallpaper paste. If you ever find yourself at an authentic luau and see a beige vat of something that looks like three day old gruel, take a chance and see if you survive. Can't say I didn't warn you.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is Delicious

Onoliscious-This is the slang word you use to describe something that is beyond delicious. When it's overly yummy, it's onoliscious. My friendly editor wondered about this word, but he probably wondered about a lot of things in my book. I say, keep'em guessing and the heck with spell-check. Hawaiian words will always be under-lined and they will need to be double-checked by the writer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N is for Goose

Nene is the endangered, native Hawaiian goose. They are related to Canada geese but after 500,000 years they decided they never want to leave paradise.  Spending most of their time on Maui, they prefer local flights and actually don't like flying at all.  I don't blame them for wanting to stay on the islands. Do you?
(From Wikipedia)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Thank You for Visiting!! (M)

The word for Thank You is simply:

If you plan on going to Hawaii, make sure you learn this one word. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Kamana Wanna Lei Ya

L is for the lovely garland of flowers everyone receives when arriving in Hawaii.  Also featured in my novel, the lovely custom is not only visually stunning but even the scent of the flowers can be intoxicating and truly memorable.

Have you ever worn a lei around your neck? 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Rule of K

K is for Kapu. 
Certain island customs demand a legendary respect and reverence called a Kapu which translates to keep out, forbidden or taboo. Rules are rules and my main character Penny learns these things the hard way.

When visiting anywhere, remember the cliche: 'When in Rome....'

Friday, April 11, 2014

J is for Junk

This one is easy. J is for Junk (Another slang word) which describes stuff as lousy and rotten as in, 'Dat's a bunch of junk.' It could be referring to actual items or even poetry. Hopefully, not mine.
No junk around here. Just a first class blogging challenge from A to Z. Are we having fun, or what?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Letter I

If you've been to a real Luau you know about the Imu and one of my characters describes the process in Penniless Hearts. It's usually used to roast a pig but they also use it for fish and vegetables. Typically they use taro leaves to wrap the food before it's put into the imu. Taro leaves are literally called Luau but the word luau has become known as a Hawaiian feast.

Basically, the definition of Imu is an underground pit used for cooking.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Do the Hula

H is for hula-- the native dances of the Hawaiian islands. Hula dancers sway their hips and move their hands in a rhythmic fashion to present visual stories and legends describing the history of the islands.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I'm going to Grind at the Luau.

G is for
Grind (slang)

It means:
To eat like you've never eaten before!  Heap up the delicious food on your plate and grind it down!

Monday, April 7, 2014

F is for your Dad

Fadda: Similar to the song about Camp Grenada, this is the island way to say father or dad. (This is also pidgin or slang of course and the real word for parent is Makua.)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Colloquial E.

Eriding: If you say it out loud you'll notice this word means everything. Yup. All of it. (slang)
On a serious note:
E Komo Mai- means...'You're welcome'.

Friday, April 4, 2014

That Letter D.

Not too many Hawaiian words and phrases begin with the letter D, I figured the most important word is:
Dat: Yes, it means that.(slang)
Though this word might be pidgin-English, it also might be easier to say when you're on Hawaiian-time. Also, Portuguese explorers and Missionaries left their influence on linguistic expressions and pronunciation.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Letter C

Our Hawaiian word of the day is:

Choke:  It means a large amount of something like food or traffic. Cars can choke up a road. Right? 

(Sorry about all the colloquialisms but certain letters are not used in the Hawaiian alphabet.) I'll have more on that in future posts.
Hope I can get blog visitors to choke up my site with comments. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Two Related Words

Doing research for a novel set in Hawaii was a lot of fun. Here are two words for the letter B:

Braddah: This means brother. Sometimes it refers to your bros or your friends. I'm sure this is a colloquial version or a pidgin-English/slang version of what most folks might call 'surfer dude' talk, but it is common for non-surfers to use this pronunciation too. The real word for man or boy is Kane.

Brah: This is how they say bro.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Aloha A to Z visitors.
My book Penniless Hearts takes place in Hawaii and I thought it might be fun to participate this year by providing everyone with some great Hawaiian words and meanings. Who knows you might write a book set in Hawaii too. Of course the first one is ALOHA!!!

Aloha is the most common expression on the islands. It can mean hello and goodbye, you're  welcome or best wishes and can be used to describe a feeling of romance. If you travel to Hawaii the best word to know is Aloha.

Twenty five more Hawaiian words and phrases will have you speaking like an islander, so come back tomorrow for the letter B.