To da max
Broke Da Mouth
When you travel to Hawaii, you will certainly want to try the local cuisine! Whether that means visiting a local restaurant or a traditional luau, you might hear the phrase broke da mouth or broke da mout. This is a useful Pidgin phrase to know, especially if you want to compliment the chef. It means the food is delicious!
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Have you ever had the desire to wander with no real purpose? Sometimes, roaming aimlessly can be an adventure by itself! It probably won’t surprise you that there’s a Pidgin word that means “to wander without direction or cruise around”. That word is holo holo. It’s derived from the official Hawaiian word holoholo (with no space) which means to stroll or promenade.
To native English speakers, it’s probably obvious that howzit is a combination of the words “how”, “is”, and “it”. You’ll likely hear howzit a good deal while traveling throughout Hawaii. Native Hawaiians seem to enjoy greeting new people and talking with them. Howzit is their way of saying, “Hey! How’s it going?” or “How are you?”
The word kōkua means “help” or “assistance”. You might see the word on signs in a local Hawaiian area. The most likely scenario is to hear this word in conjunction with mahalo when someone expresses gratitude for the help received. As a visitor, it’s important to recognize the word for “help”. Hopefully you’d never have a need to use this word, but it’d be disrespectful for you to ignore a request for help from a native. If you see or hear kōkua followed by luau, the phrase is referring to assistance in the form of a contribution.
Pau (pronounced “pow”) it’s used when a task is finished or something is completed. It means “all gone”, “no more”, or “time’s up”. If you hear pau hana, that means “after work”. That phrase refers to the best Happy Hours you can find on the islands! Be mindful not to use pau when referring to something that’s dead, though…the correct term for that is make (mah-kay).
There’s a normal conversation, and then there’s a “talk story”. That’s how the islanders call “catching up” or gossiping with their friends or family. It’s an activity that can last far into the night, and a social occasion more than a simple relaying of facts.
As an outsider on the islands, you might hear some natives say malihini. It means “outsider”, “stranger”, or “non-islander”. Native Hawaiians use it regarding tourists (you know, those ones wearing socks and shoes). So, as someone who just arrived after scoring those cheap domestic flights, you might just hear the word malihini a lot when you’re around!