Regarding “haole”

In response to a question about “haole” being modern slang, or a traditional Hawaiian word:

The word “haole” is actually a fully Hawaiian word pre-dating the arrival of Capt Cook. Its etymology is lost in time. What linguists do agree on is that it is not a compound word. Polynesian linguistic shifts do not support the words “hā” and ” ‘ole” morphing to “haole.”

Also, the word is found in chants which predate Capt. Cook’s 1778 arrival.

PAUMAKUA
Westervelt records in “Hawaiian Historical Legends”:

“…
PAUMAKUA was one of the great voyagers among the ocean-rovers of over eight hundred years ago. Fornander in his “Account of the Polynesian Race” says: “One of the legends relates that Paumakua, on his return from one of his foreign voyages, brought back with him to Oahu two white men said to have been priests A-ua-ka-hinu and A-ua-ka-mea, afterwards named Kae-kae and Ma-liu, from whom several priestly families in after ages claimed descent and authority.” These persons were described as:

“Ka haole nui maka ʻālohilohi
(A large foreigner, bright sparkling eyes)
A āholehole maka ʻaʻā
(White cheeks, roguish staring eyes)
Ka puaʻa keokeo nui maka ʻulaʻula!
(A great white pig with reddish eyes).”

In the later years of Hawaiian history, two of the most prominent high priests in all the islands were among the descendants of these foreigners.
…”

KUMULIPO
The word also is found in the KumuLIipo:

“…
Line 505 – Hanau ke Po’ohaole, he haole kela
…”
“…
born was the stranger’s head, that was strange.
…”

KUALIʻI
In the genealogy of Kualiʻi (born around 1710), the chant states:

“…
Hoʻokahi o Tahiti kānaka, he haole
…”
“…
only one people in Tahiti, foreigners.
…”

The word began referring more commonly to North Americans during the overthrow of the Monarchy.

Sometimes translating Hawaiian can be challenging because you first have to determine if the person is actually using the word with its Hawaiian meaning, or if the person is using the word with its Pidgin meaning.

In Hawaiian, I was taught never to say ” ʻōkole” in polite company, because it can mean “anus.” In pidgin, the word generally refers to the buttocks.

Wehewehe.org Hawaiian Language Dictionary

When I was a girl, the following were in common use, with no pejorative meanings:

Hawaiian – Native Hawaiian.

Hapa [HAH-pah]- Part Hawaiian. Distinguished as hapa-haole, hapa-Keponi, hapa-Pākē, etc.

Kanaka [kah-NAH-kah] – Native Hawaiian.
(kuh-NAAK-uh and NAAK-uh were highly perjorative)

Kamaʻaina [kah-mah-ah-EE-nah / kah-mah-AI-nah] – Non-Native Hawaiian person born in Hawaiʻi or very long time resident who was adopted into Hawaiian culture.

Malihini [mah-lee-HEE-nee] – Visitor or new resident.

Sometimes, people will become upset that “haole” is not capitalized the way Kepani or Pākē is capitalized. In Hawaiian, “haole” is not an ethnic group. It is a description. One would not capitalize “continental” in describing someone. If one wishes to say “hapa-Pelekane” (Hawaiian-British), then, certainly “Pelekane” is capitalized.