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Hawaii is a beautiful tropical state located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that attracts millions of visitors each year. With its iconic beaches, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture, it’s no wonder why Hawaii is such a popular vacation destination.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Hawaii is correctly spelled H-A-W-A-I-I.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about the proper spelling of Hawaii, including some background on the state, common misspellings, tips and tricks for getting it right, and more.

A Brief History of the State of Hawaii

Origins of the Name “Hawaii”

The name “Hawaii” originates from the Polynesian language and is derived from the word “Hawaiki,” which refers to the homeland of the Polynesians.

The name was later anglicized to “Hawaii” by European explorers.

It is believed that the first Polynesians arrived in Hawaii around 1,500 years ago, after navigating thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean.

When Hawaii Became a State

Hawaii officially became a state of the United States on August 21, 1959. Prior to that, Hawaii was a territory of the United States for nearly 60 years.

The decision to grant statehood to Hawaii was influenced by its strategic location in the Pacific and its growing economic importance, particularly in the sugar industry.

Statehood was also seen as a way to strengthen the United States’ presence in the Pacific region during the Cold War.

Also read: The Unification Of Hawaii: How The Islands Became A State

Fun Facts About Hawaii

  • Hawaii is the only state in the United States that is composed entirely of islands.
  • Hawaii is home to the world’s most active volcano, Kilauea, which has been erupting continuously since 1983.
  • The state flower of Hawaii is the yellow hibiscus, also known as the pua aloalo.
  • Hawaii has its own time zone, Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HST), which is 10 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-10).
  • The state gem of Hawaii is black coral, which is found in the waters surrounding the islands.

For more information about the history of Hawaii, you can visit the official website of the Hawaii State Archives at

Also read: What Makes Hawaii So Unique? An In-Depth Look At The Aloha State

Common Misspellings of Hawaii


One of the most common misspellings of Hawaii is adding an extra “i” at the end, resulting in “Hawai’i”. This mistake often occurs because of confusion with the correct spelling of the state, which includes an apostrophe.

However, it is important to note that the correct placement of the apostrophe is before the last “i” in the word, not after it. So, next time you find yourself typing “Hawai’i”, remember to place the apostrophe correctly to avoid this common misspelling.


Another frequently misspelled variation of Hawaii is “Hawaya”. This mistake may be due to a simple typographical error or a misunderstanding of the correct spelling.

It is important to remember that the correct spelling of Hawaii does not include a “y” after the “w”.

To ensure you spell Hawaii correctly, double-check that you are using the appropriate letters and avoid the common misspelling of “Hawaya”.


The misspelling “Hawayii” is also commonly seen when referring to Hawaii. This error may be the result of confusion with the pronunciation of the state’s name, as the “ii” at the end may seem intuitive.

However, it is essential to remember that the correct spelling of Hawaii includes only one “i” at the end. So, when you are writing about this beautiful state, be sure to avoid the misspelling of “Hawayii” and opt for the correct spelling instead.

For more information on the correct spelling of Hawaii and other interesting facts about the state, you can visit the official website of the Hawaii Tourism Authority:

Tips for Remembering the Correct Spelling

Spelling can be a challenging task, especially when it comes to words with unique or unfamiliar combinations of letters. One such word is “Hawaii,” the name of the beautiful archipelago in the Pacific Ocean.

If you’ve ever found yourself stumbling over the correct spelling of Hawaii, worry no more! Here are some helpful tips to ensure you spell it correctly every time.

Break Down the Syllables

One effective way to remember the correct spelling of Hawaii is to break down the word into its syllables. “Ha-wai-i” consists of three syllables: “ha”, “wai” and”i.” 

Each “i” represents a separate syllable.

By focusing on each syllable individually, you can better grasp the unique combination of letters in each part. This technique can help eliminate confusion and make it easier to recall the correct spelling.

Use Mnemonic Devices

Mnemonic devices can be a powerful tool to aid in remembering spellings. In the case of Hawaii, you can create a memorable phrase or sentence that incorporates the correct spelling.

For example, you could use the phrase “Hawaiian adventure was amazing!” By associating the word “Hawaiian” with the correct spelling of Hawaii, you can create a mental connection that will help you remember it in the future.

Look for Memory Triggers

Memory triggers are visual or auditory cues that can help you recall information more easily. When it comes to spelling Hawaii, you can look for memory triggers that remind you of the unique letter combinations in the word.

For instance, the double “i” in Hawaii can be associated with the sight of two tall palm trees standing side by side. By visualizing this image, you can connect it to the correct spelling of the word.

Remember, practice makes perfect, so make an effort to use these tips regularly. Before you know it, spelling Hawaii correctly will become second nature to you. So go ahead and impress your friends with your newfound spelling prowess!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it ever acceptable to spell it “Hawai’i”?

Yes, it is acceptable to spell Hawaii as “Hawai’i” in certain contexts. The apostrophe, called an ‘okina in the Hawaiian language, represents a glottal stop. It is used to indicate a brief pause or break in pronunciation.

In Hawaiian orthography, the ‘okina is an important component of writing and is used to accurately represent the sounds of the language.

While the official spelling of the state is “Hawaii,” using the ‘okina can show respect for the Hawaiian culture and language. It acknowledges the unique pronunciation and adds authenticity to the spelling. However, it is important to note that not everyone includes the ‘okina when spelling Hawaii, so both spellings are widely used and accepted.

Are there legal name variations of Hawaii?

Yes, there are legal name variations of Hawaii. In addition to the standard English spelling “Hawaii,” the state is also referred to as “The Aloha State” and “The Paradise of the Pacific.” These name variations are not official spellings but are commonly used to describe Hawaii’s unique culture, beauty, and welcoming spirit.

It is worth mentioning that these name variations are not recognized in legal documents or official state communications. They are more commonly used in marketing materials, tourism campaigns, and casual conversations.

So, while you won’t find “The Aloha State” on a driver’s license or passport, it is a popular nickname that reflects the essence of Hawaii.

If you want to learn more about the official spelling and legal name variations of Hawaii, you can visit the official website of the State of Hawaii:

Also read: The Fascinating History Of How Hawaii Was Discovered


Hawaii is a one-of-a-kind paradise, but its name can be tricky to spell correctly. By learning some background information, common misspellings, and handy memory tips, you’ll be spelling Hawaii flawlessly in no time.

Wherever your travels take you, keep this guide in mind and you’ll have the Hawaii spelling down pat.

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