Ulo

Glyph of the word 'ulo'.

ulo

  • (v.) to be tan
  • (adj.) tan
  • (n.) tan person
  • (n.) islander

Oku lea i ulo.
“He’s not tan.”

Notes: So today’s word doesn’t quite mean “tan” is it’s used in English. Basically this is the word that means “skin color”, as the default Kamakawi skin color is what someone living in the mountains would consider tan. So perhaps a better translation of this would be “flesh-colored”. I’m not sure that would give the right impression, though.

Looking at today’s iku, you might think it was an ikunoala, and that the word is actually pronounced hulo. That’s not, in fact, the case (though ulo is sometimes pronounced hulo on account of the spelling). Actually, here the iku for hu is used for two reasons. First, it’s used because the vowel is the same as the first syllable of the word (so does give some clue as to how the word is pronounced), but most importantly, it’s being used as a face. Then the iku for lo is dropped in there for phonological reasons, and to kind of look like coloring on the face. The idea is to show that this is the color that one’s face is (since one’s face is usually the tannest part on one’s body).

In modern times (in the fictional world where Kamakawi is spoken), ulo is used to refer to someone who lives on the islands. It kind of means “native” or “local” (in the colloquial sense).

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