Hawaiian Pidgin

In Hawaii, there are two official languages—English and Hawaiian—and one unofficial one. I am speaking about the Hawaiian version of Pidgin English. Although it is thought of as being lower in status than the two official languages, it is becoming ever more prevalent as a kind of native slang. It contains bits of English, Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, and Japanese. According to one website:

The local patois (Hawaiian slang) was originally developed by Chinese immigrants to make business transactions easier. They created an easy-to-understand lingo and named it “pidgin,” which literally translates to “business.” These days, natives on the islands have adopted this as a means of short-hand speak, as well as a way to mess with tourists.

I can vouch for Pidgin as a way of messing with tourists. Consider the following expressions:

  • Broke Da Mouth – What delicious food does
  • Your Kokua Is Appreciated – Your assistance, compliance, or contribution is appreciated
  • This Buggah is Pau – Your car is finito
  • Da Kine – Watchamacallit, Thingamajig
  • B-52 Bombah – Giant flying cockroach
  • Grinds or Grindz – Food
  • Hamajang – Something that is messed up, out of whack, disorderly, or needs tending
  • Kanak Attack – The feeling you’ve eaten way too much
  • ’Ono – Tasty, delicious
  • Slippas – Flip-fops or sandals

There is an amusing (and very detailed) YouTube video illustrating how Hawaiian Pidgin is pronounced:

Have fun! And don’t be lolo!

Blue Hawai’i

Waimanalo Beach on the Windward Side of O’ahu

Martine and I are planning a trip to Hawaii this September, after all the kids are back in school. We plan to visit only the island of O’ahu, as that’s where all the museums and special attractions that Martine wants to see are located. This won’t be our first trip: We were there in 1996, staying at what then was called the Pacific Beach Hotel.

We plan to revisit some of the sights we saw then, including:

Some sights I would like to add to what we’ve already seen: Waimanalo Beach, Honolulu’s Chinatown, and the Ala Moana Shopping Center.

Some things have changed for the worse since our last visit. Not only are automobile rentals more expensive than ever, but some hotels charge as much as $50 a night just for parking. Then, too, many hotels now charge up to $50 a day for “resort fees,” whether or not you use their resort services. Since I am now on a fixed income, I will be particularly interested in saving money.

Before September, I would like to read some of O. A. Bushnell’s novels about Hawaiian history and see some movies set in Hawaii, such as Elvis Presley in Blue Hawaii and several movies featuring the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (Tora Tora Tora and From Here to Eternity).