Lauwiliwilinukunukuʻoiʻoi means long-nosed butterflyfish.

We have a passion for ʻolelo Hawaiʻi, or the Hawaiian language. Today, in honor of Earth Month, I continue the series with a nature-related word that can be found in Aulani Resort’s Rainbow Reef. If you’re not familiar, Rainbow Reef is a 3,800 square foot private snorkeling lagoon that houses more than 1,000 fish, many of which can be found throughout the reefs of Hawai’i.

One fish you may meet when you come to visit is Hawai‘i’s state fish, the humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa, or triggerfish. However, if you thought that was the longest fish name in Hawaiʻi, you are a few letters short! The longest fish name is lauwiliwilinukunuku‘oi‘oi, totaling 25 letters! (In Hawaiian, we count the ‘okina, or glottal stop, as a letter as well.) When we break the name down, it tells us the fish is shaped like a lau wiliwili, or coral tree leaf, with a nukunukuʻoiʻoi, or long, pointy nose! In English, we call this the long-nosed butterflyfish.

On your next visit to Aulani, remember the words of Sebastian the crab: “Darling, it’s better down where it’s wetter, take it from me!” Enjoy a swim at Rainbow Reef, and be sure to greet the lauwiliwilinukunukuʻoiʻoi by name.

A hui hou, until we meet again!

Note: In printed materials, Aulani Resort uses the contemporary spelling of Hawaiian words, which includes marks such as the kahako (macron). Because these marks do not often display correctly in electronic formats we’ve omitted them to ensure clarity.

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