Da kine words
Speak like a local

If you eat like a local, you might as well sound like one too. These common terms and phrases will help you fit in. So read it, learn it and practice it. Because “you are what you eat” once you speak da language.

Download the English Malihini Guide ハワイアンフードのマリヒニガイドダウンロード 新来外地客人的夏威夷美食指南

BRAH | brah | If someone refers to you as this, they’re not calling you a female undergarment, it means “friend,” “pal” or “buddy,” e.g., “Eh brah, Highway Inn is one of da best restaurants in Hawai‘i.” Disclaimer: This word takes lots of practice to sound authentic. Please spend the time to learn it.

BROKE DA MOUT | brohk da mowt | An intensely delicious experience, e.g., “Highway Inn’s Hawaiian food broke da mout’!”

GRIND | gri-nd | To eat, to chow-down, e.g., “I grind at the best restaurants in Honolulu.”

HAOLE | how-lee | A Caucasian.

HOWZIT | how-zit | A greeting. It can mean “how are you doing” or “how is it going.”

IMU | ee-moo | A traditional underground oven used by Hawaiians to slow cook pork during a traditional Hawaiian lū‘au.

KĀNE | kah-neh | A male or man. This word can be found on a restroom door at a Hawaiian lū‘au or at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport, also known as Honolulu International Airport (HNL), so this is a must learn word.

MAHALO | mah-ha-low | Although this is on most garbage receptacles, it does not mean “trash.” It actually means “thank you.”

MALIHINI | mah-lah-hee-nee | A newcomer.

‘ONO | oh-no | Delicious, tasty. It’s often used to describe a dish at the best restaurants in Honolulu, e.g., “Wow! That dish was ‘ono!” Not to be confused with “oh no” as in “Oh no, that smells awful.”

‘OPALA | oh-pah-lah | Tthe actual word for garbage or trash. You’ll find this on Highway Inn’s trash receptacles.

PAU | pow | Finished, completed, done, e.g., “This definition is pau.”

WAHINE | wah-hee-neh | A female or woman. You’ll also find this word on restroom doors. Make sure you learn this term, so you don’t end up in the wrong restroom.