[ poo-kuh ]
/ ˈpu kə /


a small white shell found on Pacific, especially Hawaiian, beaches and strung in clusters to make necklaces.

Origin of puka

First recorded in 1970–75; of uncertain origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for puka


/ (ˈpuːkɑː) /

noun plural puka

NZ another name for broadleaf (def. 2)

Word Origin for puka

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for puka


type of necklace made from small shell fragments (or plastic imitations), by 1974, from Hawaiian puka, said to mean literally "hole," in references to small shell fragments with naturally occurring holes through them, suitable for stringing, found on beaches.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper