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Aloha! If you’ve landed here, you’re probably curious about how to say ‘brother’ in Hawaiian. Good news – you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: The Hawaiian word for brother is kaikaina.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Hawaiian term for brother. You’ll learn the exact word, how to pronounce it properly, examples of usage in sentences, cultural context, and more.

By the end, you’ll be well-versed in this common Hawaiian kinship term. Let’s get started!

The Hawaiian Word for Brother

Kaikaina is the Hawaiian term for brother.

In the beautiful Hawaiian language, the word for brother is “kaikaina.” This term encompasses the special bond between siblings and is an integral part of the Hawaiian culture. The word “kaikaina” holds deep meaning and reflects the importance of family and relationships in Hawaiian society.

When you break down the word “kaikaina” in Hawaiian, you can see its components. “Kai” means “sea” or “ocean,” while “kaina” translates to “junior” or “younger.” Together, they form “kaikaina,” which can be interpreted as “younger sibling” or “junior brother.” This term specifically refers to a younger brother, highlighting the hierarchical structure within families.

It’s pronounced ‘kai-KAI-nah’, with the stress on the second syllable.

Now that you know the meaning of “kaikaina,” let’s dive into its pronunciation. In Hawaiian, each syllable is pronounced distinctly, making it important to grasp the correct pronunciation. “Kaikaina” is pronounced as “kai-KAI-nah,” with the stress on the second syllable.

The “kai” syllable is pronounced like the English word “kai” (rhymes with “eye”). The second syllable, “KAI,” is emphasized, with a slight rise in tone. The final syllable, “nah,” is pronounced like “nuh,” but with a soft “a” sound, similar to the “a” in “father.”

Remember, when speaking Hawaiian words, it’s essential to respect the cultural nuances and pronounce them accurately. Practice saying “kaikaina” to fully appreciate the beauty of the Hawaiian language.

Meaning and Usage

When it comes to the Hawaiian language, the word “kaikaina” holds a special place. Translated literally, it means “younger sibling of the same sex.” This term is commonly used to refer to a biological brother, but it can also be used to describe a close male friend or relative. The versatility of “kaikaina” allows it to encompass a wide range of relationships, highlighting the importance of familial and social bonds in Hawaiian culture.

Some examples:

  • Ua hele aku au me ka’u kaikaina. (I went with my brother.)
  • ‘O wai kāu kaikaina? (Who is your brother?)

These examples demonstrate how “kaikaina” can be used in different contexts. Whether you’re talking about going somewhere with your biological brother or asking someone about their own sibling, this word captures the essence of brotherhood in Hawaiian culture.

For more information on Hawaiian language and culture, you can visit the Office of Hawaiian Affairs website. They provide valuable resources and insights into the rich heritage of the Hawaiian people.

Cultural Context

In traditional Hawaiian culture, siblings had clear roles and responsibilities. Family was highly valued, and the relationships between siblings were considered sacred. The Hawaiian language itself reflects this cultural significance, with specific words and phrases to describe the different roles and dynamics within sibling relationships.

In traditional Hawaiian culture, siblings had clear roles and responsibilities.

In the Hawaiian culture, the concept of ‘ohana’ (meaning family) is deeply ingrained. Siblings played important roles in the family structure, and their relationships were based on mutual respect and support. Each sibling had specific responsibilities within the family, and these roles were recognized and respected by all.

Older brothers (kaikunāne) were expected to care for and guide their younger siblings.

In Hawaiian culture, the older brother, known as the “kaikunāne,” played a crucial role in caring for and guiding their younger siblings. They were seen as the protectors and mentors, responsible for imparting wisdom and knowledge to their younger siblings. The kaikunāne was expected to lead by example and set a positive influence for their younger brothers.

Younger brothers showed respect and deferred to older brothers.

Respect and deference were highly valued in Hawaiian culture, especially when it came to sibling relationships. Younger brothers were expected to show respect to their older brothers, acknowledging their guidance and authority. This respect was demonstrated through acts of obedience and humility, as well as by seeking their older brother’s advice and approval.

Understanding the cultural context of sibling relationships in traditional Hawaiian culture is essential for appreciating the significance of the term “brother” (kaikunāne) in the Hawaiian language. It reflects the deep-rooted values of family, respect, and responsibility that are still cherished in Hawaiian society today.

Other Ways to Say Brother

When it comes to addressing our siblings, there are various ways to say “brother” in different languages and cultures. In Hawaiian, specifically, there are a few words that can be used to refer to a brother. Let’s explore some of these terms and their meanings.

Hoahanau – Another word for brother, less common than kaikaina

One of the words used to refer to a brother in Hawaiian is “Hoahanau.” While not as commonly used as “kaikaina,” this word still holds significance in the Hawaiian language. It can be used to address a brother or brothers in a general sense. For example, you might say “E komo mai, hoahanau!” which translates to “Welcome, brothers!”

Kaikunāne – Older brother

If you want to specifically refer to an older brother in Hawaiian, the word “kaikunāne” is the appropriate choice. This term is used to address a male sibling who is older than oneself. For instance, you might say “Mahalo, kaikunāne!” which means “Thank you, older brother!”

Kaikōko’o – Male cousin

While not directly translating to “brother,” the word “kaikōko’o” is used to refer to a male cousin in Hawaiian. In some cultures, cousins are considered as brothers or siblings, hence the inclusion of this term. If you want to address a male cousin, you can use “kaikōko’o” in your conversation. For example, you might say “Aloha, kaikōko’o!” which means “Hello, cousin!”

These terms provide a glimpse into the rich linguistic diversity of Hawaiian culture. It’s important to note that language is an ever-evolving aspect of culture, and the usage of these words may vary among different speakers and regions. If you want to dive deeper into the Hawaiian language, there are numerous resources available online, such as and, which can help you explore further.

Brother in Other Polynesian Languages

Teina – Brother in Māori

In Māori, the word for brother is “Teina”. The Māori language is one of the official languages of New Zealand and is spoken by the indigenous Māori people. The term “Teina” is used to refer to a younger brother or a male sibling. It is interesting to note that in Māori culture, the concept of brotherhood extends beyond just blood relations. It encompasses a sense of kinship and mutual support within the community.

Uso – Brother in Samoan

In Samoan, the word for brother is “Uso”. Samoan is spoken in Samoa, American Samoa, and other Polynesian communities. The term “Uso” is used to refer to a brother or a male sibling. However, similar to Māori culture, the concept of brotherhood in Samoan culture goes beyond biological ties. It represents a bond of unity and shared responsibilities among individuals who consider themselves as part of the same extended family or community.

Tēina – Brother in Tahitian

In Tahitian, the word for brother is “Tēina”. Tahitian, the indigenous language of French Polynesia, is closely related to Māori and other Polynesian languages. The term “Tēina” is used to refer to a younger brother or male sibling. It signifies a relationship of care, respect, and protection between siblings. In Tahitian culture, brothers hold a special place in family dynamics, often playing the role of mentors and protectors.

Exploring the diverse ways in which different Polynesian languages express the concept of brotherhood provides us with valuable insights into the cultural significance of familial bonds and community relationships in these societies. It highlights the importance of language in shaping our understanding of kinship and interpersonal connections.

For more information on Polynesian languages and cultures, you can visit or


There you have it – everything you need to know about the Hawaiian term for brother. With this guide, you can now comfortably use kaikaina and understand its cultural significance.

So next time you’re speaking Hawaiian or visiting the islands, you’ll know exactly how to refer to your male sibling or friend. Spread the aloha and use this kinship term appropriately!

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