How to use the word Aloha

Most people around the world recognize the word aloha as a greeting from Hawaii, but what does it actually mean? And what’s the best way to use it?

Translating the word aloha

Translated, aloha has many meanings: hello, goodbye, thank you, I love you, goodness, positivity, kindness, connection. Wehe Wehe, the online Hawaiian dictionary, provides this fascinating expanded definition:

Here’s a popular local song about aloha:

Aloha even used to be an airline:

As you can see, aloha carries a great deal of meaning!

How to use the word aloha

One of the most common ways visitors learn the word aloha is when they’re watching a hula performance or enjoying a luau. The host will often bellow a long “aloooooooha” and the guests repeat back, “alooooooha.” In this context, aloha usually means “welcome,” and can also be spoken as aloha kakou (“welcome, everyone”).

In Hawaii, it’s perfectly acceptable — and wonderful, actually — to use the word aloha for many things throughout conversation. Once you get comfortable saying it, aloha is one of the most beautiful and versatile words in your vocabulary. For example:

  • Aloha – hello, goodbye
  • Aloha kakahiaka – Good morning
  • Lani has so much aloha – Lani is a wonderful person
  • Send tutu my aloha – Send grandma my love
  • I aloha you – I love you

The best part about using the word aloha? It’s that one word that breaks down barriers, connects friends and family, connects strangers, and always carries positivity. Aloha softens, strengthens and elevates.

How to live with aloha

Here’s where aloha gets even more awesome.

Beyond the word, aloha is a spirit, a way to live, a simple message: Live with love.

In real life, “living with aloha” means a conscious practice that includes thoughts and acts of kindness, forgiveness and non-judgement. It’s what makes Hawaii Hawaii, and what makes the world a better place.

Need a hand with your next Maui vacation? Please contact the Sunny Maui Vacations team at or call 808-240-1311, ext. 21. We’ll find you the best vacation rental condo in South Maui and help you with any and all recommendations and activities across Maui (chat with our in-house Concierge at extension 71).

Photo credits: 53400673@N08, wikipedia, briawellsphotography, dwightmorita108702786@N08

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