How well do you know Hawaii?

Hawaii has a lot of firsts, world’s bests and famous-es that make it an extremely unique state. If you’ve been to the Islands before, then I’m sure you’ve heard a few of them. These idioms, or expressions, are part of Hawaii’s culture and history and also offer travelers a catchy saying to help remember things by.

If you think you know Hawaii, then test your IQ below on some of the state’s most popular idioms. The answers are at the bottom. Good luck!

  1. The Grand Canyon of the Pacific
  2. The First Lady of Waikiki
  3. Kauai’s Biggest Little Town
  4. Hawaii’s First Aid Plant
  5. Home of the World’s Best Sugar
  6. The Windsurfing Capital of the World
  7. The Nation’s Only Royal Palace
  8. The Hawaiian Steak
  9. House of the Rising Sun
  10. The World’s Most Active Volcano
  11. Hawaii’s First Food Truck
  12. The Hawaiian Super Food
  13. The Seven Mile Miracle
  14. The Fish With The Pig-like Nose
  15. Hawaii’s Shampoo










  1. Koke‘e, a national park on Kauai’s west side. Mark Twain was the one who gave the red dirt valleys, mountains and gorges of Koke‘e its popular nickname.
  2. The Moana Hotel. Built in 1901, this was the first hotel in Waikiki and is now known as the Moana Surfrider.
  3. Hanapepe, which is a small artistic community on Kauai’s west side. It is also home to The Swinging Bridge and the ever-popular Friday Art Night.
  4. Aloe. A natural first aid plant that grows abundantly in Hawaii and has a wide variety of medicinal uses.
  5. Waialua, on Oahu. The structure from the last operating sugar mill in Hawaii exists here, and you can tour the property to learn more about the history. It is also now home to a co-op of surfboard craftsman.
  6. Ho‘okipa. Located on Maui’s North Shore and highly regarded as one of the best places in the world for wind surfing.
  7. Iolani Palace. Once home to the royal family, this landmark is now open for the public to tour and is located in the heart of Honolulu.
  8. Spam. Locals love it.
  9. Haleakala. One of the most famous places to watch the sun rise, located on Maui.
  10. Kilauea. This volcano is part of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island and is spewing as I write.
  11. Elena’s on Oahu. Known as the best Filipino food in Hawaii, this food truck serves up delicious fried pork adobo omelets!
  12. Poi. Pounded taro, which was a main staple in the traditional Hawaiian diet.
  13. This refers to the seven-mile stretch on Oahu’s North Shore. It is home to more famous surf breaks than anywhere else on the planet.
  14. Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, Hawaii’s state fish. If you’re ever underwater and see one of these triggerfish, you might notice it grunts like a pig too.
  15. Awapuhi, or white ginger. The Hawaiian women would use it as shampoo and have forever been revered for their beautiful, thick hair.

Posted by: Bruce Fisher