“Da Kine”

“The word da kine. Um, I guess it comes from the Hawaiian Pidgin language? Which is like, slang in Hawaii, and like there’s a bunch of different kinds of slang words. And like da kine is just like the most versatile of all those words. You can use it to fill in anything. Like, any kinda noun, like or verb too! So you can be like I want da kine today! That, that would mean like, I want to go do something today. Or, it would be a filler for anything you forget the name of, so like I ate da kine. Oh, da kine girl’s name, like, I forget…hahahaha…Da Kine is also the name of a bag company. They make like backpacks and suitcases and wallets and snowboarding equipment. But I’m not quite sure if that’s Hawaiian…”

My informant talks about a Pidgin term, which is a type of slang spoken by native Hawaiians. Usually, a slang word stands in for another specified word, but ‘da kine’ is interesting in that it can be used to cover any word or phrase in a conversation, and listener treats it as an actual filler word. I also found it interesting when she brought up the bag company, and wasn’t sure whether it was Hawaiian or not. It brings up the question of authenticity, and whether or not this term strictly ‘belongs to’ Pidgin speakers. Is the bag company’s use of this word to sell product inauthentic, or is it a way of spreading Hawaiian culture?