"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 "" and "hello".

It is also the state nickname of Hawaii, 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 okinaauinalā" means "good afternoon" and "aloha ahiahi" means "good evening." "Aloha kākou" is a common form of "welcome to all."

In modern Hawaiokinai, numerous businesses have aloha in their names, with more than 3 pages of listings in the Ookinaahu phone book alone.


Recent trends are popularizing the term elsewhere in the United States. Popular entertainer, Broadway star and Hollywood 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". The Aloha Spirit is a major concept in "Lilo and Stitch", a very popular Disney series of movies and TV shows, set in Hawaiokinai. Lost, shot in Hawaiokinai, has a thank you note at the end of the credits saying "We thank the people of Hawaiokinai and their Aloha Spirit". Aloha is a term also used in the Nickelodeon program Rocket Power.

Arguably the most famous historical Hawaiian song, "Aloha okinaOe" was written by the last queen of Hawaii, Liliokinauokalani.

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

ee also

*Namaste has a similar meaining
*Peace has a similar meaning.
*Salaam has a similar meaning.
*Shalom has a similar meaning.


*cite book
last = Andrews
first = Lorrin
authorlink =
coauthors = Noenoe K. Silva; Albert J. Schutz
title = A Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language
publisher = Island Heritage Publishing
origyear = 1865
date = 2003
isbn = 0896103749

*cite web
title = Hawaiian Dictionary
work = Ulukau On-line Hawaiian dictionary
publisher = University of Hawaii Press
date = 2004
url =
accessdate = 2008-04-22

*"Hawaiian Telcom White Pages"
*cite web
title = Māori Dictionary Online
work = Māori Dictionary
publisher = John C. Moorfield
date = 2008
url =
accessdate = 2008-04-22

*cite book
last = Pukui
first = Mary Kawena
authorlink =
coauthors = Samuel H. Elbert
title = Hawaiian Dictionary
publisher = University of Hawaii Press
origyear = 1957
date = 1986
isbn = 0824807030

External links

* [ Aloha Facts]

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