ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi / Hawaiian Language

Hawaiian Word of the Day for Feb. 5: Akeakamai

Listen to this Article
2 minutes
Loading Audio... Article will play after ad...
Playing in :00

Today’s “Hawaiian Word of the Day” for Feb. 5 is akeakamai. It roughly corresponds to lover (ake) of wisdom (akamai).

The Hawaiian Dictorary also said it means: seeker after knowledge, philosopher, scientist and scholar.

Some people may remember the dolphin named Akeakamai. In the 1980s, Akeakamai was the best-known of the “language” dolphins in Louis Herman’s animal language studies at the Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Laboratory in Honolulu.

Akeakamai was an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin caught in the Gulf of Mexico and kept at Kewalo Basin Marine Mammal Lab for dolphin cognition and language studies. Photo circa 1985

Akeakamai also was the subject of other scientific studies about dolphin cognition, sensory abilities and language acquisition. Akeakamai appeared in National Geographic’s Dolphins with Robin Williams, BBC’s Wildlife on One’s Dolphins: Deep Thinkers with David Attenborough and ABC’s Touched by a Dolphin with Sharon Lawrence.


Due to the prominence of Akeakamai in the animal language research, the name also was given to a dolphin character in the science fiction novel “Startide Rising” by David Brin.

In the animal world, there is another famous Akeakami, a Laysan albatross. In 2020, her love life with Wisdom, then 69 and the oldest banded albatross, was documented by the Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.

Wisdom and her mate, Akeakamai,whose name means “love of wisdom,” have returned every year since 2006 to hatch a chick. Photo Courtesy: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A Facebook post said the pair were “spotted together on December 9 but have not been seen again. The Good News: It is normal for couples to skip a nesting year and it gives them a much needed rest. Each week, our fervent FWS volunteers keep checking their nesting area for any sightings. We will let you know if anything changes!”


Akeakamai also is a girl’s name that rocks according to myfirstname.rocks. But while it may rock, Akeakamai is not ranked in the top 1,000 of baby girl names, according to Babynamespedia.com.

“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is translated into Hawaiian.

And, the Hawaiian translation of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is available for $19.95 on Amazon. It’s called: “Harry Potter a me ka Pōhaku Akeakamai.”

Editor’s Note: Each day in February, we have a new “Hawaiian Word of the Day” during Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi, Hawaiian Language Month. Check out the other words of the day on the Big Island website by clicking here.


Sponsored Content

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay in-the-know with daily
headlines delivered straight to your inbox.


This comments section is a public community forum for the purpose of free expression. Although Kauai Now encourages respectful communication only, some content may be considered offensive. Please view at your own discretion. View Comments