[kuh-nak-uh, -nah-kuh, kan-uh-kuh]
- a native Hawaiian.
- a South Sea islander.
Origin of kanaka
< Hawaiian: person
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for kanaka
She's only a Kanaka girl, but I wouldn't trade her for a million.Wild Justice: Stories of the South Seas
Kanaka, (ka-n-ka)--a man; a commoner as opposed to the alii.Unwritten Literature of Hawaii
Nathaniel Bright Emerson
That shuts out Boompointer or Kanaka Joe, for the matter o' that.Found At Blazing Star
He did not know what it was that made it impossible for him to look at the Kanaka.
He seemed to read the thoughts which were in the Kanaka's mind.
- (esp in Hawaii) a native Hawaiian
- (often not capital) Australian any native of the South Pacific islands, esp (formerly) one abducted to work in Australia
C19: from Hawaiian: man, human being
Word Origin and History for kanaka
U.S. nautical and Australian name for "native of South Sea islands," 1840, from Hawaiian kanaka "man" (Samoan tangata).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper