Molokaʻi Vocabulary

Please note that the vocabulary list in this lesson goes beyond the words and expressions used in our story. The more vocabulary you can learn, the more you can talk about! As with all of our lessons, you can substitute words of the same kind used in the exercises, right into your own sentences! For example, since we have learned how to say “maikaʻi ka hana”, and “maikaʻi” is an ʻaʻano descriptive word, you could use any ʻaʻano in the same location. Thus, from this vocabulary list, you can say “lōʻihi ka hana”, “work is long,” meaning that work takes a long time to complete.

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Nā ʻōlelo Pōkole, expressions

  • “Molokaʻi nui a Hina” – a saying that means that Molokaʻi is the child of Hina, an akua, or goddess, at the time of the creation of the islands
  • Aia lā hoʻi – there at that place indeed
  • ma waena o – in between
  • ʻē aʻe – other. This is used at the end of phrases and links to the word right before it; for example, nā mokupuni ʻē aʻe – the other islands
  • nō hoʻi kekahi – also used at the end of a phrase, it is a very emphatic “also”; for example, a ua hele nā kāne nō hoʻi kekahi – and the men went also
  • A hiki i kēia mau lā – right up to today, until these days
  • ʻaʻole loa – not at all
  • me ia nō – just the way it is, unchanging
  • hānau a hānai – born and bred, as a place where you were “born and bred”

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Nā Kikino, or noun-like words

  • he akua – a god
  • he mile – a mile. From the English word mile. He mile.
  • he pali – a cliff
  • he wailele – a waterfall
  • he kahua pipi – a ranch
  • he holoholona – an animal, usually four-footed
  • he kāula – a priest of the ancient Hawaiian religion
  • he home – a home. From the English. he home
  • he ala – a road or pathway
  • he haole – a foreigner, a caucasian
  • he imu – an underground oven
  • he ipo – a sweetheart
  • he keiki – a child, a baby
  • he kālā – money. This is from the English word “dollar” – “dālā” – “kālā”
  • he kamaʻāina – a resident, a person familiar with a place
  • ka poʻe – the people (you cannot use the word “poʻe” to mean a person; for that you would have to use “kanaka”, as we have already learned).
  • ka poʻe – people
  • ka loa – the length
  • ka laulā – the width
  • ke kai – the sea
  • ka moana – the open ocean
  • nā nahele – the forests. nā is the plural definite marker, and nahele is forest

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ʻAʻano, adverbs and adjectives

  • lōʻihi – long
  • ʻokoʻa – different
  • piha – full, as a container
  • akamai – clever, smart
  • hauʻoli – happy
  • kapu – sacred, or off-limits. The English word “taboo” comes from the old pronunciation of this wordas “tapu”. kapu lōlō – crazy, stupid

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Inoa, proper names

  • Hina – a goddess in the Hawaiian creation story
  • Wākea – a god in the Hawaiian creation story
  • Kamakou – the name of the high mountain on Molokaʻi’s east end
  • Kahiwa – the waterfall that is one of the longest in the world
  • Lanikāula – the name of a famous priest who lived on Molokaʻi

Here are some more place names on Molokaʻi. Repeat after me

  • Maunaloa, Kaluakoʻi, Moʻomomi, Ka-lae-o-ka-ʻïlio, Kepuhi, Ka-lae-o-ka-lāʻau, Hale o Lono, Kalaupapa, Kaunakakai

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Nā Hamani a me nā Hehele, action words

  • lele – to jump, or fly as an animal; to leap off a cliff
  • aʻoaʻo – to advise someone about something
  • holomua – to progress, as in ability
  • hāpai – to carry; also when a person is pregnant, she is “hāpai”
  • kōkua – to help

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