Glyph of the word 'aemu'.


  • (v.) to have within, to have inside
  • (v.) to bear, to carry
  • (v.) to come with
  • (adj.) inside, within

Aemu kata tie pale!
“The house comes with a pig!”

Notes: Kind of a strange word to translate into English, since the translations can themselves have other meanings. This means “comes with” in the sense of, “My box of Crispix comes with a toy surprise!” It doesn’t mean “comes with” in the sense of, “Ah, here is my good friend, and—oh drat, it looks like her husband is coming with her.”

In translating the second sentence of the first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the first troublesome word I came across was “endowed”. What the heck is “endowed”?! If you think about its etymology, it comes from the same root that gave us “dowry”. The Kamakawi word has absolutely nothing to do with arcane wedding rituals. This one is derived from ae, the word meaning “inside”. If something is physically inside of something else, then one might say (quite literally) that it comes with that something. I, for example, come with high cholesterol. Why? Genetics. I’m skinny as a whip and strong as an ox (or probably strong like a vervet monkey), but that cholesterol’s right in me whether I like it or not, and no matter how much I run. Thus have I been “endowed”.

This word signals the start of the second sentence. This one’s not as bad as the first, I think. But I don’t really remember the first sentence—or the second one, for that matter—so it may be a passing fancy. We’ll see as the days go by.

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4 Responses to “Aemu”

  1. Ka kavaka Anateleu ti:

    I’m wondering if this word can also mean ‘to contain’, as in ‘May contain nuts’, or whether that is a different word.

  2. Ka kavaka David J. Peterson ti:

    Huh… That’s kind of an odd sentence. I imagine this is the word you’d use, but why would something possibly contain nuts? I’ve seen lots of products that warn you that their product was made with equipment that processes nuts and other things, but I’d be surprised to find a product that says, “May contain nuts.” For someone like me who’s allergic to nuts, that would suck!

  3. Ka kavaka Anateleu ti:

    Hmmm, I believe it is used as a warning in one of the Science of the Discworld series on the grounds of the uncertainty principle, i.e. it can’t be ruled out that an object does not contain nuts.

  4. Ka kavaka David J. Peterson ti:

    That’s true enough. This world is fraught with peril for those like me.

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