In literal terms, hapa means half, or part. In the past, the term was coupled with the term haole, which means Caucasian or foreigner, to categorize a person as half-white. As such, being a hapa was akin to being a half-breed, a somewhat negative notion. However, in contemporary usage, hapa has taken on the meaning of anyone of mixed ethnicities, especially in Hawaii where more than half the population is of mixed race. On the Mainland, however, the half-breed connotation still prevails in some circles.