My name understandably gives folks a little trouble sometimes. Since I’ll be meeting so many new folks at Hukilau, here’s a wee attempt to answer a few questions:
- Humma humma? Hooma hooma? How do you pronounce it?
Hu-mu-hu-mu, with the “u”s pronounced as in “ruby.” It rhymes with “voodoo.” If you can say voodoo (and what self-respecting tikiphile can’t?), you can say Humu, and if you can say Humu, you can say Humuhumu.
- You’re named after the fish, right?
Sorry, I ain’t. No relation. I know it’s disappointing, because how often do you get a chance to drop the fish’s full name in conversation? But that’s not where my name comes from. Humuhumu is the Hawaiian word for sewing. My first home tiki bar was also my sewing room, so I named it The Humuhumu Room. When I signed up on Tiki Central, I chose Humuhumu as my name, and it has stuck rather nicely.
- But what’s your real name?
- Oh, I’ll just call you Michelle, then.
- What do people call you?
All sorts of things, but mostly Humu or Humuhumu. My boyfriend Hanford calls me Humu. He doesn’t call me Michelle. My dad calls me Lelle, my mom calls me her little pumpkin, my old schoolchums call me Mush or Elf, my brother calls me any of a number of bizarre things, and a few people call me Michelle. Definitely, when I’m at a tiki shindig, I prefer to be called Humuhumu.
- It’s kind of ridiculous.
I agree completely.
So, there you have it! If we meet and you still stumble over my name, I won’t mind one bit. And if you really can’t hack saying “Humuhumu” or even just “Humu,” I’ll understand that, too. But now you’re equipped with much more than you ever really wanted to know about my silly little name.