To cause entanglement; to entwine, entangle. To take a fancy to, admire greatly, be enraptured with. 

You know when you are young (well, when you are old, too, I suppose) and you take a fancy to someone?  That is hoʻohihi.  You just cannot think of anything else, no can eat, no can sleep, all dizzy, hard to concentrate on school or work.  That is hoʻohihi.

The word hihi, by itself, means entangled or intertwined, web or snare.  And isn’t that a good description of what happens when you are in the state of hoʻohihi-ness? You are so enraptured by this other person it is as if you are tangled in a web.  No hope for escape!

Hoʻohihi is a time when there is no appetite. Your body is FULL of love (or shall I say lust?). As soon as that stage is over, then it is ALL ABOUT THE FOOD. Haha. Totally worth it, though, right? When you find that special someone.


Hoʻohihi nā manu o ke kuahiwi – the birds of the forest are attracted here. (From the mele, Kimo Hula, by Helen Desha Beamer.)

Hoʻohihi ka manaʻo i ka nani o Kahana – The mind is entranced with the beauty of Kahana.

Hoʻohihi ʻo ia ala iā ia nei – He (over there) is so enraptured with her (over here).

Hoʻohihi au iā ʻoe – I have a great deal of admiration for you.

Mokihana onaona o Muanahina, lei hoʻohihi a ka malihini – The fragrant mokihana berries of Maunahina, lei in which visitors delight.

Copyright: 2017 – 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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