Da Kine Pidgin


Every language has slang words and phrases and Hawaiian pidgin is no exception. Part English, part Hawaiian with a few other languages thrown in, here are some pidgin words and phrases you may hear locals speaking.


ALOHA (uh-LOW-ha) - A greeting. Can mean hello, goodbye, or love.

AKAMAI (AH-kah-my) - Someone who is very smart.

AZNUTS (AZ Nutz) - That’s crazy


BODDA YOU? (BAH-dah yoo) - Are you bothered by this?

BRAH - A friend or buddy.

BROK’ DA MOUT (BROHK-dah-mowt) - Tastes delicious. Yummy.

BROK’ DA NOSE (BROHK-dah-nohz) - Smells delightful.

BUMBYE (buhm-BYE) - When I get around to it. Later.


CHICKEN SKIN (cheekeen-SKEE-n) - Goose bumps, creepy feeling.

CHOKE - A lot. A large amount.

COCK-A-ROACH - To steal.


DA KINE (dah-KYN) - Used when you can’t remember the word.


EH? - You know?


FO' REAL? (foh-REAL) - Are you serious?




HANA (HAH-nuh) - Home.

HAOLE (HOW-lay) - A non-Hawaiian, usually refers to a Caucasian.

HAWAIIAN TIME - Late, as usual.

HOWZIT? (HAHW-ziht) - How is everything, what's up, what's going on?


K' DEN - (KAA-dehn) - Okay then. Agreed

KAMAAINA (kah-mah-EYE-nah) A local resident.

KANE (KAH-nay) - Man, male.

KAPU (ka-POO) - Forbidden. Keep out.

KEIKI (KAY-key): - Child or children.

KOMO MAI (komo MYH): - Please come in. Welcome.


LOCAL STYLE - The way people do things in Hawaii.

LOLO (LOH-loh) - Dumb, stupid, idiotic.

LUA (LUU-ah) - Bathroom.


MAHALO (mah-HAH-loh) - Thank you.

MAKAI (muh-KYH) - A direction towards the sea.

MAUKA (MOW-kuh) - A direction towards the mountain.

MO BETTAH (moh BEH-tah) - Much better. A much better idea.


NAH NAH NAH - Just kidding.

NO CAN (NOH cahn) - Can’t do. No way.


OHANA (oh-HAH-nah) - Family.

ONO (OH-noh) - Good or great.

ONOLISICIOUS (oh-noh-LIH-shuhs) - Really REALLY delicious.


PAU (POW) - Done

PAU HANA (pow HAH-nah) - To be done with work. Done and going home.

PUPUS (PUU-puus) - Appetizers.


SLIPPAHS (SLEE-pahs) - Rubber sandals. Flip-flops.

SPARK (SPAHK) - To see, to check out.


TALK STORY - To talk about something. To chat.

TUTU (TUU-tuu) - Grandmother.


WAHINE (vah-HEE-nay) - Woman, female.

WIKI WIKI (WICK-ee-WICK-ee) - Fast.


Big Island Pidgin (Slang)

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Useful Tips

  1. A great way to get used to pidgin is to rent or buy Disney’s Lilo and Stitch. It has a funny story line, is authentically Hawaiian, and features Hawaiian songs and pidgin talk throughout the movie.

  1. Pidgin is the local’s slang and it is fun to listen to, but it could be seen as disrespectful if you pronounce it incorrectly or don’t know the meaning of what you are saying.

  1. It may be best for first timers to stick with frequently used Hawaiian and Pidgin phrases. Aloha and Mahalo are always welcome at business establishments and Makai and Mauka are commonly used for giving directions.

Practice Phrases

  1. Eh hu wen cockaroach all da spam? (Who took all the spam?)

  1. Eh, I no do stuffs lah dat. No can.( No. I don’t do things like that.)

  1. Planny planny ono kine grinds. Broke da mout. (There was a lot of really good food).

  1. Ainokea wat you tink. (I don’t care what you think.)

  1. Braddah, you lik' go beach? (Would you like to go to the beach?)

  1. Wat, you no talk da kine? (What do you mean you don’t speak pidgin?)

  1. k’den. Mo Bettah we go bumbye. (It’s better if we go later.)


Here are some fun resources to help you understand and speak Hawaiian pidgin.


  1. Lilo and Stitch - 2 disk set (PG)

  2. 50 First Dates (PG-13)


  1. Pidgin to Da Max (25th Anniversary Edition)

  2. Da Kine Dictionary (paperback)