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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, February 24, 2007

Isle street names range from stately to silly

By Catherine E. Toth
Advertiser Staff Writer

What smells so funny? Look up 'Ilipilo, in Oneawa Hills, and find out.

GREGORY YAMAMOTO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Book signing Rich Budnick, author of "Hawaiian Street Names: The Complete Guide to O'ahu Street Names Updated" (Aloha Press, $12.95)

  • Noon to 1 p.m. today at Borders Ward Centre

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    Cannibal Road. Idiot Street. Rascal Lane.

    These are just some of the translations of Hawaiian street names found in Rich Budnick's "Hawaiian Street Names: The Complete Guide to O'ahu Street Names Updated" (Aloha Press, $12.95).

    More than 5,000 names are in the book, which has been updated after being out of print for 10 years.

    City law requires that streets be given Hawaiian names — though you see older neighborhoods with non-Hawaiian names — yet many residents have no idea what they mean.

    "For some people, (knowing the meaning) brings a smile or makes them embarrassed," Budnick said. "Every street name has a meaning, and I would hope people would want to know what they are."

    The book explains the island's most famous street names: While named after royalty, Kapi'olani Boulevard also means "arch of heaven" and Kalakaua Avenue translates to "the day of battle."

    "And when you're driving down that street, you feel like you're in the day of battle just driving through the traffic there," said Budnick, laughing.

    And then there are the unexplained names such as 'Ewa Beach's 'Aikanaka Road (it means man-eating) or Mo'omuku (mutilated lizard) Place in Kuli'ou'ou.

    "There are dozens of streets you wonder why the street was named that," Budnick said.


    Kapukawai Street (Waipahu): Handsome
    Kupu'eu Place (Waipahu): Hero, wondrous one
    Lakimau Street (Diamond Head): Always lucky
    Lakoloa Place (Kalihi): Very rich, prosperous
    Lalawai Drive ('Aiea): Successful, well-to-do
    Pahukula Place (Kuli'ou'ou): Chest of gold


    'Apake'e Street (Wai'anae): Deceitful
    Kahekili Highway (Kane'ohe): Thunder
    Kaie'e Street ('Ewa Beach): Tidal wave
    Kalapu Street ('Ewa Beach): Ghost
    Ka'onawai Place (Manoa): The liquid intoxicant
    Nakiu Place (McCully): The spies
    Na'opala Lane (Kalihi): Rubbish


    'Aikanaka Place/Road ('Ewa Beach): To eat human flesh
    'Ilipilo Street (Kailua): Smelly skin
    Kauhako Street/Place (Hawai'i Kai): The dragged large intestines
    Mo'omuku Place (Kuli'ou'ou): Mutilated lizard
    Lumi'au'au Street (Waipahu): Bathroom


    Helekula Way/Place (Wai'anae): To go to school
    Ki'ona'ole Road (Kane'ohe): Without dung heaps
    Komai'a Drive (Manoa): Dragging bananas
    Ki'i'oni'oni Loop/Place (Wai'alae): Motion pictures, movies
    Wai'aka Place (McCully): Laughing water


    'Ano'ilei Place (Hau'ula): Cherished, sweetheart
    Hanakealoha Place (Palolo Valley): Love-making
    Ho'oha'i Street/Place (Pearl City): To flirt
    Pa'ale'a Street (Palolo Valley): Pleasure-loving
    Poli'ala Street (Waimanalo): Fragrant breast
    'Eu Lane (Kalihi): Rascal
    Lukini Place ('Ewa Beach): Perfume
    Kani'ahe Street/Place (Wahiawa): To giggle or laugh softly
    Wela Street/Lane (Kaimuki): Lust, passion


    Kuewa Drive (Waialua): Wanderer, homeless
    Nalulu Place (Wai'alae 'Iki): A dull headache
    Meahala Street (Waipahu): Sinner
    Hepa Street (Waipahu): Idiot, imbecile, moron
    Kahalewai Place (Hale'iwa): Prison, jail
    Pokapahu Place (Diamond Head): Bursting bullet
    'Onaha Street (Kahala): Bow-legged
    Kalena Street (Wahiawa): The lazy one


    Ma'ipalaoa Road (Wai'anae): Whale genitals
    'Iole Street/Place (Kane'ohe): Hawaiian rat
    Ka'uku Place (Hawai'i Kai): Louse
    Kaluamo'o Street (Kailua): Lizard pit
    Ke Ala Mano Street (Kalihi Valley): Shark's road
    Miula Street ('Ewa Beach): Mule
    Popoi'a Road (Kailua): Fish rot$

    Reach Catherine E. Toth at ctoth@honoluluadvertiser.com.