Learn some local Hawaii slang or Pidgin and pick up some basic lingo
Hawaii slang or pidgin is typically how locals on the island chit chat and talk story with friends and family in a local style. These expressions are typically condense words or sayings that the same anywhere on the islands and passed through family and friends – the shorter the expression, mo, bettah for everyone.
Now you can learn some basic local Hawaii slang or pidgin and talk story with each other and at least try and make a stab at it when you are here visiting.
History and background of Hawaiian pidgin
Many of these Hawaiian pidgin terms are typically how early plantation workers from Filipinos, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Hawaiian and others communicated with each other in simple or broken English. Many of these terms are not so easy to understand or are spoken in reverse but no worries, if it doesn’t make sense to you now. With some practise on some of the slang that that sticks to you, hopefully you’ll get to use them when you are visiting or just want to talk like a local on the islands.
The simplified, broken English was called Hawaiian Pidgin and full of slang phrases that most locales could eventually communicate and otherstand each other in very simple English terms.
Pick up some Hawaiian slang and sayings
Whether you just want to try and understand what Hawaiian lingo is being said in local talk or trying to pick a few of these slang into your chats, you’ll get a better understanding or a chuckle at what some of these Hawaiian slang words or what these everyday expressions actually mean.
Even if you don’t want to speak pidgin, it’s good to understand what others may be talking about without trying to interupt or ask what is being said.
Hawaiian style eating or foodie terms
If you want to pick up some Hawaiian slang terms for food, check out these Hawaiian slang words for anything about food, eating and enjoying foods of Hawaii. You’ll learn to pick up some favorite foodie terms below to talk like a local.
Say Shoyu instead of Soy Sauce
Ask for Saimin instead of Ramen
Order some Pupu instead of appetizer
Ask for Shave ice not shaved ice
Broke da mouth means delicious and so good
Say Pau for done or I’m finished
Say Ono for delicious
Look for wagon instead of a shopping cart
Kau kau time for dinner time
Time for grindz or food
Got choke or plenty
Scosh or just a little or small size
Hawaiian dress or appearance
Hawaiian pidgin covering dress and appearance is funny and odd at the same time. Check out some of these slang terms below.
Here’s some basic dressing terms or accessories in pidgin to learn
Wear yo slippahs and not flip flops
Bolo head for bald
It’s sweater or a sweat shirt
A lavalava is also a sarong
Titah bun or quick hair bun style or messy hair
General expressions or sayings in Hawaii
Basic expressions and greetings can be used in your everyday communications and you’ll pick up quickly some of these basic greetings to have simple conversations with locals and everyone you meet if you want on the islands. Or at least start to recognize many of the sayings below that is used for everyday conversation in pidgin.
Howzit or hello
Mahalo or thank you
Rajah dat or something you say in agreement
Dats cherry or cool
Imua means go for it
Dakine for whatchamacallit, anything or don’t remember what it is
Eh Brah or hey brother or bros
Talk story or have a conversation, gossip or catch up
We go mainland not the United States
Shoots generally means okay – similar to Rajah
Let’s holoholo or cruise or go out
Small kine or just a little
Hana Hou or encore/let’s do it again
You Akamai or smart
Kapu means taboo or prohibited
Say Chout instead of watch out
Kapakahi instead of messed up
Hemo or take off
Hanaaaa or halanaka means your in trouble
Say Pssst instead of say hey
Lets hele or go now
Auwe means ouch
Chance em or give it a try
Kanikapila or let’s play some music
Want pakololo instead of marijuana
Big puka instead of a hole
Say come for will you come over here
K-den instead of bye
Kokua or help and assist
Some funny Hawaiian expressions
These Hawaiian slang terms are really funny and cool depending on the age group and who you are talking to. Try some of these slang words below to someone you know or want to just try it out for fun.
He lolo or crazy
Squirleh is a guy or girl that is wishy washy or sneaky and not a good thing
Got chicken skin or goosebumps
Oh da cute or how cute
Who went fut means who farted
Stink eye for that dirty look
Bus’ laff in stead of laughed so hard.
Say bumbai instead of see you later or just later
Okolehao means Bottoms up.
You like go show nah we go movies
Say Li dat instead of like that
You buss for drunk or messed up
Okole or your butt
Guaranty also means yes if asked a question
Yeah You or your right or I see you
Dat Buggah can mean anything or a general expression of surprise or agreement
Aurieee is a cool way of saying alright
Cheee Hoooo is a loud cheer mostly at celebrations or fun events
Nah, Nah Nah is a long way of saying no not really
Like liken or a good spanking
No Ack means don’t act like that
Body and Personal hygene
These can be funny or straight to the point to body parts or personal hygene matters.
That’s my piko meaning your belly button
Your Okole not your ass
I go shi shi instead of pee pee
Pilau is something stinky or smelly
That’s a few of the funny terms and general expressions that you can add to your local vocabulary. Enjoy some of these hilarious videos below and see if your bold enough to try them.
If we missed anything else, please add in the comments below, mahalo.
Funny video inspiration on Hawaiian pidgin
More funny Hawaiian slang
Check out these other posts on Hawaii
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Conclusion on learning Hawaiian slang or Pidgin
You’ll find trying out some of the local slang words easy and a natural thing to try and add to your convesations with locals living on the islands. You won’t need a Hawaiian dictionary after learning most of these popular Hawaiian pidgin words or sayings above and maybe include those into your everyday conversations on the islands.
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So, which of these Hawaiian slang words are you going to try out soon? Please share your thoughts and comments below.
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