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2017 Word of the Year

kahuna

[kuh-hoo-nuh] /kəˈhu nə/
noun
1.
(in Hawaii) a native medicine man or priest.
Origin of kahuna
1885-1890
Borrowed into English from Hawaiian around 1885-90
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Word Origin and History for kahuna
n.

1886, in a report in English by the Hawaiian government, which defines the word as "doctor and sorcerer," from Hawaiian, where it was applied as well to priests and navigators. In surfer slang, for "a god of surfing," it is attested from 1962 (but big kahuna in same sense is said to date from 1950s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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13
14
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