updated: 3/23/2019

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ʻŌlelo Noʻeau - Concordance

1. is prefixed to a good many words, and seems to denote an intensive, thus: maikai, pomaikai; ino. poino; eleele, poeleele; pilikia, popilikia, &c.
2. s. Night; the time after the going down of the sun; the time of the twenty-four hours opposite to ao, day.
3. Darkness; the time when the sun gives no light.
4. Chaos; the time before there was light; mai ka po mai, from chaos (darkness) hitherto, that is, from the beginning, from eternity.
5. The place of departed spirits; the place of torment. NOTE.—Hawaiians reckon time by nights rather than by days; as, Po akahi, first night, i. e., Monday; Po alua, second night, Tuesday. Po was counted as a god among the poe akuanoho.
6. v. To be dark; to darken; to become night; to be out of sight; to vanish; hence, to be slain; to be lost; e po i ke kaua, to be lost in war.
7. fig. To be ignorant; to be wild; to be rude; to be uncultivated.
8. To overshadow, as the foliage of trees.
9. adj. Dark; dark colored; obscure.
10. fig. Ignorant; rude; wild; savage.
11. Unsocial; sour; unfriendly; crabbed.
12. nvs.
  • night, darkness, obscurity; dark, obscure, benighted; formerly the period of 24 hours beginning with nightfall (the Hawaiian "day" began at nightfall, cf. ao₁.)
  • the realm of the gods; pertaining to or of the gods, chaos, or hell;
  • fig., ignorance; ignorant.

13. To assemble thickly together, as people; to come together in multitudes.
14. To emit an odoriferous smell. see puia.
15. vs. thick, dense, of flowers or heady fragrance; to issue perfume.


120Anu hewa i ka , he kuʻuna iʻa ʻole.Feeling the cold air of the night was all in vain; no fish was caught in the net.
 [A wasted effort.]
137ʻAʻohe hala ʻula i ka .No hala fruit shows its color in the darkness of night.
 [Beauty must be seen to be enjoyed.]
318E Kaululāʻau, ʻakahi nō i pipili ai nā maka.O Kaululāʻau, it is the first night that the eyelids have stuck so.
 [Used in derision of one who doesn’t use his eyes. Kaululāʻau was a Maui chief who, because of his mischief, was banished to the island of Lānaʻi by his father. There he destroyed the evil inhabitants of that island by applying gum to their eyelids after they had fallen asleep.]
442Hāmama ka waha he iʻa ʻole.When the mouth yawns, it is a night on which no fish are caught.
 [A sleepy, yawning person isn’t likely to be out catching fish.]
464Hānau ʻia i ka Lāʻau, lāʻau nā iwi, he koa.Born was he on a Lāʻau night for his bones are hard and he is fearless.
 [Said of a bold, fearless person. Lāʻau nights are a group of nights in the lunar month. The days following each of these nights are believed to be good for planting trees.]
587He hōʻike na ka .A revelation of the night.
 [A revelation from the gods in dreams, visions, and omens.]
819He moa kani ao ia, a kau i ka haka.He is a cock that crows in the daytime, but when night comes he sits on a perch.
 [Said of a person who brags of what he can do, but when difficulties come he is the first to remove himself from the scene.]
903He hīhīwai.A night for the hīhīwai.
 [A gainful night. The hīhīwai are freshwater shellfish. On starry nights, they climb upon the rocks where they can be seen and gathered.]
907He Kāloa kēia, ua ʻeʻe pūpū.This is the night of Kāloa, for the shellfish climbs.
 [The nights of Kāloa, when the shellfish climb onto the wet stones, are good for shellfish hunting.]
908He Kāne kēia, he māʻau nei nā ʻeʻepa o ka .This is the night of Kāne, for supernatural beings are wandering about in the dark.
 [Said of those who go wandering about at night. It is believed that on the night of Kāne, ghosts, demigods, and other beings wander about at will.]
911He moe ko nā makaʻāinana, he ala ko nā aliʻi.Commoners sleep at night, chiefs remain awake.
 [Commoners rest at night to be ready for the day’s labor. Chiefs can well afford to spend the night in pleasure, for they can sleep during the day.]
917He walea, he ao walea i ka laʻi.A night enjoyed, a day enjoyed in the calm.
 [Peace brings undisturbed nights and days.]
1020Hoa pupuʻu o ka anu.A companion to crouch with on a cold night.
 [A sweetheart or spouse.]
1154I hāna ka , i hāna ke ao.Alert by night, alert by day.
 [Said of a fisherman or farmer who begins work before sunrise and continues into the daylight hours.]
1293Ka hale koʻekoʻe o ka .The cold house of darkness.
1335Ka iʻa hoʻāla i ka , wai lama i ke ahi.The fish that wakes people up at night and causes a glowing of torches over the water.
 [The mālolo, or flying fish.]
1471Kamaliʻi ʻike ʻole i ka helu : Muku nei, Muku ka malama; Hilo nei, kau ka Hoaka.Children who do not know the moon phases: Muku is here, Muku the moon; Hilo comes next, then Hoaka.
 [The first part of a child’s chant for learning the names of the moon phases. Also said of one who does not know the answer to a question or is ignorant. He is compared to a small child who has not learned the moon phases.]
1543Ka nui hoʻolakolako, ke ao nui hoʻohemahema.The great night that provides, the great day that neglects.
 [The gods supply, but man does not always accept with appreciation. Guidance is given in dreams that man often misunderstands and neglects.]
1636Kau Kāneiahuea.All night long rode Kāneiahuea.
 [Said of one who wastes time in useless effort. From the story of a man who started out from the inlet of Kāneiahuea, Kona, one night. Because he was unfamiliar with the place, he went back and forth all night without finding an outlet to the open sea. Similar to the saying Naʻaupō wale ʻo Kāneiahuea.]
1810Koʻekoʻe ka hoa ʻole.Cold are the nights without a mate.
2067Mai ka mai ka ʻoiaʻiʻo.Truth comes from the night.
 [Truth is revealed by the gods.]
2203Nā aliʻi mai ka mai.Chiefs from the night.
 [Chiefs whose ancestors were chiefs in remote antiquity and were recognized by the gods.]
2278Nani Puna i ke ʻala.Beautiful Puna, heavy with fragrance.
 [Praise for Puna, Hawaiʻi, where the breath of maile, lehua, and hala blossoms are ever present.]
2282Nā ʻOle ka , ʻo nā ʻOle ke ao, he ʻole ka loaʻa.The nights are ʻOle, the days are ʻOle — nothing to be gotten.
 [The tide is high in the ʻOle period and no fish are caught.]
2288Nā poʻe o ka .People of the night.
 [An epithet applied to unseen gods who help their devotees.]
2316Niniu Puna, i ke ʻala.Puna is dizzy with fragrance.
 [Puna is a land heavily scented with the blossoms of hala and lehua.]
2361ʻOhi aku ka a koe kēia.The night has taken all but this one.
 [All are dead; this is the only survivor.]
2368ʻO Hikapoloa ka , he kiʻikiʻi, he naʻanaʻa.Hikapoloa is the night — a leaning night, a stretching night.
 [A play on ka pō loa (the long night). Said when one waits wearily for the night to pass, when there is nothing to do to shorten the hours.]
2474ʻO Kulu ka , o Welehu ka malama, he lā iʻa ʻole.Kulu is the night and Welehu the month; no fish is to be found that day.
 [A play on kulu (drop). Welehu was said to be the month on which to lay the head on the pillow, for the sea was too rough for fishing. Hence an unlucky, unprofitable day.]
2540ʻO uakeʻe nei i loko o Haʻaloʻu, ʻo ka nahunahu ihu.The little bend in Haʻaloʻu (Bend-over), on the night that the nose is bitten.
 [This was said of Kahalaiʻa when he became angry with Kaʻahumanu. He was only a “little bend” whose wrath was no more important then a nip on the nose.]
2679 Hilo i ka ua Kanilehua.Hilo is darkened by the Kanilehua rain.
 [Said of one who is weighted by sorrow and grief.]
2689 nā maka i ka noe, i ka pahulu i ke ala loa.The eyes are blinded by the mist that haunts the long trail.
 [Said of one who is deceived.]
2858Uhi mai ka lani .Darkness from the sky spreads out.
 [Ignorance grows.]

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