Pukui & Elbert - 1986
Mamaka Kaiao - 2003
Lorrin Andrews - 1865
updated: 7/30/2011

ʻ  a   e   i   o   u  

Preface to the Hawaiian-English Dictionary (1957, 1961 1st & 2nd eds.)
Preface to the Hawaiian-English Dictionary (1965 - 3rd edition)
Preface to the Hawaiian Dictionary (1971 - Haw-Eng, Eng-Haw)
Preface to the Hawaiian Dictionary (1986 - Revised and enlarged edition)

Preface to the Hawaiian Dictionary
(1971- Hawaiian-English, English-Hawaiian)

This volume updates and combines the third edition of the Hawaiian-English Dictionary and the first edition of the English- Hawaiian Dictionary. The Hawaiian-English section has four supplements: A, a list of more than one thousand "new entries and meanings," which include the five hundred in Supplement A of the third edition, bringing the total number of Hawaiian-English entries to approximately twenty-six thousand, the largest in any Polynesian dictionary; B, a glossary of gods, demigods, family gods, and heroes (see explanation below); C, a list of specializations of Hawaiian gods and important forms they assumed; and D, a list of Hawaiian reflexes of Proto-Polynesian and Proto-Malayo-Polynesian, unchanged from that appearing in the third edition.

The section entitled "Notes on Hawaiian Grammar" that appeared in the first three editions of the Hawaiian-English Dictionary has been greatly expanded and is being published as a separate volume. The references to grammar in the body of this new edition of the Dictionary refer to sections in the new Hawaiian Grammar. Serious students of the language will find the Dictionary more meaningful if studied and consulted along with the grammar.

About seventy-five new entries of English words with Hawaiian equivalents have been added as a supplement to the English-Hawaiian Dictionary, as well as a few additional given names. The Bibliography has been brought up to date and includes some references to Hawaiian folklore not previously listed.

In a search for new words, every entry in Lorrin Andrews' A Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language (published in 1865) was scrutinized, and although the remarks to follow are rather critical, we salute the work, and recall that H. W. Williams (see Bibliography) said of the Andrews dictionary: "In 1865, it was the most important work of its kind.. . . No other Polynesian dialect had received such thorough treatment . . . [it] remains a noble production."

We are grateful to Andrews, not only for his hard work in compiling his dictionary (perhaps only lexicographers appreciate the labor involved in dictionary making), but also for his attempts to understand the grammar, for his translations of the books of John, Jude, and Proverbs into Hawaiian and of venerable Hawaiian chants (Haui ka Lani, Kualii) into English, and for his critical essay, revealing a fine appreciation of Hawaiian poetry. Upon his shoulders should rest a lei.

Our criticisms are intended only to remind students that Andrews' dictionary must be used with caution, and that not every entry can be accepted. Andrews deserves credit as a great pioneer, but his was an age when grammars followed the classical model. (But why did he not read grammars of Chamisso and of his colleague, W. D. Alexander? They were not bound to the Latin model!) We cannot expect Andrews to have known that the macron might have a dual function—to mark vowel length and in certain words to indicate stress, or that the glottal stop was the second most common consonant of the language. (Andrews groups together as single entries words distinguished only by these important features—for example, puaʻa 'pig' and pūʻāʻā 'sheath'; koi 'urging', koʻi 'adze', and kōī a sliding game.)

A great many of Andrews' entries not previously included in the Pukui-Elbert vocabularies were again discarded. These discards fall into the following categories, for each of which many more examples could be given.

1. Entries beginning with the articles ka (kalawaia) or ke (kealia).

2. Separate words, sometimes garbled or truncated, joined as one: mailuna for mai luna; poelamuku for poʻe ilāimuku; nuawa 'planting' as in ka manu ahai ka nuawa—a well-known poetic phrase that should be written ka manu ʻāhaʻi kanu ʻawa 'bird carrying and planting kava'; kukaluhi for kuʻu ka luhi 'to rest, die'; puekolea for puʻi koloa.

3. Contradictory glosses: ono 'to relish' and—later—'to disrelish'.

4. Incorrect spellings apparently caused by misinterpretations of handwriting: paku for pahū, hoomoana for hoʻomana, pokoke for kokoke, puakai for huakai.

5. Transposed phonemes: pohiwehiwe for pōwehiwehi, ponuhu for pūnohu.

6. Imperfectly understood obscenities: heo, poala, puhi.

7. Entries in which pleasure and sin are equated: puhene 'to giggle' is glossed 'to use lascivious words'.

8. Entries that seem to make little sense: polu 'lion skin', puaakumulau 'wife given away by a husband in gambling'. (We would gloss this 'fertile pig': could Hawaiians have been spoofing the missionary interrogator?)

9. Replacement of vowel + glottal stop + vowel by vowel: pohina for poʻo hina, pohiwi for poʻohiwi, pipi for piʻipiʻi.

10. Glossing a word in a sentence with a gloss defining a different word in the sentence: aheahe is glossed 'hungry' in the sentence (rewritten in Dictionary spelling):

(The stomach is weak with hunger.)

11. Entries having a superfluity of glosses for a single base, as, for mao: carry, separate, quiet, corrupt, gentle, green, blue, a shrub, its blossom, a fish, and a heiau.

After elimination of such patently improper entries from Andrews' dictionary, quite a few apparently acceptable entries remained. Most of them are reduplications, causatives, words referring to flora and fauna, or Biblical terms. Some of the added plant names are doubtful, however, especially in view of Mrs. Pukui's careful checking over the years of some twenty-three hundred plant names with Marie Neal and Edward Handy. All entries from Andrews unknown to us are labeled And.; we cannot be held responsible for their accuracy. And, because we do not know how these words were pronounced, we have not added glottal stops and macrons.

As a simple demonstration of the role of the glottal stop in distinguishing Hawaiian words, a comparison was made with the role of the English n. In a count of 100,000 words in written materials, G. Dewey (see Bibliography) found that 7.24 percent were of the sound n. In a Fornander legend written in Hawaiian the glottal stop represents 7.2 percent of the total number of sounds, according to a computerized count supervised by Robert Hsu of the Pacific and Asian Linguistic Institute of the University of Hawaii. To illustrate the amount of guesswork a reader of Hawaiian most use if he is to understand a passage in which the glottal stops are not shown, the first few lines in this paragraphs are rewritten with zero replacement of n.

As a simple demostratio of the role of the glottal stop i distiguishig Hawaiia words, a compariso was made with Eglish. I a cout of 100,000 words i writte materials G. Dewey (see Bibliography), foud that 7.24 percet were of the soud. I a Forader leged writte i Hawaiia the glottal stop represets 7.2 percet of the total umber of souds....

The body of the Hawaiian-English Dictionary has had almost no changes since the third edition of 1965 other than references to the new Hawaiian Grammar, and nearly all of the definitions go back to the original compilation in the early 1950s. The grammatical ideas of the compilers, however, have changed considerably since those early years. As explained in the Hawaiian Grammar, the field of descriptive linguistics has made great strides during the past decade, and important works on other Polynesian languages have appeared, notably studies concerning Maori by Bruce Biggs and P. W. Hohepa. Furthermore, we, as compilers have had more years of study and research, and therefore in a number of ways the Dictionary would be different if it were to be written today. The serious student is urged to consult our Hawaiian Grammar for more recent thinking about the Hawaiian language. The Dictionary definitions would need very little rewriting if the work were done again, but changes would be made in some of the grammatical terms, in classification of words, and in assignment of macrons to one-syllable words and particles.

Supplement B of the Hawaiian-English Dictionary is a glossary of about two hundred names of gods (akua), demigods (kupua), family gods (ʻaumakua), and heroes (meʻe). Of the multitudinous gods, only a few are included—the ones most commonly mentioned in legends, songs, and ethnological accounts, or those which occur repeatedly in place names. The term akua is a very broad one; it includes the four great gods (Kāne, Lono, Kū, and Kanaloa), hundreds of lesser gods, mischievous and easily outwitted ghosts, and even kauwā outcasts. In the glossary only the powerful akua are included. Most of them were benevolent and loved and trusted by the people, and only a few were feared as helpers of sorcerers. The kupua were noteworthy for their many forms (kino lau)—human beings, fish, birds, animals, plants, and natural phenomena, such as lightning, clouds, and winds. Of the Hawaiian heroes (meʻe) we have included only the most renowned from among those who lived before 1778, the year Captain Cook arrived in the islands.

Following the glossary of Hawaiian gods is a list (Supplement C) of about ninety specializations or areas governed by the deities, and of the plant and animal forms (kino lau) they assumed. Legends have many variants, as have the gods' names, and no attempt has been made to include them all. Some gods appear in many stories and have several names.

In the preparation of Supplements B and C, we were aided by Rubellite Kawena Johnson, a teacher of Hawaiian at the University of Hawaii and a specialist in Hawaiian folklore, who permitted us to consult her unpublished dictionary of Hawaiian mythology. This large volume and her own comments were of great help. She also supplied a number of new entries for Supplement A. In addition to this work by Mrs. Johnson, the principal sources for these two supplements have been Mrs. Pukui's notes gleaned during the past half century, Beckwith's Hawaiian Mythology, Kamakau's Ruling Chiefs, and to a lesser extent works by Malo, Emerson, and Westervelt.

Samuel H. Elbert wishes to express his appreciation to the East-West Center of the University of Hawaii. His term as senior colleague there enabled him to work on Supplements A, B, and C, and excellent clerical assistance for the preparation of the final manuscript was provided by the Center.

MKP/SHE June 1970

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