Kauai’s Popular Pidgen Terms For Visitors to Know

Pidgen language evolves when multiple cultures living in the same locale find ways to communicate. In the 1800’s and early 1900’s immigrants from Europe, the U.S., Asia, the Phillipines and the South Pacific immigrated to Hawaii. Over time, pidgen terms became common. Today the U.S. Census recognizes Hawaiian pidgen as an official language. It’s helpful to know some of the common terms when visiting Kauai, making it easier to understand the local dialect. Check out more terms at Air Travel To Hawaii.

  • boddah you? – does it bother you
  • bolo head – bald
  • braddah – brother (not necessarily a relative)
  • brah – short from of braddah
  • broke da mouth – very delicious
  • bumbye – awhile
  • choke – a lot of something
  • da – the
  • da kine – the kind (when you can’t think of the word)
  • dat – that
  • dirty lickins – a spanking or beaten badly
  • eh?– don’t you know?
  • faddah – father
  • fo real – really, is it the truth?
  • fo shua – for sure
  • geev’ um – give it to them or go for it
  • grind – eat enthusiastically
  • hard rub – beaten badly
  • Hawaiian time – late
  • hemo – remove
  • ho brah! – prelude to something amazing.
  • howzit? – how is everything, how’s it going, how are you?
  • I no kea – I don’t care
  • junk – not good
  • k’den – OK then
  • laters – good-bye
  • like beef – do you want to fight?
  • mo’ bettah – better, preferred
  • moke — a tough man
  • muddah – mother
  • no act – don’t exaggerate
  • onoliscious – very delicious
  • plenny – plentiful, a lot, more than enough
  • poho – a waste of time
  • shaka — a hand gesture where the thumb and little finger are extended outward from a closed fist, used when greeting or parting from someone or to express approval or solidarity.
  • slippahs – slippers (flip-flops)
  • sistah — sister (not necessarily a relative).
  • talk stink – speak badly about someone.
  • talk story – chat
  • tita – a tough woman
  • try move – please move out of the way
  • we go – let’s leave, we’re leaving.
  • you like? – do you like it, to you want, or would you like do something?

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