- What regional colloquialism in your area would baffle people from elsewhere?
It’s fading from usage, but everyone still knows what broke da mout means. You use it to describe a meal that’s so good it actually breaks your mouth.
- What’s something you call by a name that differs from what most people in your region call it?
There a lot of examples, but one that leaps to mind is ice cream, which many (if not most) people around here for some reason pronounce “aish cream.” There’s also a huge segment of our population who calls milk “melk.”
- What’s a normal food in your region that people in other regions might be weirded out by?
It would be easy to pick on Filipino food but I’ll stick closer to home and say natto. It’s a rather polarizing food, even among my friends of Japanese ancestry. It’s nasty, nasty stuff with an unappealing stickiness and a strongly petroleum flavor, but I’ve been told by people who love it that there’s a difference between good natto and run-of-the-mill natto. Also Spam musubi, which almost all of us adore. It might sound gross but it’s really really good!
- What’s something in your area with an official name almost nobody refers to it by?
The flagship campus of our state university system is officially the University of Hawaii at Manoa, but everyone around here calls it UH. This offends me, since I graduated from the University of Hawaii at Hilo, the real UH. In collegiate athletics, people refer to UH Manoa as “Hawaii,” as in “Next week the Cougars are expected to lose to Hawaii.” With four four-year universities in the system, UH Manoa has no rightful claim to “Hawaii.”
- What are the names of some convenience stores in your area?
7-Eleven of course, but there are also Aloha Mini Mart, Nom Nom, Fastop, Whalers, ABC Stores, and Nanay Dela’s Lutong Bahai, where you can get a Spam musubi made with jasmine rice.