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.

Learn some Hawaii slang or Pidgin

History and background of Hawaiian pidgin

Many of these terms are typically how early plantation workers from Filipinos, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Hawaiian and others communicated in simple or broken English in a slang. 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 different Hawaiian slang phrases that everyone could communicate and otherstand.

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.

Hawaii pidgin for eating terms

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 pidgin appearance terms

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 to talk with locals and everyone you meet if you want to used many of these popular sayings.

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

Check out these other Hawaii topics

A Hawaii travel guide primer

Virtual tours of Hawaii

Hawaiian Sunrises and Sunsets

Best Beaches in Hawaii

Fun and interesting facts about Hawaii

Plant a garden in Hawaii

Popular Hawaiian dishes you need to try

Traditional Hawaiian food favorite dishes

Farmers markets in Hawaii

How to eat cheap in Hawaii

Comfort foods of Hawaii

Share and pin this for later


You’ll find trying out some of the local slang words easy and a natural thing to try and others that might be difficult for a visitor to actually say. You won’t need a Hawaiian dictionary after learning most of these popular Hawaiian pidgin words or sayings above.

I want to hear from you!

So, which of these Hawaiian slang words are you going to try out soon? Please share your thoughts and comments below.

.If you enjoyed the post, please do share it with any of the social media buttons around the page.

Thanks for visiting This Hawaii life and checking out this post on Learn some Hawaii slang or Pidgin.

We love shares - Mahalo!



  1. Hawaii sunsets - This Hawaii Life - […] Learn some Hawaiian pidgin or slang […]
  2. Bargain shopping in Hawaii - This Hawaii Life - […] Learn some Hawaiian slang or pidgin […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Noel Morata this Hawaii Life

Meet Noel Morata

Noel Morata is the creator of This Hawaii Life along with a small team of contributors. Living on the Big Island and traveling regularly to the neighbor islands, Noel and team actively search and share the latest information and updates to Hawaii travel, food, adventure and various lifestyle activities on the islands for your planning and vacation. Aloha and enjoy This Hawaii Life.