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Aloha in the Hawaiian language means affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. Since the middle of the 19th century, it also has come to be used as an English greeting to say goodbye and hello. Currently, it is mostly used in the sense of hello; however, it is used as the above.

It is also the state nickname of Hawaiimarker, the "Aloha State".


The word aloha derives from the Proto-Polynesian root *alofa. It has descendents in other Polynesian languages, such as the Māori word aroha, also meaning "love."

A folk etymology claims that it derives from a compound of the Hawaiian words alo meaning "presence", "front", "face", or "share"; and ha, meaning "breath of life" or "essence of life." Although alo does indeed mean "presence" etc., the word for breath is spelled with a macron or kāhako over the a (hā) whereas the word aloha does not have a long a.


Before contact with the West, the words used for greeting were welina and anoai. Today, "aloha kakahiaka" is the phrase for "good morning." "Aloha auinalā" means "good afternoon" and "aloha ahiahi" means "good evening." "Aloha kākou" is a common form of "welcome to all."

In modern Hawai i, numerous businesses have aloha in their names, with more than 3 pages of listings in the O ahu phone book alone.


Recent trends are popularizing the term elsewhere in the United States. Popular entertainer, Broadwaymarker star and Hollywoodmarker actress Bette Midler, born in Honolulu, uses the greeting frequently in national appearances. The word was also used frequently in the hit television drama Hawaii Five-O. In the influential 1982 film comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the eccentric teacher Mr. Hand makes use of the greeting. The Aloha Spirit is a major concept in Lilo and Stitch, a very popular Disney series of movies and TV shows, set in Hawai i. The drama series Lost, shot in Hawai i, has a thank you note at the end of the credits saying "We thank the people of Hawai i and their Aloha Spirit". Aloha is a term also used in the Nickelodeon program Rocket Power.

Arguably the most famous historical Hawaiian song, "Aloha Oe" was written by the last queen of Hawaii, Lili uokalani.

The term inspired the name of the ALOHA Protocol introduced in the 1970s by the University of Hawaii.

In Hawaii someone can be said to have or show aloha in the way they treat others; whether family, friend, neighbor or stranger.

See also


  • Hawaiian Telcom White Pages

External links

(Aloha Art)

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