Hawaiian Glossary: The Letter A

This glossary does not go from A to Z. The Hawaiian language only has five vowels and twelve consonants, out of which twelve letters, a, h, i, k, l, m, n, o, p, t, u, and w, are represented here.

This is the glossary chapter for the letter A. Below, there are links to various parts of the travel guide, but the best way to return to where you've just been is to use the "BACK" button or function in your browser.


*Words marked with an asterisk (*) are used commonly throughout the islands.

rough clinker lava. A'a has become the correct geological term to describe this type of lava found anywhere in the world.
pie-shaped land divisions running from mountain to sea that were governed by konohiki, local ali'i who owed their allegiance to a reigning chief
friend; pal; buddy
land; the binding spirit to all Hawaiians. Love of the land is paramount in traditional Hawaiian beliefs.
smart; clever; wise
a god, or simply "divine." You'll hear people speak of their family or personal amakua (ancestral spirit). Favorites are the shark or the pueo (Hawaiian owl).
a Hawaiian chief or noble