Sunday, February 22, 2015
How do you pronounce Atooi … and Kauai?
Cook’s Journal, the first writing of the Hawaiian words, generally notes the Island of Kauai as ‘Atooi.’ Others writers note Atooi, but also associate ‘Kawai’ and ‘Kauhai.’
Cook spelled the other Island names: Oreehoua (Lehua,) Tahoora (Kaʻula,) Oneeheow (Niʻihau,) Woahoo (Oʻahu,) Morotoi or Morokoi (Molokai,) Mowee (Maui) and Owhyhee (Hawaiʻi.)
Given how Cook spelled other Island names, it appears the Island name of ‘Atooi’ (Kauai) sounded like ‘ahh too eye.’
Hiram Bingham notes the Island name in his explanation of his understanding of the Hawaiian language suggested “Corrected in English” for the name as “Cowʻ-eyeʻ” and the “New” spelling as “Kauʻ aiʻ”.
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