Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Hawaiian Language Lesson)

No, you are seeing this correctly.  This is the Hawaiian name for the reef trigger fish, the state fish of Hawaii.


My wife and I decided a few years ago to learn a second language so that we could have secrets and no one would know what the hell we would be talking about, or about whom.  So we decided to learn Hawaiian or at least begin to.  It is our dream to one day retire somewhere in Hawaii under a Mai Tai Tiki Hut, which serves nonstop Mai Tai’s – of course.  But to do this we need to respect the native Hawaiian’s by speaking their language and graciously thanking them, over and over for sharing paradise with us.  This means pronouncing the longest word I have ever seen.  We practice it daily and I think we have it down, until we consume too many Mai Tai’s and Blue Hawaiian’s, then it gets ugly, real ugly.

Now many years back we had a couple that lived next to us that had an impossible Thai last name to pronounce.  This is why we did not choose Thai. With Hawaiian you get a somewhat simple language.  Aloha means hello and goodbye.  You gotta love that!  Except when used around in-laws who might confuse it with “Come back soon.”  This is when we say “Kapu!”  Which means forbidden.  If you really want to throw them for a loop say, “Aloha Pilau Humumunukunukuapua’a”  [Translation: Goodbye Stinky Fish.]

Now I seriously hope that I do not offend any native Hawaiian with my sense of humor.  I am sure they talk amongst themselves about the English language being terribly difficult, which I completely agree.  Why can’t “Mahalo Mai Tai” be enough?  It means thank you for the endless supply of Mai Tai’s!  Three simple little words.  The natives are brilliant!!!!

If I said, “Wahine Wikiwiki Pupu” I might get slapped, but all it means is, “Lady hurry up with the appetizers!”  Try that at McDonalds this week.  People will be clearing out the lines and the restaurant when you pronounce Pupu ( Poo Poo).  This is how you can get really fast service – wikiwiki.  Use Pupu at crowded bars and swimming pools too, just to liven up the day.

When we go see a movie there are always those truly important people [Okole] who must receive their text messages during the show so I miss out on the narrative.  This is when I shout “Wikiwiki Kulikuli Pupu Okole!” [Translation: Hurry and shut up your appetizer you ass!]  I know, I know, it makes absolutely no sense, but boy does it sound really good and piss them off, just as they have pissed me off.  Then they will go home and lose sleep on what I might have said.

Now I sure hope the native Hawaiian’s will forgive me in the butchering of their language, it’s all in fun.

Aloha!  If you are an Okole that means goodbye. Oh, and please stop by our house if you are ever in Norman Oklahoma, we love visitors and we serve heavy Pupu platters and dakine Mai Tai’s – Hang Loose.


3 comments on “Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Hawaiian Language Lesson)

  1. Oh, and please stop by our house if you are ever in Norman Oklahoma, we love visitors and we serve heavy Pupu platters and dakine Mai Tai’s. I may take you up on that and I promise I’ll bring my clothes !!

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