Hawaiian Glossary: The Letter L

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 L. 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.

the sun. Often combined with other words to be more descriptive, such as Lahaina ("Merciless Sun") or Haleakala ("House of the Sun").
veranda or porch. You'll pay more for a hotel room if it has a lanai with an ocean view.
sky or the heavens
lau hala*
traditional Hawaiian weaving of mats, hats, etc., from the prepared fronds of the pandanus (screw pine)
a traditional garland of flowers or vines. One of Hawaii's most beautiful customs. Given at any auspicious occasion, but especially when arriving or leaving Hawaii.
the stone altar at a heiau
edible seaweed of various types. Gathered from the shoreline, it makes an excellent salad. It's used to garnish many island dishes and is a favorite at luaus.
lomi lomi
traditional Hawaiian massage; also, raw salmon made into a vinegared salad with chopped onion and spices
the toilet; the head; the bathroom
a human-sacrifice temple. Introduced to Hawaii in the 13th century at Wahaula Heiau on the Big Island.
a Hawaiian feast featuring poi, imu-baked pork, and other traditional foods. Good ones provide some of the best gastronomical delights in the world.
foreman or overseer in the plantation fields. They were often mounted on horseback and were renowned either for their fairness or cruelty. They represented the middle class, and served as a buffer between plantation workers and white plantation owners.