Talk:Haole

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Haole is not racist its not racist "ha' in haole means the breath of life, "ole" is the shorts version of alole which means "no" in Hawaiian. So the reason why "ha" is in the word is because every morning or the way the Hawaiians great each other was not just "hey" or Hi There" they would great each other is by touching foreheads and noses and breathing in and out to share the breathe of life. Now here is when the ole part comes when the foreigners come to Hawaii the Hawaiians try to great them the way they great each other. But, the foreigners did not greet each other like that so "ole". So don't think haole means "WHITE" or "no breath" and definitely don't think it means "no soul" because that is not the true meaning of it.

The Opening Line[edit]

{Haole, (pronounced: How-leh) in the Hawaiian language, means "foreign" or "foreigner"; ...}

From what I know it refers to "foreigners" (almost exclusively Caucasian) but actually means "Without 'Ha' (the breath of life)" referring to the fact that the first "Haoles" did not greet people with the exchanging of breath, their breath smelled bad, and their skin was white, like a dead person. (maybe causing the confusion that lead the Hawaiians to think they were from the spirit world). So, I am proposing the wording be changed to reflect that it now refers to foreigners but does not mean "foreigner" in "The Hawaiian Language", but still show that it is language usage. Maybe say something like "Haole, the Hawaiian word, refers to foreigners or foreign things" Any suggestions on a better way to say this? (I don't really think that the actual meaning needs to be here, but I am not opposed to it either, it is in other places, and I am sure most people are coming here looking for the modern usage) --Billy Nair (talk) 22:04, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Per Pukui & Elbert dictionary: "haole: White person, American, Englishman, Caucasian; American, English; formerly, any foreigner; foreign, introduced, of foreign origin, as plants, pigs, chickens." They go on to cite pre-contact uses of the word, including referring to Kamapua'a, the pig demigod, as haole. The actual meaning does have to be here - this is an encyclopedia. The word ha'ole is controversial and the meaning you attribute above is a popular conception but is not supported by any evidence I've seen. In fact, everything I have read by Hawaiians writing in the 19th century is that what was remarkable about Europeans and Americans were their long necks and bright eyes. If you have a reliable source, please cite it. Makana Chai (talk) 08:14, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Okina or not[edit]

Aloha! This has been the subject of long debate, but I am hauʻoli nui to see the ʻokina removed from the word haole. Mary Kawena Pukui, in her dictionary of ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, does NOT have an ʻokina in the word haole. Mahalo ā nui loa! --Kanaka maoli i puuwai 06:19, 12 April 2007 (UTC)


The two have their nuances but both terms are relatively the same (with a rich history of contexts used I must add). The only difference is that ha‘ole is the un-bastardized form of the Anglicized term haole. I have a feeling Ilikea has not yet understood, or actually doesn't know about for that matter, of the fight over usage of ‘okina on Wikipedia. --Keevan Daley 18:35, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)


An official Wikipedia merge notice was added to the Ha'ole article. --Keevan Daley 18:38, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)


Wikipedia policy is stringent on the preferential disuse of the ‘okina in the main namespace of articles (article titles). That is why we did not have haole article with the ‘okina in the namespace. It's okay to use the ‘okina in the article, but not in the main namespace. This is to efficiently facilitate word and term searches by Wikipedia readers from around the world. It would be best for you to please refrain from the use of ‘okina from now on until changes are made to the Wikipedia policy (most of Wikipedia leadership are stubbornly vehement in the use of American and British English only but we have some folks from Hawaii — Meelar, Gerald Farinas and some other guys trying to defend the use of ‘okina as a rightful form of Hawaiian English). Until they are successful in bringing the ‘okina and kahako to its rightful acceptance on Wikipedia, and to keep you from being attacked by pro-American and pro-British English only Wikipedia administrators, please stick to the status quo. With that said, since the information you're bringing onto this article is so integral to the understanding of the haole article we have already, please edit the haole article we have with the information you hope to add on this new page you created. Thanks. --Keevan Daley 17:41, 30 Jul 2004 (UTC)


Hi Keevan,I am not sure how to "merge" the two pages. But I do understatnd what you are saying. It was not my intent to make it an okina issue. What worried me was that if I tried to contribute to the "Haole" Article, my efforts may be erased. So I started another article that I hoped to incorporate the "Captain Cook" part of that article into the "History section" of the outlined article I was doing and then have it under the heading without an okina. Please advise. Do you suggest I type all of what I started under "Ha'ole" into the "Haole" and then expand upon that Article? I will try that then. What I wish to accomplish is to have all the facts, truth and history of what is in essence a troubling word, especially here in Hawaii and I do not want any misunderstanding or incorrect facts to be stated on Wikipedia. The word "haole" has been changed over the years and went from an original meaning and translation to something that has become racially charged. Much thanks, and apologies-still learning Wikipedia newbie IlikeaIlikea


To whomever #24.205.39.219 is,

Just as I feared, my efforts to contribute to this particular article would be erased without so much as a word or reason why. I learned, experienced and lived this word. It is a part of my heritage (Hawaiian) and it is a part of my home (Hawaii). Please do not wipe out the efforts of someone else, especially when it is backed by experience, research and facts. We cannot have separate articles about this word, hence it has to be merged or completed as one.

Ilikea 22:54, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)Ilikea

Folk etymology[edit]

Ilikea, something seems to be wrong with the server if it is listing authors by IP rather than username. I was the one who wiped out the old article, and I was the one who wiped out your attempt to restore it.

You may be part-Hawaiian and you may have grown up in the islands, but that does NOT give you the authority to propagate folk etymologies as fact. There is not one reputable Hawaiian linguist who would accept the "breathless" derivation. Ole is not 'ole. FANG is not NOT. Only someone who didn't SPEAK Hawaiian, and had read the word in the old missionary spelling without kahako or 'okina, would invent that derivation.

I won't re-elaborate the article until I'm sure that you're not going to wipe out my efforts again.

I'm also going to be erasing any usages of kanaka maoli (or adding kanaka 'oiwi) and removing any references to Huna as a Hawaiian religion. Both of those are misapprehensions as well. I have rewritten the Huna article, the Polynesian mythology article, and other such areas.

Since I am devoted to scientific eradication of some of your cherished beliefs, we seem doomed to butt heads. I live in Honolulu, in Makiki, and I'd be glad to meet you so that we could have it out face to face rather than playing edit war. It would relieve the Wikipedia servers. Email me at lofstrom@lava.net if you think this might be a good idea.

Zora 03:44, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Zora, we do know for a fact that in our oral traditions, "haole" was used in a chant of Paumakua who lived 29 generations before Kamehameha. So we're talking about 1178 A.D. that HAOLE has been used referring to those who didn't follow protocols or seen as a foreigner. Whether how exactly it was pronounced, either ha'ole (lengthened A or not) or it began merging to where the 'okina was dropped (my guess is that it's a recent invention) can be debated, but you really need to stop undermining our oral history, a habit you tend to do a lot here on Wikipedia. Mamoahina 00:45, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Kanaka?[edit]

Can someone tell me why kanaka redirects here.

I come from Australia and Kanaka is a name given to the peoples blackbirded from Polynesia and the South Sea Islands to work in sugar fields. It is not a derogatory name (AFAIK) and is still used today as "Kanaka trails" still exist in some parts of the landscape.

Can someone explain the Hawaiin relationship so I do not lose it when I create the article for Kanaka/Kanaka trail (probably not for a month).--ZayZayEM 05:45, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Kanaka comes from the term used for the peoples blackbirded from Polynesia and the South Sea Islands to work in sugar fields, and usually used in Hawaii by locals to refer to other locals, almost exclusively of Hawaiian decent. It is usually used for someone that is so "local" they could never be mistaken for anything else (wear surfer shorts and slippers to school, sometimes even a shirt, and rather than books in their backpack they are carrying their rooster for the chicken fights after school) --Billy Nair (talk) 22:04, 14 February 2008 (UTC)
Again you do not cite any credible source for your opinion. This is an encyclopedia, not a place for your offensive caricatures. Makana Chai (talk) 08:18, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
Rferences: TK Fermantez of Hauula. His dad is as kapakahi as they come with so many races, including Hawaiian, that he stops counting after 10. He was my best friend for a long time and that was his explanation. As for the "offensive caricature", that was another good friend I had in school, Ronald, who would most definitely not have been offended for being as an example of a kanaka. The other source for the definition of "Haole" was from a documentary I watched a while back, and I do not rememebr the channel or producer. You are right, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, but the talk page is NOT! Someone asked a question and I tried to help with an answer. I do not have citeable resources and did not feel they were required in the talk pages, which is why they have talk pages, to exchange information and ideas before placing them in the actual articles, am i wrong? If you know of the article number that prohibits un-cited references in the talk pages let me know and I will revoke my statements. Until then, leave your efforts to improving Wikipedia and not policing the talk pages. --Billy Nair (talk) 21:24, 1 December 2009 (UTC)
And I just noticed you REMOVED a tag in the history section that said the section did not cite it's references, and it still doesn't, yet you removed the tag... not sure about your legislating from the bench, telling me I need cites in the talk page but find no problem with a whole section in the actual article void of resources even to the point of removing a request for resources. You also added weasel words when you changed the sentance to say "Some Hawaiians say that because foreigners did not know or use the honi". So am I to assume that as long as you agree with a statement it doesn't need resources or proper wording in the article, but if you do not agree with it, even in the talk pages, it must be cited and follow exact Wikipedia editing standards. Can you please point me to this page so I can review and not cross your line again. Thanks. --Billy Nair (talk) 23:01, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

BillyNair, if you insist on adding comments on a thread that's been dead for a year, at least don't delete the whole talk page at the same time. KarlM (talk) 05:19, 2 December 2009 (UTC)


Hmmm. I don't know why kanaka redirects here either.

I've run into the word 'kanaka' a fair bit in my readings of Hawaiian history and it usually seemed to have a negative connotation when used by English speakers. "He's just a kanaka." "What else can you expect from kanakas?" In Hawaiian, of course, it just means 'man'.

When current Hawaiian speakers use the word as a term for Hawaiian natives, they say "kanaka maoli", true man, or "kanaka 'oiwi", original/native man. Militant Hawaiians tend to use the first term and people devoted to reviving Hawaiian culture rather than engaging in politics tend to use the second. (As far as I know. I'm not hanging out much with political types these days.)

I think you should kill the redirect. I had completely forgotten about the older usage of "kanaka" in Hawai'i and I should probably add it to the haole article. You might want to add a link, however. Zora 07:04, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Change to definition of kama'aina haole?[edit]

Someone without a username changed the entry for kamaaina haole to read something like "someone born on the mainland who has lived here for a long time". So far as I know (living in Hawai'i for thirty years), I'm not a kama'aina and never will be, unless someone is feeling generous. You have to be born and raised in Hawai'i. That's the minimal meaning, I've been given to understand. The maximal meaning is missionary descendents.

That's different from the ADVERTISING usage of kama'aina, which merely means Hawai'i resident and entitled to discounts. Of course, the TV ads show completely stereotypical local people as kama'ainas ...

Will the someone without a usename discuss the changes here? Until then, I've changed the article back.

OR, we could just post both meanings if more than one person vouches for each. Zora 18:18, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Kama`aina means "of the land", so being born on the mainland kind of eliminates your link to the name. My parents, who have lived in Hawaii since the mid 60s, are not kama`aina in the sense that they don't refer to themselves as kama`aina unless they are in a store buying something (usually while visiting the mainland in a "local" store). My ancestors are 100% British, but being born in Kapiolani and graduating from Kahuku, I am a Kama`aina. --Billy Nair (talk) 22:04, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Kama'aina Haole[edit]

I just noticed that Kama'aina Haole is on there. I have never in my 3 decades of speaking Hawaiian ever heard that term. I called relatives and emailed friends on O'ahu to ask if they ever heard such a term, and their response is no. I asked relatives on Molokai and they were just confused. I emailed relatives on Maui and the Big Island but no response from them yet. In all instances, I never told them the definition written here, but only asked them if they heard of it.

Anyone born in the Hawaiian Kingdom were automatically Hawaiian subjects, regardless of ethnicity. Hawaiian statute provides that any person born within the territorial jurisdiction of the Hawaiian Kingdom of either Hawaiian subject parent(s) or Alien parents acquires Hawaiian citizenship at birth. This of course was prior to 1898.

If you think about it, if there is kama'aina haole to specify the Haole descendants of missionaries, why wouldn't there be one for all the other ethnicities? It seems rather absurd to me.

I am guessing that someone recently coined this term and this is definitely not colloquially. I'd opt to remove this section. Too many introduced terms that really hasn't taken to the locals at least not yet. Besides, people tend to use "local" more than they do "kama'aina" since "kama'aina" tend to refer to rates.

Mamoahina 15:10, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Interesting how experiences differ. I've heard this term frequently. Perhaps because I'm haole, but will never be a kama'aina haole. I've also seen it in older published material. Zora 20:46, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
FWIW, I never heard it either. "Local haole" was used to refer to any haole person born and raised in the islands, not a descendent of missionaries, but it wasn't used very often.
Also, I added a note about the Portugese since most people considered them local rather than haole. KarlM 21:37, 26 May 2006 (UTC)
"Local," in general, refers to anyone who speaks pidgin. A "local haole" is one who speaks pidgin, and Portuguese are regarded as local for the same reason. Birthplace does not enter into the term, only cultural identification via language. "Kama'aina" is mostly used by non-pidgin speaking Hawaii-born Europeans. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 64.65.77.28 (talk) 04:22, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Useful note re Pordagee :) I did some copyediting.

Since everyone thinks I'm nuts with the kama'aina haole being missionary blood thing, let's remove it. I certainly haven't heard it lately. I came to the islands thirty years ago, and I believe I heard it then, but it's possible that I was mistaken, or misunderstanding. Zora 21:43, 26 May 2006 (UTC)


Hey, I just noticed that the term "Kama'aina" redirects here. Is there a reason for this? Also, I've never heard the term Kama'aina haole until reading this article. 70.105.120.14 (talk) 19:23, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

There should be an article on Kama'aina, too. Could you write it? Mahalo. Makana Chai (talk) 23:15, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Maybe this is a word created by people who have moved to the mainland, like the word "Polys". You never hear a Polynesian refer to themselves as "Poly" while in Hawaii, but on the mainland they do all the time. I first heard this from a cop here, and felt it was like the N-word, I felt this cop was an ignorant bigot, but then I later heard Polynesians say "Poly" to refer to themselves and other Polynesians, and so in a similar sense the term "kama'aina haole" might have been made up on the mainland. --Billy Nair (talk) 22:11, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

mythology[edit]

I see this article listed under Hawaiian mythology is it correct?

Good question. No, I don't think the Hawaiian and pidgin word haole is a myth <g> Thanks for your work on the mythology. Zora 19:53, 9 Jun 2005 (UTC)

4/9/07 by Hyn Wahine: "Haole" is the beta for the term "local". Those children whose parents were immigrants and birthed their next generations in the islands found strength and unity in the self-identification as "Haole". Because the Haole had a three-generation headstart over the next group of children-born-of-immigrants (predominantly of the plantation worker population), Haole differentiated from these other malihini children. These children became what is known today as "local", a term of similar self-empowerment and self-identification.

haiku for July 6[edit]

Black Hawaiiian day
Bayonet Constitution
outsiders sieze pow'r
is this an appropriate use of the term "Haole?" KevinOB 6 July 2005 22:27 (UTC)

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Someone put up a notice in the article saying that a pronunciation guide was needed. I removed the notice, but I'm re-adding it here. I'm not sure how best to explain pronunciation. Most often I hear it in a dipthongized form as "howlie". However, I know that the proper pronunciation does not run the vowels together, but keeps them short and distinct, as ha-o-le, with the proper Hawaiian pronunciation of the vowels, accent on penulimate syllable --right? Do we need IPA transliteration of both forms? How to explain both forms? I'd appreciate some help here. Zora 00:35, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

Racist word?[edit]

I'd like to argue that haole is not a racist word. It matters on the way it's being used, as well as the adjective before the word. Just as how "Kanaka" was a negative word to describe us natives, it mattered on how people used it (Hawaiians describe themselves as Kanaka). I know that, especially in the University system where most professors are haole, the word is used (by haoles I might add) merely as a descriptive term to describe a person as not being born and raised here. When I use the word, it's not meant to offend a person, especially not a particular race. However, I do know it has been part of malicious statements- but, it usually is not meant to target a people, rather a specific individual. And even under those circumstances, the derogative word is usually the word before the phrase- such as, "stupid" or the "F"-word.

I'm a haole, lived Hawai'i thirty years, and I can tell when haole is being used as a descriptor and when it's being used as a swear word. Zora 05:11, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Is it true that haole can mean a person who is white or foreign? Is it also true that haole is used with the previous defination in a dirisive manner? Is it true that racism includes being discriminatory toward someone because of their skin color or their place of birth? (Go ahead and look it up) How can it be said that haole is not a racist term?

As far as the derogatory word being before the phrase, people used have made that argument before with the use of the word nigger. For some reason Hawaiians are exempt from being called racist. Stupid Nigger or "F"-word Nigger is equivalent to Stupid Haole or "F"-word Haole.

Zora, just because you have accepted being called a haole, doesn't mean that it validates your argument that haole is not a racist term. Many black people accepted being called nigger for years. In fact, nigger quite often was used as a descriptor. Does that make the term not racist?

I wouldn't compare "haole" with something like "nigga", but I would compare it to "jap" or "chinaman". 85.164.195.60 (talk) 17:20, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Anon, you should take a username and sign your posts, which you do by adding four tildes (~~~~) at the end. You may feel strongly that haole is racist, but I don't know anyone else who does. Can you document your claims? Are there any published works making that claim? If you can come up with quotes from reliable sources, we could add them. Zora 02:10, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

In Guam, haole is used frequently as a descriptor and, unfortunately, as a term of derision. When deciding if it's a racist term (as in pejorative), it only makes sense to ask those who use it. So, in answer to the question is it a racist term, the answer is sometimes. To classify it entirely as racist as the word nigger would be inaccurate since culturally, nigger was always used in a demeaning way.Jlujan69 12:50, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

When making a wiki post is it a requirement for the claim to be documented in a a published work? If a claim is not in a published work is the claim consequently invalid? Additionally, what are considered "reliable sources"? Isn't "reliable" a subjective term. Who decides what is a reliable source? What makes your sources more reliable then mine?

See WP:RS. Actually, this article has been in violation of that policy for a long time; it needs to be brought up to snuff. Editors who are Hawai'i residents have been writing what they know. There's been remarkably little dispute, except on matters related to Hawaiian sovereignty and Huna. It would be better to source many statements, if we could possibly find books or articles on the topic. However, the fact that many Hawai'i-based editors, who have lived in the island for many years, or for their whole lives, agree on statements is, I think, a good argument for their reliability. You are criticizing, but you won't take a username or reveal anything about yourself, which does cast doubt on your claims that haole is a racist term. How would you know? How long have you lived in Hawai'i? I will agree that some locals are prejudiced against haoles -- however, that doesn't make the pidgin term a slur. I could be be prejudiced against African-Americans, and make slighting remarks about African-Americans ... all that would prove would be that I was a bigot, not that "African-American" is a slur.
So let's both look for sources we can cite, OK? Zora 21:50, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

I would like to say that how words are used in Hawai'i vary a lot from place to place. I'm from the Big Island, but currently living on O'ahu and yes, terms do have different meanings. Haole is used derogatory where I am from, altho not always maliciously (I've had it used patronizingly to me). To note: I look really haole, but lived my whole life in Hawai'i. As for Kama'aina haole, I have never heard that term. In 'The Historical Background of Makeshift Language and Regional Dialect in Hawaii' by John E. Reinecke it says: "The Haoles comprise most of the 'Other Caucasions' of the censs, but they are not identical with that category. The Haoles as a group occupy a preferred position in Hawaii. It is considered beneath thier dignity to do unskilled labor on a plantation." As for the reliability of this article, we used it as part of the text book for Linguisitics in Hawaii. Other nationalities listed (besides 'haole') include rissians, scandivations, and germans. 66.8.194.128 00:37, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

The fact that so many people accept the folk etymology of "haole" as meaning "without breath" indicates that it is essentially derogatory in current use, no matter what the real etymology may be.64.65.77.28 (talk) 10:02, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Someone proposed adding a pronunciation guide but no one ever followed up. Let's add this. Badagnani 05:25, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Howzit! I added a pronunciation guide for this word. Aloha! --Kanaka maoli i puuwai 07:38, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Kill Haole Day[edit]

"Kill Haole Day" an ignoble but very real tradition to those who have experienced it, should be mentioned in the article. Badagnani 05:25, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

H A W A I I A N ! ! !       Aurite! -- Kanaka maoli i puuwai 01:11, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

When I went to Kaimuki High School in Kaimuki a suburb of Honolulu every day was Kill Haole Day. I was one of two Caucasians. The other got beat up so bad he was hospitalized and never came back. I got mono and had to drop out for a bit. Tomandzeke (talk) 22:33, 22 December 2013 (UTC)

We had "kill haole day" on Guam too! I had fun but only because i liked to fight! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.165.253.204 (talk) 00:05, 30 June 2017 (UTC)

Racism in Hawai'i[edit]

It would be interesting to have an article or a part of an article, that could link here, on the history of racism in Hawai'i. Just in the past two days with the controversy about Dog using the N-word, people in letters to the editor and on the radio say that the words haole and pake (used for Chinese) are racist. From Captain Cook's fairly enlightened view, to missionaries, plantation owners, unions, government, Kill Haole Day, Frank DeLima, political correctness - it's a fascinating history. I hope someone writes it! Makana Chai 07:17, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

from Hyn Wahine 11/27/07: It is an unfortunate consequence of being ignorant of the Hawaiian language to consider "haole" and "pake" as racist terms, being that these are the Hawaiian words for HI-born Caucasian and Chinese, respectively. Further: Kepani-Japanese Pukikī-Portuguese, Pokoliko--Puerto Rican, Kōlea-Korean, ʻIlelani--Irish, Kelemania--German, Beretania/Pelekania-British. To demean the vocabulary as mere racism misses the whole point. An unfortunate side effect of removing the Hawaiian language, which was once the language of the isles, regardless of ethnic background.

Agreed.
I reverted "Kill Haole Day." It happened. It's relevant. It should be in the entry in an objective way. If you can make it more accurate, please do.

Makana Chai (talk) 08:35, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

It is not appropriate be placed in this entry paragraph, as it serves no purpose other than to inflame. Make it a separate entry, give it its own page, and there treat the history of "Kill Haole Day" thoroughly. Until then, I started a new section below for "Haole as a Divisive Ethnic Issue" which is a more appropriate place to list all of the ignoble issues wrt haole —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sheerah (talkcontribs) 05:49, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

9/5/09 Hyn Wahine: I note that there where changes of moving the 2nd and 3rd paragraphs into the lowest section, comingling them with "Uses", as well as the removal of "Uses as a Divisive Ethnic Issue". I will continue to correct this for the following reasons:

  • I have spent years understanding the issue, via reading the old Hawaiian newspapers as well as works in English from authors such as the Cooke diaries (The Hawaiian Chiefs' Children's School 1839-1850), which collectively spell out the rise of the Haole in its initial sense.
  • Clarity needs to come at the beginning of this page.
I am not disagreeing with your content, but per Wikipedia convention the first paragraph is a general summary and more specifics come into the article. Also, will you please put citations for your assertions (e.g. cite the Cooke diaries and Hawaiian newspapers specifically) so to comply with WP policy. Makana Chai (talk) 23:04, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Linguists' beliefs on the etymology of "Haole"[edit]

Not sure how widely debated among linguists the etymology of "haole" really is but I know it can't be very large. Not to mention these linguists are not native speakers. If they can successfully explain to me the changes from Kaleiopuu to Kalaniopuu and the relationship of kalani vs. kalai vs. kalei and how the loss of the 'okina occurs in words such as pua'a and hawai'i, I wouldn't hold them credible at all. Mamoahina (talk) 03:41, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, and if we are talking about "linguists" they should be named and their materials cited. Makana Chai (talk) 18:24, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
If you study other polynesian languages you will see that the okina is usually replaced with a 'K' as in "kava" vs "`awa" or "faka" vs "fa`a" (In New Zealand lore they come from a place called Havaiki, which I have been told by maori, is believed to be Hawai'i). By looking into other languages, you might find the answer to the use of the okina in haole. --Billy Nair (talk) 22:04, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

Citing a person as a source[edit]

I reverted an addition to the article that was said by a park warden. WP cites only published references. However, the sense of the addition, that to Hawaiians "haole" means out of touch, is stated further down in the article by a published reference. Mahalo. Makana Chai (talk) 09:58, 30 June 2008 (UTC)


Minority of natives and Haole[edit]

Taking into account that native hawaiians are an small minority in Hawaii, just 9% of the population, it is evident the term "haole" is now used mainly by Asians (40% of the population) against Whites (25% of the population)

Kanaka, the term used by Hawaiian natives to call themselves is the same as in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia...the term used for Whites, 35% of the population in New Caledonia, is "Caldoche", a term used by Whites themselves. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.31.72.178 (talk) 03:56, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

new sections deleted[edit]

These section were added recently - they are not sourced, no references cited, and I have never heard the term eloah, which is not a Hawaiian word as spelled. Makana Chai (talk) 01:21, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Haole in local definition

In the 21st Century, Haole is a term synonymous with white, white cracker, Ross, foreigner, "that guy who cannot get a tan for some reason", "SPF infinity" or "stupid white boy". However, cool Haoles who are able to understand or speak "pidgin"-a local dialect in Hawaii are now referred an "eloah" or hapa-haole (part haole mixed with any other non-Caucasian ethnic group. An example of an "eloah" is Gundy and Mike. Contradictory to popular belief, Portuguese are not considered Haole.

[edit] Some Examples of Haole used in a sentence

1. Mutafi told Ross, "You Haole, no take my land"

2. Flynneous told Tita, "No matter how much you may complain, we Haoles are far superior to you in every way possible."

Discrimination against whites in America[edit]

America is such an anti-White nation. There is an specific legislation (affirmative action) to promote racism against whites, who are treated like second class citizens. I don´t think America can be considered part of the Western World anymore. I am European and I don´t think about America as part of the West. It is another thing but not part of the West.--83.57.49.144 (talk) 00:50, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Haole is a racist term[edit]

To suppose that the word haole is somehow not racist is in itself racist. Please read this article in its entirety. It is incumbent upon Wikipedia contributors to take the the time to educate themselves on a topic before they comment.

http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=1081

The Southern Poverty Law Center's description from their website:

"The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded in 1971 as a small civil rights law firm. Today, SPLC is internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sen5241b (talkcontribs) 22:39, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Of course racism exists in Hawai'i. Some racists use the word "haole," usually with other denigrating words around it. The article you link to says that "sometimes" the word haole is used in a racist manner, not that the word itself is racist. Makana Chai (talk) 00:08, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

To argue that becuase 'haole' is sometimes used in non-offensive context or because the term has non-racist origins it is therefore not an offensive term just doesn't wash. (It clearly has non-racist origins but then so do other ethnic and racial slurs). I've heard african-americans use the "N" word with each other in a non-offensive way but that doesn't mean the "N" word itself isn't racist. Certainly there are terms that have dual meanings but becuase a term also has a non-offensive context does not render the term completely non-offensive. Sen5241b (talk) 17:40, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

The "N" word has always been racist. Completely inapposite argument. Makana Chai (talk) 23:30, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

I never said the "N" word was at some time not racist. The point is that 'haole' definitely has a racist context. 158.12.114.43 (talk) 18:47, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

According to Wikipedia, the "N" word has not always been racist: Nigger#Etymology_and_history 98.150.191.29 (talk) 21:58, 1 March 2013 (UTC)Bluby

references re folk etymology[edit]

I reverted an edit that took out referenced quotes re the etymology of the word. The "folk etymology" is without breath because did not honi. The etymologies advanced by Pi'ianaia, Kenn, Beckley and Mother Alice are different than that. Although Paradise of the Pacific is by no means an academic journal, the author, Charles Kenn, was a native Hawaiian scholar who taught at UCLA and University of Hawai'i, named the first Living Treasure of Hawai'i, author of many books, and acknowledged as a kahuna and 'olohe lua in the Hawaiian community. What this article really needs is citations for the "right" etymology. Not that I disagree with it, but it should be referenced. And the quotes re these various other interpretations certainly could be split out into a separate section. Mahalo. Makana Chai (talk) 08:49, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, I probably acted a bit rashly after just seeing what the sources were and finding no definition of "hao" as "thief". I'll see what I can find. KarlM (talk) 09:06, 1 November 2009 (UTC)
Hao is defined as "a robber, a plunderer" in Andrews Dictionary. Makana Chai (talk) 17:45, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Historical application from the 19th century to the current era[edit]

Thanks to all the folks who have been improving this article. The section "Historical application from the 19th century to the current era" is unreferenced and I have found no documentation supporting it. It would be great if someone either found a reference for it, or found replacement information. Mahalo. Makana Chai (talk) 17:13, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

Hyn Wahine here: I reverted back the "Caucasian ancestry" from someone's corrections of "European ancestry", because the point of identifying the ancestry here has to do with nationality and not ethnicity. Many of the missionaries who hailed from the New England seaboard of the US had lived there for hundreds of years and their differences of ancestry here is key to understanding why Haole became as it did. Their parents were now culturally different. Identifying as Kamalii Haole was their bond. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hyn wahine (talkcontribs) 08:10, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Where is "Caucasia?" 64.65.77.28 (talk) 10:11, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
The area around the Caucasus mountains, see the article. But not relevant to the article nor discussion since "Caucasian" is not used to mean someone from that area, but that racial ancestry. W Nowicki (talk) 18:42, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm glad you're back. I don't have a problem with Caucasian except it doesn't do what you're saying you want to do. Caucasian includes both European and American. But the larger point is you still have not provided references for this section. I have never read anywhere anything like this, and am feeling strongly it needs to be taken out. Please add citations. Mahalo. Makana Chai (talk) 17:42, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree; while "Caucasian" is more appropriate in the context, that's not the point - what you (Hyn Wahine) seem to be saying is that haole was used as a unifying term by white immigrants who were as different from each other as from the Hawaiians. That just doesn't make a whole lot of sense on multiple levels - most of the haole who came were either American or British, and so spoke English and were culturally fairly close; given the racial ideas of the time, many of them probably considered themselves superior to the Hawaiians and other non-white peoples there; those who didn't integrated themselves fully into the society and didn't have a need to "unite" themselves with other culturally different white people; and I at least have never heard of white people in Hawaiʻi in the 19th century self-identify as "haole", only mention it as a term Hawaiians use. Now granted I'm not an expert in the writings of that time, but I would expect it would be even less common for people to refer to themselves as "foreigners" when Hawaiian was widely spoken among immigrants as well as natives. So the upshot is, citations definitely needed. KarlM (talk) 10:03, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Hyn wahine (talk) 07:28, 3 October 2010 (UTC) Good points well taken re: citing references. Ua ko.

The references don't support the statements in the article though. The Jarves book only discusses tensions between Protestant missionaries and French Catholics (who unlike the former were not settlers and didn't start families in the islands - at least not publicly). It's also a little dubious as a source given its obvious slant. And there isn't even any mention of "haole" that I could find in the Hawaiian phrase book; the few references to "stranger" are translated to "malihini". Even if there was I'm not sure how you could find something documented as "classist" by a phrasebook? I don't have access to the Hawaiian newspapers but to be honest I'm kind of doubting whether they support the other parts either. KarlM (talk) 12:18, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Hyn wahine (talk) 17:13, 3 October 2010 (UTC)KarlM, your ignorance is appalling! Haole children identified themselves as such because sources such as I cited were illustrative of the political/social/religious divides that their malihini parents were involved in. You ripped out that which you do not understand, with no appreciation for those of us who are actually performing the research, using works that are at least 100 years old, from both kamaaina and malihini perspectives, which give the closest and most accurate portrayal of a rise of social class that is poorly understood. The kamalii haole were very different in Kamehameha III's time. By Kalakaua's reign, those children were now businessmen and comingling with malihini, who all started to call themselves haole; Mark Twain's reference is the first in English print that defined "haole" to mean white foreigner. Now I ask you to show respect for the need to put my two concise paragraphs back in their correct order, and if you have such a great need to mess with this page, by all means the Etymology section is screaming for clarity. My work is based on solid research and there are many, many more references that can help paint the picture if you have even studied the issues for the length of time as I have.

Hyn wahine, there is no need for a personal attack. Assuming we are ignorant, it is because the research has not been published in English. Though it would be wonderful if we all knew 'olelo Hawai'i, the fact is that this is an English encyclopedia and the vast majority of people who will reference it do not know Hawaiian. WP policy WP:NONENG does allow citing non-English sources, but it requires, “When quoting a source in a different language, provide both the original-language text and an English translation in the text or a footnote.” I feel your contribution also runs afoul of the bolded portion below of WP:OR which provides, "Wikipedia does not publish original research. The term "original research" refers to material—such as facts, allegations, ideas, and stories—not already published by reliable sources. It also refers to any analysis or synthesis of published material to advance a position not advanced by the sources.
I think your research is important and I would love to see it published in the Hawaiian Journal of History, Hulili, or elsewhere so that it can be cited. In the interim, at the very least please provide the footnotes as referenced in WP:NONENG. In addition, I request that you address the substance of KarlM's comments regarding the fact that what you say are in Jarves and the phrase book are not. Perhaps you have other references that are more pertinent to the points you are making. Mahalo. Makana Chai (talk) 23:33, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry if it sounded like I was disparaging your research. I am ignorant, in that I don't have access to the sources that you do. But it sounds like you want us to take a psychohistorical analysis on authority, which isn't how things work. To take another example, I don't see how Twain's letter can be the first English reference as you cite, when the 1865 Andrews dictionary defines it (albeit obviously with the wrong derivation) as "a person with white skin, hence a foreigner". KarlM (talk) 00:24, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Hyn wahine (talk) 17:35, 4 October 2010 (UTC)It is very difficult to concisely describe the rise of the term within two paragraphs. I respect the valid need to cite, and I did so, rifling through my own bib. and chose resources that are all googleable/online. Again, it was much more difficult than anyone realizes, and to come on only hours later, and see your edits, which were challenges without a counter perspective/references, so I took that as an act of vandalism. As for references, each were chosen for having touched on that particular element of the paragraph. The Jarves chapter is a completely valid reference for its context and I stand by it, but I understand that it can be confusing when not fully understood that their parents referred to each other as American/Amelika, British/Beretania/Pelekania, French/Farani/Palani, German/Kelemania and how Haole was found more often written in diaries and letters, but not used in English publications, giving us today the assumption that the term was only used by Hawaiians. As for my work itself, it will be published. Thank you KarlM and Makana Chai for this exchange. I apologize for offending either of your sensibilities and I offer up my work on the front page to support a greater understanding of who the haole were. If anything, the more I think about this page, the more I think of breaking up the etymology into another section on controversy, and then another section on The Evolution of Haole in the 20th Century to focus on how the term has become contemptible from Territorial days onward (inc Plantation usage, Eng lang dominated landscape influence upon the term, and the latter-day Caucasian experience). HW

I'm so glad you're going to publish your research. Let me know if you need an introduction to any of the publishers in town. I'm fine with changing the page and adding a new section. While you're at it, please add footnotes and translations as per WP:NONENG so that we can read the references. Mahalo for your good work. Makana Chai (talk) 04:13, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Does the phrase book actually have anything to do with this clause ""Haole" evolved into a term that was often used in contempt. Though its first usage in such context had to do with classist origins." I feel this clause comes out of left field. There is nothing in the previous sentences about classism. I also think you need a good citation for WHEN haole started to be used with contempt and that it was "often" used in that way. Mahalo. Makana Chai (talk) 17:47, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

additions of Tinea versicolor, The Haole Song[edit]

Under "see also" the following links have been added # Tinea versicolor, which is a fungal infection known mostly in Hawaii as "haole rot", # The Haole Song. I reverted these but they were added in again. I do not believe that either of these are appropriate for this article. The purpose of this article is to discus the meaning of the word haole, not every phrase, song or slang that uses the word. If we included every song with the word haole and got into all the hapa haole music this article would be immense. Therefore, I propose eliminating these two additions. If you disagree, please state your reasoning here. Mahalo. Makana Chai (talk) 18:10, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Agree; the video in particular is somebody just spamming, it's completely irrelevant and was only posted the day the link was put in (the caption says "All about Guam!"). FWIW, the person who keeps putting it in is in San Francisco. KarlM (talk) 06:44, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
OK thanks -- removed. Makana Chai (talk) 17:42, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

The song is a Haole's perspective on Island Culture —Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.8.177.172 (talk) 17:11, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

A haole's perspective on island culture is completely irrelevant to an encyclopedia.Makana Chai (talk) 17:13, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Remove unsourced section[edit]

Some linguists believe that this etymology is erroneous, however, for these reasons:

  • There are innumerable citations from Hawaiian showing that haole simply means "foreign." For example, haole popolo means a dark-skinned foreigner, haole pake means Chinese foreigner. The term haole is found in ancient Hawaiian chants which pre-date European contact to refer to newcomers from elsewhere in Polynesia.
  • The Lorrin Andrews Dictionary of 1865 refers to a white-haired pig as puaa haole.[Remove unsourced section 1]
  • The word 'breath' is (with a macron or kahakō over the a), not plain ha. The word 'not' is ʻole, with a glottal stop or ʻokina, not ole, which means "fang." In spoken Hawaiian, vowel length is contrastive, and these are major differences in pronunciation. However, they would not appear in Hawaiian dictionaries using the older form of Hawaiian spelling, which did not use kahakō or ʻokina (considered a consonant) to indicate vowel length and glottal stops. Only modern dictionaries show the kahakō and ʻokina. It is possible that the folk etymology was created by someone with only a dictionary knowledge of Hawaiian, using an older dictionary.

Remove unsourced section references[edit]

  1. ^ Lorrin Andrews (1865). "lookup of Haole". Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language. Honolulu. ISBN 0-89610-374-9. 

False etymology[edit]

Re the so-called etymology from ha+ole, as a speaker of a related language ( Maori ) I can say that these false etymologies plague all of Polynesia. They are very popular and appealing but very wrong. Any Maori word that happens to have -ha in it gets the same "breath" interpretation applied to it, regardless of vowel length. Luckily for many words, the true etymology is available from comparison with related languages, but probably not with Haole Piwaiwaka (talk) 21:38, 25 November 2016 (UTC)