nvi. Recovered from sickness; well, after sickness; to get well, convalesce; filling out, as after loss of weight; sprouting, as a bud. Polapola iki, a little better. ho’o.pola.pola To cure, make get well; to fill out, as after sickness.

Everyone seems to be getting or recovering from an illness, either a sore throat, a cold, flu. Several of my friends are down and out this week. Then there are those whose illnesses are a bit more serious. Insert a sad face here because being under the weather SUCKS! I hate it. But there is nothing like being sick that makes you realize how fabulous good health is.

I thought it might be useful to learn today’s word: Polapola. In English, when someone is recovering from illness, we just say that they are getting better, recovering, getting well. In Hawaiian polapola is just the word you’re looking for when you want to say that you or someone you know is getting better. And what happens frequently when we get sick is that we lose weight (one aspect of getting sick that I welcome) and a lot of people just don’t look the same until they start “filling out” again. When that starts happening, you can refer to the “filling out” as polapola.

Here are some sentences you might choose to use:

Ke polapola nei ‘o ia.

S/he is getting better.

Ua polapola maika’i ko’u hoa.

My friend recovered well.

E polapola ana au.

I am going to get better.

Copyright: 2015 – Liana Iaea Honda. All rights reserved. All versions of He Momi e Lei ai”, in its entirety, past and present, is the property of L. K. I. Honda. Reproduction and use of any kind other than the sharing of this website is prohibited. Alteration to the original content in any form is prohibited in every and any instance, and use in any other variant is prohibited without written consent of the author. Adress inquiries to: hemomi [at] gmail.com. Definitions and wise sayings are from: Hawaiian Dictionary by Pukui and Elbert, 1986. ʻŌlelo Noʻeau – Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings by Mary Kawena Pukui, 1983.

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2 Responses to Polapola

  1. Kalei Kanuha says:

    Aloha e Liana: In our Hawaiian cultural domestic violence program, we worked on development of the curriculum with Kahu David Kaupu, whom Iʻm sure you know very well. He is a true treasure, gentle-man and the best of what kupuna are as human beings. In giving us the name of the program, Namelehuapono, one imagery he described was of the twin stars in the belt of Orion, Melemele and Polapola. He stated that they are the male and female twin stars, always in balance and spoke to the importance of Orion as a navigational constellation for that reason; it is always visible and the three stars in the belt are known to all who look to the heavens in the night sky. So he stated that he included “mele” in the name of our program as a nod to melemele, yellow and Oʻahu but also to Melemele and Polapola to remember the need for peace, guidance and balance in male-female relationships. Your manaʻo on this? I LOVE this wonderful gift you are providing to us!

  2. Liana says:

    I love Kahu Kaupu. He is a gifted practitioner. He is right on in his naming of your program. Mahalo for sharing this mo’olelo.

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