Geoff Nathan geoffnathan at WAYNE.EDU
Sat Dec 23 14:04:36 UTC 2006

Dennis wrote:

> When I lived in Hawai'i int he early 80's, locals
> had trouble with what to call black folk. "Haole"
> meant "white guy" but also meant "non-local," so
> "black haole," since no local guys were black,
> came to be a resolution.
Dennis, apparently you didn't move in the right circles.  The Hawaiian
Creole word for black folk is popolo (stress on penult.).  It shows up
in various of Frank DeLima's songs for example, and in the
linguistically sophisticated popular guide to HC 'Pidgin to da Max'
(disclaimer--the authors were classmates of mine)

There's a great song--a kind of potted history of the Islands--called
'The Greatest Place of All.  It includes a list of ethnonyms at one point:

This is the land of Podagee,
Koreans, Flips and Haoles and plenny Popolo
Buddhaheads, Vietnamese, Samoans and Hawaiians give us dignity.

There's even a local rapper called the 'Lolo Popolo' (lolo is HC for
stupid--it's also in the HC word for pot--pakalolo 'stupid weed'


Geoffrey S. Nathan
Department of English/Computing and Information Technology
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI, 48202
<geoffnathan at>
Phones:  C&IT (313) 577-1259/English (313) 577-8621

The American Dialect Society -

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