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By Cee Honda

Ever since I started watching the Daily Pidgin LIVE show with Andy Bumatai, I’ve learned how to spell, yes, spell. Listening to the show, you wouldn’t expect that, since Andy calls it a “spelling-free zone.” But I’ve never tried writing in Hawaiian Pidgin English. Sure, I could talk li’dat, but to write ‘em?

After listening, I felt compelled to join in the chat along with many others, sharing humor, short stories, or trying to identify the current “DIS” or where “DAT”.  So that meant learning how fo’ spell ’em.

For example:
“Pidgin” is not spelled for the bird.  And cut off the last letter for “fo’”
“Howzit” is a handy shortcut for ‘hello, how are you?’ Don’t forget to use the “Z”.
“Chee hoo,” corresponds to ‘hooray!’ …had to see others use it before I knew how to spell it.

I nevah used this word before but it comes up often from Andy: “gawla gawla.” Doesn’t it sound guttural?  A little onomatopoeia, I’d say.  A favorite term used by the whole “Hamajang Gang” (the folks that chat on the show) is “habut”.  It really sounds like “ha-boot” and the meaning certainly emphasizes the boot sound, but it is spelled “habut”.  Habut!

And “Dis”, what is dis? It’s the spelling for ‘this’ which highlights something special.  At the Daily Pidgin LIVE show, it’s usually used to guess the identity of someone from looking at an old picture of them.  One word that I have had in my vocabulary for a long time is ‘haole.’  But I couldn’t ever spell it correctly until I misspelled it dozens of times with Haole boy’s name.  So it’s an “A” before the “O”.   And for the good ol’ rubber slipper, the spelling mirrors each other, “rubbah slippah.” Using the word ‘opae’ in Uncle Opae’s nickname shows an”A” before an “E.”  Opae means “tiny shrimp.” I nevah knew.

The word that Lilo taught Stitch, in the popular movie, was ‘ohana’.  We use it frequently in the chat, warmly calling each other family.  But the main term that I was not familiar with, it’s not ‘hamagang’, ‘hamajam’ or ‘hammergang’ it’s “Hamajang” which in Hawaiian Pidgin English means ‘all mess up.’  Dat’s the perfect word for what Andy named those of us in the chat.

We truly are da “Hamajang Gang”.

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