Hawaiin Slang

Whenever you walk into a Poke Bros you’re transported to a Hawaiian oasis. You’ll notice some of our signature bowls are reflective of local, Hawaiian slang that is a beautiful mix of different cultures. 

In Hawaii, English and Hawaiin language are the official languages. Yet, there is one more language that is used unofficially, which is spoken by many local people in daily discussion: Hawaii Pidgin English, or pidgin for short.

Hawaii’s past of immigration and ethnic variety produced a mixture of languages. This includes everything from English, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Korean and Filipino merged with the local Hawaiian and nearby Polynesian languages to create a Hawaiian Creole or pidgin. 

Below we have created a helpful list of slang words and phrases you might catch at your local Poke Bros. and beyond! 

Aloha (ah-LOW-hah)

Aloha is mostly used for hello and goodbye. It also has a different meaning when used alone or combined with another word. Aloha is the most common word used in Hawaii.

Da Kine

Da Kine is derived from the phrase “the kind”, and usually functions grammatically as a placeholder name for all kinds of “stuff.” It can also take the role of a verb, adjective, or adverb. As slang goes, da kine is pretty versatile.  It is also the name of one of our delicious signature bowls! 

Ainokea (I no care)

Ainokea is spelled like “I no care” slowly … and there you have it. This trendy slang phrase has become a famous brand name marked on shirts and logos around Hawaii.

Hale (HAH-lay) 

It refers to House.

Grinds (Grindz) 

Refers to food, pronounced with a z at the end, not s.


Howzit refers to Hawaiian-style greeting asking in the easy, short form, “How is everything going?”


Shaka is the universal hand gesture of Hawaii that refers to thanks, a greeting, or a goodbye. Shaka is also one of our signature bowls! 


Ono refers to delicious or tasty. 

Brok da mout

This originates from English, “Broke the Mouth,” meaning you had something so delicious you  couldn’t stand it. (Like our poké bowls!)

Mahalo (ma-ha-low)

Mahalo refers to thank you. If you are thinking about thanking someone from the heart, this is what you would say! 


In an Aloha mood now?

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