The earliest Hawaiian word lists

Anderson - 1778    Samwell - 1779    Beresford - 1787    Martinez - 1789    Santeliz es Pablo - 1791    Quimper - 1791    
Lisiansky - 1804    Campbell - 1809    Gaimard/Arago - 1819    Bishop/Ellis - 1825    Botta - 1828    Dumont - 1834    

William Anderson's List

The Resolution, with James Cook in command, arrived in Hawaiʻi on January 18, 1778 and left February 2. Acting as naturalist was William Anderson, the ship's surgeon, born in Scotland in 1750, and educated at Edinburgh University. Beaglehole wrote that he "was clearly one of the best minds of all the three voyages — professionally competent, but with an interest in all the departments of natural history as they were known at that time, acute as well as wide-ranging, and with a linguistic talent both eager and careful."

Cook and his crew eventually anchored in Waimea Bay. Anderson had been very ill when they arrived at Kauaʻi, but on January 21 he was sufficiently well to walk with Cook and Webber to a heiau about a mile up the river, where he collected his Hawaiian vocabulary. A little over six months later he died of tuberculosis, and was buried at sea.

adapted from Albert J. Schütz, "Voices of Eden" pp. 34-35.

analyzed and annotated by Albert J. Schütz

click on column heading to sort

num.list wordmodern Hawaiianlist gloss
1.Tehaiai hea? (specifically)Where
2.Mahaiama hea? (generally)Where [ditto]
3.Aorre, or Aoeʻaʻole, ʻaʻoe, ʻaʻoheNo
4.He oho*he ohoThe hair
*Note that the majority of nouns occur with he. In a sense, each phrase is a discourse, and new information is introduced as such. (Hawkins 1979, article on he and ke/ka).
5.E poo*he poʻoThe head
*This is an example in which we assume that Anderson made a distinction between "oo" and "oo".
6.Pepaiee aoopepeiaoThe ear
7.Heraeehe laeThe forehead
8.MattamakaThe eye
9.PappareengapapālinaThe cheek
10.Haieeahe iʻaFish
11.Eeeheuhe ihuThe nose
12.Oome oomeʻumiʻumiThe beard
13.HaireheleTo go
14.Erawha____Tears of joy
15.AeeʻāʻīThe neck
16.Poheevepoʻohiwi (ʻshoulderʻ)The arm
17.Ooma oomaumaumaThe breast
18.Heoohe ūThe nipple
19.PeetopikoThe navel
20.HoohaaʻūhāThe thigh
21.He, wawyhe wāwaeThe leg
22.Eroui____Wait a little
24.MyaomaiʻaoFinger and toe nails
26.Hootee, hooteehukihuki (ʻpull hard or frequentlyʻ)To pluck up, or out
27.TooannakuaʻanaA brother
28.Teinakaina (ʻyounger sibling of same sexʻ)A younger brother
29.Otooma heeva____A man’s name
30.NannanānāLet me see it
31.NohonohoTo sit
32.Hoehoʻi (ʻgo backʻ)To go
33.HooarraʻualaSweet potatoes
34.E Taeeai? kāheaCalling to one
35.WaheinewahineA woman
36.Teeorrekiola, kīloi [? *kioli]To throw away a thing
37.He, aieereehe ʻiliThe skin
38.Ma, ty, tymākaʻikaʻiTo look at, or survey a thing
39.Tommomykomo maiCome here
40.Erooie luaʻiTo retch, to puke
41.TooSugar cane
42.Maa monamomona (ʻsweetʻ)Sweet or savoury food
43.Tooharre*kuha__To spit
*The last syllable may be -li, one of a set of suffixes that alter the meaning of the root somewhat. Although according to Elbert and Pukui (1979:86), l is used only in two-syllable suffixes (as in -la’i), its range may have been wider in Anderson’s time.
44.Matoumākou (first person plural exclusive)I, first person singular
45.My, tymaikaʻiGood
46.OtaeaioʻO Kaʻeo*Names of two chiefs
*Hereditary high chief of Kaua’i (Speakman and Hackler 1989:36; Kuykendall 1957:22).
47.Terurotoa____Names of two chiefs
48.Oome*ʻumiA great number
*I suggest that ‘umi, now ‘ten’, once meant ‘a great number’. Cf. Geraghty’s similar meaning for Fijian tini.]
49.PoepoiTaro pudding
51.BooapuaʻaA hog
52.Eeneeoohe niuCocoa nuts
53.Ono____To understand
54.EeteeʻikeTo understand, or know
55.Otae____A man’s name
56.MaonnamāʻonaFull, satisfied with eating
57.Owytooehainoaʻo wai kou inoa?What is your name?
58.TanatakanakaA man
59.TangatakanakaA man [ditto]
60.PahoopahuA drum
61.Ehoorahe hulaA kind of dance
62.MaromaloA narrow stripe of cloth they wear
63.hoemy; harremyhoʻi mai (ʻcome backʻ); hele mai (ʻcomeʻ)To come
64.EroemyE _____ maiFetch it here
65.Taooakāua (first person dual inclusive)We, first person plural
66.TourakaulaA rope
67.OorooʻuluBread fruit
68.Eteehe Dracaena*
*Now classified as Cordyline terminalis.
69.AppeʻapeVirginian Arum*
*Now classified as Alocasia macrorrhiza, Xanthosoma robustum
71.AoonaiauaneʻiIn a short time; presently
74.Ateera[? kīlā]*Done; at an end
*Tahitian has tīrārā for ‘C’est fini’ and pau roa for ‘complètement’. Was the Hawaiian form (?) kila crowded out by pau?
75.Hevaite? weke ʻto open a crack, as a door; to separate, loosen, freeTo unfold
77.Tapaia? kāpae ____To abide; to keep or refrain from going
78.PoorepuleA prayer
79.TahounakahunaA priest
80.Atee*e kiʻi (imperative)To fetch, or bring
*Many of the verbs seem to be given with the imperative marker e. Perhaps this is the simplest citation form. One must remember that this mode of communication was quite new to the Hawaiians.
81.MeememimiTo make water
82.Ehaiai hea?Where
83.PootapukaA hole
84.MaomaʻōThat way
85.Mareirama lailaThis place
86.Eeoi ʻōThere
87.Evaahe waʻaA canoe
88.Touroonoa____A man’s name
89.My ty? mākaʻi*Let me look
*Is this related to entry 38 [ma,ty,ty]? P-E has for māka’ika’i (among other glosses) ‘see the sights, look upon’.
90.Aieeboohe ipuA vessel of gourd shell
91.Ahewaitehe wekeMullus cretaceus*
*P-E defines weke as follows: "Certain species of the Mullidae, surmullets or goatfish."
92.Opoore? ʻōpule*Sparus parvus punctatus
*The scientific names don’t match. In modern dictionaries, the varieties of ‘ōpule are labelled Anampses.
93.TaeekaiThe sea
94.Evyhe waiFresh water
95.AivaawaA harbour
96.Eerottoi lokoWithin; into
97.Owyte ereeʻo wai ke aliʻi?What is the chief’s name
98.ToneoneoKaneoneo*A chief’s name
99.MotoomokuTo tear, or break
100.ToekoʻiA stone adze
101.VaheeowaihoLet it lie, or remain
102.Haieehehe iheA barbed dart
103.Hooroo manoohulu manuBirds feathers
104.MotoomokuAn island
105.Hamoea? he moea*A ceremony of clapping the hands to the head, and prostrating themselves to the chief
*The most common meanin of moe is ‘sleep, lie down", but P-E also lists ‘to prostrate oneself, as before a chief, and for moea, passive/imperative of moe.
106.WoreroliloLost; stole
107.Aeenooe inuTo drink
108.Tehaia, orooahea ʻolua? (dual)Where are you?
109.OuauI, first person singular
110.Eunai____ nei, neʻiHere; at this place
111.PororeepōloliHunger; hungry
112.Hereemahe limuA species of Sida
113.Meere, meeremilimiliTo look at, or behold
114.MoamoaA fowl
115.ManoomanuA bird
117.Modooa, tannemakuakāneFather
118.Madooa, waheinemakuawahineMother
119.Naiwe, nawie? [newe-newe] nahenahe ____Pleasant; agreeable
120.Hai, raahe The sun
121.Hairaneehe laniThe sky
123.Heahohe aho (line, cord)A small rope
124.Tereira? ____ lailaThere; that way
125.Pymypehi maiThrow it here
126.Ewououttehe waukeMorua Papyris*
*Now classified as Broussonetia papyrifera.
127.MoemoeTo sleep
129.PoowhapūhāTo yawn
*NeSmith (ʻĀleka, Keiki Ali'i) uses pūhā for 'yawn' and confirmed the meaning. [?P-E: pūhā (‘belch, clear throat’)]
130.AhaiaāheaWhen, at what time
131.WehaiweheTo uncover and undo a thing
132.Tooto? kōkō₂A small straw rope
133.Eaha, naihe aha nei?What is this?
135.ParrapalaRipe; as, ripe fruit
136.Toe, toekoʻekoʻeCold
137.MataneemakaniThe wind
138.Etooe To rise up
139.Hairetoohele akuTo go there
140.Hoatoo akuTo give
141.Eeapohe Night
142.Eahoiahoihe ahiahiEvening
143.Ooraʻula (ʻredʻ)Red feathers
144.Teehekīhei (ʻrectangular tapa garmentʻ)A present of cloth
145.Herairemyhe leleA place on which fruit is laid as an offering to God
146.Henananoohe ʻanuʻu*A square pile of wicker work, or religious obelisk
*BIII(1):270n. gives ananu’u / lananu’u P-E has only the form with l-.
147.Hereeere____A burying-ground
148.Eteepappahe kīpapa*The inside of a burying-ground
*‘Stone pavement’. Te Rangi Hiroa 1964:522.
149.HarrehaleA house
150.Harre pahoohale pahu*A drum-house in a burying-ground
151.Heneenehe niniA wall, the wall of a burying-ground
152.Heho*____A stone set up in a burying-ground consecrated to the Deity
*Cook wrote hoho; the word is unidentified (Anthropology Club of Kaua’i Community College 1978:4).
153.Eatooahe akuaA god
154.TangaroaKanaloaThe name of the god of the place we were at
155.NonenoniMorinda citrifolia
156.Hereanee____Small twig things in a burying-ground
157.Hemanaahe mana (ʻtaboo house in a heiauʻ)*A house, or hut, where they bury their dead
*Te Rangi Hiroa 1964:571: ‘temple house’
158.Herooanoohe luanuʻu (ʻdressed out in tapa,as temple images in Lonoʻs temple on important occasionsʻ)Wooden images in a burying house
159.Tooraipe____A kind of headdress, or helmet on an image
160.Eahoiahi (ʻfireʻ)Hire*
*Apparently a misprint for ‘fire’.
161.Pohootoo noa? pōhaku hoanaA cream-coloured whet-stone
162.Poota pairePuʻu Ka Pele*A district at the Western part of the isle
*Bennett (1931:104) mentioned the "Puu Ka Pele crater cone at the edge of Waimea canyon". The name does not appear in the 1973 edition of Atlas of Hawaii, but it is in Mary Kawena Pukui’s ‘Ōlelo No’eau: Hawaiian Proverbs and Poetical Sayings and Place Names of Hawai’i.
163.Eonnotaine____A short cloak of black and white feathers
164.Ottahoinoo*____One article, or thing
*Is kahi ‘one’ part of this word?
165.Epappahe papaA board used to swim upon
166.Oneete____A kind of cloth
167.Heorro tairehe olokele (ʻbee-eater, honeycreeperʻ)A small scarlet bird, or merops scarlatina*
*Defined as the same as the ‘i’iwi (Vestiaria coccinea)
168.TaaAn interjection of admiration
169.EpooapoA bracelet of a single shell
170.EouʻauTo swim
171.Tearrekiele*Gardenia, or Cape Jasmine
*P-E, citing Neal (pp. 799-800), claimed that the kiele was introduced. It seems instead that it was perhaps an alternate name for nānū, a native species of gardenia.
172.Heoudoo? he uku (ʻrepay, exchangeʻ)A refusal; I will not do it, or take that for this
173.EorreʻioleA rat
174.Ehooohou*A gimblet, or any instrument to bore with
*P-E hou₃: ‘push, thrust, poke, stab, ... drill, bore, pierce, inject’ Here, the name seems to represent the function of the instrument, rather than the instrument itself. We can reconstruct the MS spelling as *Ehoōō.
175.Epaoo, or ooapa? e pau, ua pauThere is no more; it is done or finished
176.MatoumakauA particular sort of fish-hook
177.Erahoi, dehoihe lahiThin; as thin cloth, board, &c.
178.Pattahaee, or he roui____A sort of musical instrument or rattle*, ornamented with red feathers
*Te Rangi Hiroa 1964:409: "Cook ... reported having seen only two musical instruments among the Hawaiians, the gourd rattle and a pair of sticks ..." The single rattle is ʻulī’ulī; the triple rattle ‘ūlili.
179.Eappanai? ʻāpane (short for ʻapapane)A plume of feathers they wear
180.Etooohe koaThe Cordia sebes tina*
*Cordia sebastina is the correct spelling.
181.WhattehakiTo break
182.OeeaʻoiaYes; it is so
183.Heoreeoreehe olioliA song
184.Paraoo? pā lāʻau₂A wooden bowl
185.Apooavaʻapu ʻawaA shallow wooden dish they drink ava out of
186.Etoohe, toohee? kui*A particular sort of cloth
*Brigham 1911:217. Add to #186. "Kui to beat; also a needle. Kuina (kui and ana uniting) a set of kapa moe, sewed together at one side, usually five sheets of which the uppermost is decorated and called kilohana; a seam."
187.Ootee, or Otee, oteeʻoki, ʻokiʻokiTo cut
188.Pappaneeheomano? papa nihi o manōA wooden instrument beset with sharks teeth, used to cut up those they kill
189.MaheinewahineA wife
190.Homy maiGive me
191.Moena, or moengamoenaA mat to sleep on
192.EenoʻinoAn adjunct, when they express any thing good, though by itself, it signifies bad. Thus they say, Erawha eeno, good greeting, as the Otaheiteans say, Ehoa eeno, or my good friend
193.Taboo, or tafookapuAny thing not to be touched, as being forbid. This is an example that shows the transmutation of the H, F, and B into each other. Thus, at Otaheite yams are oohe, at Tonga oofe, at New Caledonia oobe, and here taboo is tafoo.
194.Maooamāua (ʻweʻ, dual excl.)I, first person singular
195.Heno____Little rods, about five feet long, with a tuft of hair on the small end
197.Aheia? keaA round pearl shell
198.Teanooke anuThe cold arising from being in the water
199.Tammata____The sense of taste
200.OotooʻukuA louse
201.EhonehoniTo salute by applying one nose to the other Ehogge* at New Zealand, and Ehoe at Otaheiti
*Apparently a misprint for the Maori form: Ehonge (hongi).
202.Mymaʻi (ʻsicknessʻ)A sore of any kind
203.Oura, or ouraaolaCured; recovered; alive; well
204.MangomanōA shark
205.Te and heke, heThe
206.Heneeoohe? he niuhi (ʻlarge grey man-eating sharkʻ)An instrument made of a shark’s tooth fixed on a wooden handle, to cut with
207.Eeaʻeā₁An adjunct, as at Otaheite, to give strength to an expression
208.Paoo roapau loa (ʻall, everythingʻ)Quite done; finished
210.TairakēlāThat; the other
211.Ahoo auraʻahu ʻula [cf red feathers]Red cloth
212.Henarohe naloA fly
213.Ehateinoahe aha ke inoaWhat is the the name of that?
214.Heweereweerehe wiliwili (ʻleguminous tree, Erythrina sandwicensis ... wood is very light and formerly was used for surfboards, canoe outriggers, net floatsʻ)An outrigger of a canoe
215.Mawaihepāwehe* (design pattern)The sail of a canoe*
*Te Rangi Hiroa 1964:282: "... details concerning the mast and the sail are scanty."
*Holmes (1981:53) quoted Emerson (n.d.): "the fashion of La [] that prevailed on Kauai ... apears to have been ... different from anything found elsewhere ...[it] was braided in a variegated pattern, called pawehe [pāwehe], red, black, and white makaloa."
216.Eheou? pou, ihu*The mast of a canoe
*Ihu ‘prow or bow of a canoe or ship’. However, Anderson’s spelling does not quite confirm this. His ou is usually /au/. The [i] sound, indicated by e, after the h is similar to his transcription of ‘nose’ (#11).
217.Hetoahe koa (ʻacacia ... valuable lumber tree, formerly used for canoesʻ)The yard of a sail
218.OoamouʻōmauFast; secure; sound; whole
219.Hono? To go; to move
221.PooapuaAn arrow
222.TeetokīkoʻoA bow
223.Epaee? ____Wooden bowls made from the Etooo*
*Te Rangi Hiroa (1964:47) gave several phrases with specified according to function. Perhaps he pâ i’a ‘bowl for serving fish’?
225.Henaroohe naluThe swell of the sea
227.Ehetoohe hōkūA star
228.Maramamalama (ʻlight, monthʻ)The moon
229.Ouameeta____A man’s name


Anderson, William. 1784. Vocabulary of the Language of Atooi, One of the Sandwich Islands. in: Cook 1784, vol. 3, Appendix 5, pp. 549–53. [Collected in 1778.]

"William Anderson's Hawaiian Word List"
by Albert J. Schütz. in: Robert Blust, ed. Currents in Pacific linguistics: papers on Austronesian languages and ethnolinguistics in honour of George W. Grace, 453-464. Pacific Linguistics, C-117, 1991.

Albert J. Schütz. "Dr. William Anderson: Forgotten Philologist"
Chapter 5 of the forthcoming book, Hawaiian: Past, Present, and Future. 2013.

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Brigham, William Tufts. 1911. Ka Hana Tapa: the Making of Bark-cloth in Hawaii.
Bennett. 1931. Archaeology of Kauai
Elbert and Pukui. 1979. Hawaiian Grammar.
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