Monday, November 10, 2008

Hawaiian Street Names

Hawaiian street names can be difficult to pronounce - those in Hawaiian that is. What emerges from Hawaiian street names is a sense of Hawaiian history, language, land usage, people and culture. The first street names in Honolulu were a mix of English and Hawaiian words, and in 1850 during the reign of King Kamahameha III, the Privy Council adopted 35 street names, and to date, 17 of those original names have survived to this day. Check out the list below - have you driven or walked down any of these streets?

1. Beretania
2. Fort
3. Hotel
4. Kina`u
5. King
6. Marin
7. Mauna Kea
8. Merchant
9. Mission
10. Nu`uanu
11. Punchbowl
12. Queen
13. Richards
14. School
15. Smith
16. Victoria
17. Young


Streets in many Hawaiian communities have an identifiable theme. For example, in Hawai`i Kai, all streets have island place names. In Kahala, they are named after birds, and in Mililani they are named after stars, days and nights.


I picked my top 5 street names and wanted to share the meaning with you - hope you find it informative!


1. Lanipili Pl (Honolulu) - A heavy rain, lasting many days, or a cloud burst

2. Ala Wai Blvd (Honolulu) - Canal. Literally: water path

3. Kuhio Ave (Honolulu) - Standing diagonally

4. Hukilau Lp (Waialua) - Seine (a fish net with sinkers on bottom and floaters on top); to fish with a sciene

5. Kapo Way (Honolulu) - A sister of Pele. One of her adventures resulted in the formation of Pu`u Ma`i (known as Koko Crater)

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