Similar to mailani, to praise, but often pejorative; to spoil.

Mailani (see above) means to extol, praise, treat as a chief or great favorite, indulge, spoil, favor. The word pai means to pamper, spoil, as a favorite child; to make a pet of. And when you add -lani to it (meaning heaven), well, that refers to pampering a child as if they are royalty, since the chiefs and chiefesses (aliʻi) were descendants of the gods.

So pailani, as you can well imagine, would refer to THAT child who is spoiled above and beyond the usual. Some might refer to a pailani as a “spoiled brat”. And I will leave it at that.

He keiki pailani ʻo ia – She is a spoiled child.

Copyright: 2016 – 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] 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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