"weather" in Hawaiian?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 6 23:52:33 UTC 2011

It's like when the Great Communicator explained to the nation that the
Russian language has no word for "peace."

In counterpoint to Eskimos and snow, if you see what I'm saying.


On Tue, Sep 6, 2011 at 7:40 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:

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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> Subject:      "weather" in Hawaiian?
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> A friend has said she had been informed (read or heard) that Hawaiian
> has no word for "weather".  A very brief on-line dictionary search
> found "An English-Hawaiian dictionary: with various useful tables",
> by
> <
> http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&biw=773&bih=388&tbs=cdr:1,cd_max:Dec+31_2+1969&tbm=bks&tbm=bks&q=inauthor:%22Harvey+Rexford+Hitchcock%22&sa=X&ei=TK1mToTyN4PC0AGN7OGdCg&ved=0CEUQ9Ag
> >Harvey
> Rexford Hitchcock - 1887 - saying the noun is "wa" and the verb is "E
> lanakila."
> I suspect the claim was constructed in order to hype the pleasures of
> Hawaiian weather -- nothing bad happens, it's nice all the time, so
> we don't need a word for it.  Perhaps related to an assertion I heard
> reported on TV news recently, that Hawaii is one of the two states
> where unusual or destructive weather is rarest.  (The other is
> Vermont, so we know how reliable that research is!)
> BB, redeem yourself!  :-)
> And can I assume that the shorter a word is, the more basic or
> important it is to speakers?
> Joel
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