Glyph of the word 'hiku'.


  • (n.) pile, heap, mound

Oku olomo i ipe hiku o temi.
“Don’t walk on that pile of bones.”

Notes: This is the word that gave birth to the term hikuiku, which describes a word comprising two or more iku. It just means “pile” in the sense of…”pile”. Nothing very fancy about it (well, unless it’s a pile of something valuable, like gold bars). Unlike the English word “pile”, it can also be used with mass nouns, so you can say hiku o ta, “a pile of sand”.

Actually, I’m having a syntax class moment… Is “pile of sand” infelicitous in English? I know “pile of ice cream” is. Oh dang. Or is it…?! Wow. My English grammar thing has just gone haywire. Hooray! :D

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One Response to “Hiku”

  1. Ka kavaka Anthony ti:

    my 2 cents:
    in the dialect of English I learned, it’s not infelicitous:
    a) “she piled (up) the sand.”
    b) “he looked at the pile of sand.” (often “mound of” instead, though)
    c) “he piled (on more) ice cream.”
    …I think the only thing that stops it from being “a pile of ice cream” is that ice cream is normally stacked, while a pile is less stable and more likely to turn pyramidal or into a mess.

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