The Good Word: Mahalo

Plumeria Waimea
Plumeria Waimea via Tropic-7‘s flickr.

We just returned from a week in paradise on beautiful Waikiki Beach. In what will surely go down in history as one of our all-time favorite vacations we swam with fish and sea turtles, visited the Polynesian Cultural Center, and lounged around some of the most gorgeous beaches I’ve ever seen.

Before I’d ever been to Hawaii I always thought that their word was Aloha. And it is. But, now I know that they have another word (they have an entire language, I know), Mahalo, which I like even more.

Mahalo means “thank you” in Hawaiian, but it has much more feeling than that. I don’t know what it is, but to me it always sounds like a more sincere, but cheerful thank you.

Logo for Mahalo, courtesy of Business Insider.

And so, Mahalo joins a growing list of non-English words that I use in everyday conversation. I love the way it sounds and feels.

So, to my family I say Mahalo for joining me on this adventure.

Mahalo, to my grandparents for lending us their fantastic condo.

Mahalo, to the fine folks at ABC Stores for selling me milk at $10 a gallon and bananas for a buck each.

Mahalo, to anyone who has read this far into this post.

Mahalo, to those of you who will leave a comment.

Swimming with the Sea Turtles
Image via my flickr.

If you’re one of the over 300 million Americans who have never been to Hawaii, there’s time to change that—make plans to go! You’ll give me a big Mahalo when you get back for sure!

Are there any non-English words you use? If so, which ones? What do they mean? Sound off in the comments below.