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Word originating in ancient Hawaii and around Polynesia for a third-gendered person, that is, not male nor female, but both or neither.

In pre-contact Hawaii (before white explorers and missionaries brought their homophobia with them), mahus were considered special and assumed respected and traditional roles within the communities.

After colonization, it became common for "mahu" to be used pejoratively to refer mostly to gay men and drag queens, but sometimes also butch women, and transgendered people of all kinds.

Although it is now most commonly used in a disdainful way, some have decided to remember their history and reclaim the word with pride, calling themselves "mahu," just as the words, "queer," "fag," and "dyke," have been reclaimed by many.
"King Kamehameha I of Hawaii had mahus dwell near his house because he considered them lucky, and in Tahiti every village had one mahu because it was thought to be fortunate for the village."
by mahukane April 18, 2010
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May 8 Word of the Day
1. Slight sins or offenses
2. Petty crimes or small infractions
3. Las Vegas Punk Rock!
Peccadilloes shows rule.
by James Messina August 11, 2006
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Male crossdresser common to Hawaii, particularly the Chinatown district of Oahu. Mahu are on the streets to perform skin flute renditions for a price. Most mahu are pretty rough looking and could probably kick the shit out of you if provoked.

Mahu are disliked by large local women because they buy up all the large size stylish shoes leaving only funky kine shoes that nobody like wear.
a: Damn, dat lady sure got plenty make up and one short dress!

b: Dats no lady. Dats one mahu. She's a he and he could suck the chrome off a trailor hitch.
by wheaty May 28, 2005
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Tahitian word for a male who assumes female roles in his daily life.
That mahu cooks and cleans.
by octopod August 19, 2004
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Hawaiian for Gay or Transgender person. Also meaning talented or gifted.
We went to a mahu party.
by Pika & Kalani November 04, 2003
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A man dressed like a woman. You don't have to be a homosexual but it helps!
Brah hard for even speak to one Mahu.
by James Clements January 27, 2005
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