Computer. Comb. lolo + uila. Also kamepiula, mīkini hoʻonohonoho ʻikena. Lolouila lawelima. Laptop computer. Also kamepiula lawelima.

The words I choose each day are driven, frequently, by things going on in my life (#ifyouknowyouknow). Such is the case with today’s word: lolouila. Computer. I took a trip to the Apple Store and proceeded to buy myself a new lolouila. A MacBook Air to be exact.


You may be familiar with another word for computer in Hawaiian: kamepiula. And obviously kamepiula is a transliteration of the word computer. Just by changing some key letters and adding vowels in so there are no consonant clusters (two consonants next to each other), you can basically turn any English word into Hawaiian (don’t try this at home). Other examples of transliterated words are: kaona – town; paikikala – bicycle; kalipa – slipper. See how it sounds like its English counterpart?

When computers first came into play, though, the first word that was developed was: lolouila. Breaking it down:

lolo = brain

uila = electric

Make sense to you? Electric brain. Kinda how a computer was viewed back in the day, right? Some of you may be thinking, geez, there is no way you can compare a computer to a brain. A brain is so much smarter. To that I say, PHOOEY! The way some people act today, I am CONFIDENT there are lolouila way smarter than some human beings.

Ua kūʻai au i lolouila hou – I bought a new computer.

He aha ke ʻano o kāu lolouila? – What kind of computer do you have?

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. Address inquiries to: hemomi [at] 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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