Kunukunu

1. vi. To grumble, complain; displeased, dissatisfied.

2. Redup. of kunu 1, 2. (PCP tunutunu, to broil, to cough).

Someone in my hale (house) has a horrible kunukunu. This someone did a little too much traveling for work. It happens a lot. Go on a long trip. Get sick. Hopefully not ON the trip. Everyday. Morning. Noon. Night. Kunukunu. Another word for cough is kunu. And obviously kunukunu is just a reduplication of the word kunu. Many times this adds a bit more drama to the word. Someone around you coughing. Auē, ke kunu nei ʻoe. Oh my, you’re coughing. Someone around you really coughing a lot? Auē, kunukunu! Oh my, COUGHING!

Our modern day remedy for kunukunu includes a combination of lemon, honey and ginger. Taken in a tea or just a spoonful. Chop up the lemon and ginger. Small is good for the ginger. Pour raw honey (if it comes in one of those cute bear containers it probably isn’t raw). Raw honey should say “Raw Honey” on the container and will crystallize eventually. This is the honey that has the healing qualities you need.

Interesting to note that the first translation for kunukunu is to grumble and complain. Excerpts of old articles show use of kunukunu to point more towards this translation than for coughing:

…aole mea nana e kunukunu aku, o koonei makemake ke aloha, ke kuka ana, a me ka noho oluolu. – There is nothing to complain about, my desire is love, discussion, and residing in pleasantness.  (click here for source).

“Pela wale no oia ma na mea e ae a pau aʻu e haawi aku ai, hana no oia me ke kunukunu ole; a ina hoi he paakiki, hoomanawanui aku la no oia a paa, alaila pau ae la.” – “That is how he is in everything else that I gave [him], he did it without complaining, and if it was something difficult he was patient until it was made firm and then it was completed.” (referring to Abraham Lincoln)

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