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n. (context Hawaii California English) A person of mixed ethnic heritage, especially half Asian/Pacific Islander and half white.


Hapa is a term for a person of mixed ethnic heritage. The term originates in Hawaii from the Hawaiian Pidgin word for "half", "part", or "mixed". In Hawaii, the word refers to any person of mixed ethnic heritage, regardless of the specific mixture. In California, the term has recently been used for any person of part Asian or Pacific Islander descent. Therefore, there are two concurrent usages.

Usage examples of "hapa".

In fact, the only young person I ever saw him relate to was a distant relative, a hapa haole named Russell Tanner.

A short thickset man of vaguely oriental appearance, he was of that mixed Hawaiian and Caucasian ancestry that in his birthplace is called hapa haoli.