1. n. Original name for pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo), as well as squash, named for their resemblance to a long-extinct gourd of the same name. See also pū.

A favorite staple of every Halloween celebration as well as the gear up for Thanksgiving is, of course, palaʻai. Pumpkin.

Palaʻai is the Hawaiian word for pumpkin and squash because this “family” of gourds resembles a long extinct gourd of the same name. You might also hear pumpkin being referred to as pū, different word, same orange fruit.


ʻOno ka palaʻai – The pumpkin is delicious.

Nui nā palaʻai ma nā mākeke – There are a lot of pumpkins in the markets.

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