Pidgin, known as Hawaiian Creole English, is a language deeply rooted in Hawaii’s history and culture. Pidgin manifests a mix of Japanese, Chinese, Filipino and Portuguese cultures brought to the islands by immigrants that began to call Hawaii home in the early 1900s. Due to it’s one-of-a-kind grammatical structure and it’s unique syntax, it has long carried a negative perception amongst islanders and mainlanders alike.
Here at North Shore Explorers we believe that Pidgin is a part of Hawaii that must be embraced! The language tells a story of a place that is built on acceptance, agreement and partnership. Below are 10 Pidgin phrases commonly used in Hawaii!
Way of sighing aloud or saying “shucks”, “darn”, or “oh no!”.
An exclamation similar to “woo boo”, “yippee”, “alright!”.
BROKE DA MOUT (brok•da•mowt)
Adjective used to describe food that is delicious.
DA KINE (duh•kai-n)
Da kine, similarly to the word Aloha, has multiple meanings and uses. Da kine is most often used when attempting to explain something or someone when you can’t think of the words.
Another term used to describe a delicious food at a party or eating establishment.
Most often used at the end of a sentence like a grammatical period; “like that”, “and such”.
PAU HANA (pow•hah•nah)
Exclamation celebrating the end of a work day; done with work.
Used when you are in definite agreement to something; “okay, let’s do it!”, “I concur”.
TO DA MAX (to•duh•max)
Term for no holding back, to the maximum, going all the way.
YOU KNOW DAT (you•no•dat)
Another way of empathetically expressing a confirmation in something; “you know that”, “yes!”, “most definitely”.
Pidgin is yet another unique attribute that makes Hawaii so special! It’s a language that is useful, functional and fun. The state of Hawaii is one big celebration of culture, and it’s one of our most favorite things about being able to call this paradise home.
We hope you all get to enjoy Hawaii at least once in your life, it’s a destination that begs to be visited. Should you make plans to see the islands, be sure to contact us, we’d love to help you explore the North Shore of Oahu!