GV Hawaii Adrift

Imagery and Language: Learning English; Adrift in Hawaii

Pidgin – Hawaii’s Third Language

Posted by Josh on October 22, 2008

Da Jesus Book

Pidgin is the Hawaiian English and it sounds like that – Eh, howzit? Wassamattah you? Cannah talk da kine? (Hey, how’s it going? What’s the matter? Can’t you speak Pidgin?). You won’t hear this type of talk anywhere else in the world but in Hawaii. That’s why Pidgin is also considered a local attraction, so to say. If you are native English speaker you will still get the meaning, but if you’re not it may be difficult to understand.

In fact, Pidgin has its own vocabulary and grammar. In the bookstores you can even find and buy a Pidgin dictionary and a Bible called “Da Jesus Book,” which is fully written in Pidgin.

Pidgin originates from the plantation workers, who came to Hawaii in the 19th century. Pidgin has some Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and even other influences.

Some Common Pidgin Words and Phrases

Brah / bruddah: brother or pal. Most men refer
to each other this way.
Broke da mout: delicious
Bumbucha: very big Chicken skin: goose bumps
Fo’ what: why Fo’ real: really
Garans: guaranteed Grind: to eat
Hana hou: one more time Hele on: let’s go, get moving
Howzit: How are you? Huhu: mad, angry
Keiki: child Kokua: care, help
Like beef?: want to fight? Lolo: dumb, crazy
Lua: bathroom Moke: big, tough local
Nevah: never Ono: delicious
Pau: finished, done Pupus: appetizers
Spahk: check it out Stink Eye: a very dirty look
Talk stink: badmouth someone Tita: a very tough girl
Tutu: grandmother Tutu kane: grandfather
Brah / bruddah: brother or pal. Most men refer
to each other this way.
Broke da mout: delicious
Bumbucha: very big Chicken skin: goose bumps
Fo’ what: why Fo’ real: really
Garans: guaranteed Grind: to eat
Hana hou: one more time Hele on: let’s go, get moving
Howzit: How are you? Huhu: mad, angry
Keiki: child Kokua: care, help
Like beef?: want to fight? Lolo: dumb, crazy
Lua: bathroom Moke: big, tough local
Nevah: never Ono: delicious
Pau: finished, done Pupus: appetizers
Spahk: check it out Stink Eye: a very dirty look
Talk stink: badmouth someone Tita: a very tough girl
Tutu: grandmother Tutu kane: grandfather

Check this site out to see more examples with audio!

Here’s One Local Kine Poem

Pigin English Poem
Dere waz one ol Tutu
Stay living in one slippah
She get choke kids
Planny braddahs one sistah
She geev um lau lau
But no mo da poi
Den broke dere okoles
And sent dem moi moi

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