Glyph of the word 'to'. and Glyph of the word 'to'.


  • (syl.) glyph for the syllable to in the Kamakawi syllabary
  • (num.) four
  • (adj.) fourth
  • (v.) to quadruple

Ka hava ei i to toti!
“I ate four yams!”

Notes: I would have preferred the first number introduced on this blog to be “one” (or even “zero”), but to is a syllabic glyph, as well, so here we are.

The Kamakawi digits from one to nine are more or less iconic, their present forms being derived from a system of dots that were later converted into strokes. With to, the “four” part of it is actually the four corners, not the four sides. Keeping that in mind will actually make understanding the iku for the digits five through nine easier.

The determined form of to is used only for the verb “to quadruple”. Most numbers can be used as verbs meaning “to multiply by x”, where x is the digit in question, but at a certain point it gets silly, so a different expression is used. To is small enough, though, that it’s not unheard of to see it used thus.

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