Archive for the ‘O’ Category


• Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'olu'.


  • (adj.) wide
  • (v.) to be wide
  • (n.) width
  • (v.) to be open (said of mouths, eyes and similar things)
  • (adj.) open

Témepa, olu lau o lea.
“Temba, his arms wide.”

Notes: That quote is from the famous (or infamous) Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Darmok”, where the alien Tamarians have a language that they apparently refuse to use—or understand. A truly puzzling one to think about as a language enthusiast.

Today’s iku is, I think, the real base for fala, the Kamakawi word for “father”, as opposed to opu, the Kamakawi word for “flea”. This one’s a true ikunoala (a straightforward blend of o and lu), and fala is the same glyphed simply flipped around.

And, of course, it’d make sense (perhaps?) for there to be a word for “father” before a word for “flea”, so it seems likelier that the glyph for fala had a notch added to it to produce opu, rather than the notch having been removed from opu to produce fala.

So, yes. I’m glad to have that figured out. On to the next mystery…


• Monday, September 26th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'olomoko'.


  • (v.) to walk with (someone)
  • (n.) used to describe the settling of a disagreement (or used to mean “the settling of a disagreement”)

Kava olomoko i’i.
“Fire walk with me.”

Notes: Just acame across the coolest thing for Twin Peaks fans (and that should be all y’all, nahmean?). For those who weren’t following the internet back then, someone produced an NES-style side-scrolling game version of The Great Gatsby which is an absolute riot (I highly recommend it!). To me, that was the crowning achievement of faux-retro literary gaming, but today’s revelation is definitely worth of note.

An…entity referred to as jak locke has released (apparently awhile back, so excuse me if you’ve seen this before) an Atari-style game called Black Lodge 2600. You take control of Dale Cooper as he tries to escape the Black Lodge with his life and his identity. It’s everything you’d hope it should be. I haven’t gotten too far, but hopefully one day I’ll make it out.

I dusted off the ol’ Kamakawi applicative (derivation? inflection? a little from column A, a little from column B…?) to create today’s word. In Kamakawi, I have a very clear idea of how you’d use the nominal form, but I can’t seem to define it very well in English (possibly [or probably] because I have a massive headache). Hopefully that’s enough to give you the idea, though.


• Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'oku'.Glyph of the word 'ka'.


  • (adv.) never, never again

A male hava ei i omi okuka.
“I will never eat a macadamia nut again.”

Notes: Going along with yesterday’s post, Kamakawi has two words for “never”. Yesterday’s “never” (okuoku) is used with things that one will never do, and has never done (or things that have never happened and will never happen). Okuka is used with things that one has done (or with things that have happened) and implies that one will never do it again.

This wasn’t a planned distinction of Kamakawi; it just kind of arose naturally based on the morphology. I think it’s a nice distinction to have, though. I’m not sure if it’d make enough sense to port into any of my other conlangs, but it’s nice to have here.


• Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'oku'.Glyph of the word 'oku'.


  • (adv.) never, never ever

Awei! Male puke ei okuoku!
“Bah! I will never finish!”

Notes: And I really won’t, at this rate. I’ve got until midnight on October 1st to finish La Morte d’Arthur, and I don’t think I’m going to do it. I’d set myself a regimen of reading 40 pages a day, and that would’ve had me finishing it on September 30th, but I just can’t keep up with it. In order to catch up, I need to read about 70 pages before I go to sleep tonight—and tomorrow I’m going to be gone for a large portion of the day.

Nothing more to say but: Awei! :(


• Friday, September 9th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'onou'.


  • (adv.) right (as in the right side of one’s body)
  • (adj.) right
  • (v.) to be to the right of something
  • (n.) right side

Ea. Laumi ei kopu onou. E laumi kopu neu.
“Yes. I’m lying on my right side. And my back.”


Today I decided to go with a vintage, “Classic Keli” shot—a newspaper shot from an era and time that never existed:

Keli contorted.

That was taken early yesterday. And actually the style of this photo came about because it was just too dark (Keli’s fur doesn’t photograph well in low light!), and I was trying to lighten the photo up. And I was able to, but it looked terrible, so I just kept playing with it. Now it looks like I meant to do it! ;)

Back when the direction of writing hadn’t been settled on in Kamakawi, you couldn’t tell what the iku for onou meant (and how it was pronounced) unless you knew which direction the writer had been writing in. Eventually when the final direction was settled upon (either left-to-right then top-to-bottom, or top-to-bottom and then left-to-right), the fixed form for onou was settled upon.


• Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'oine'.


  • (n.) marriage
  • (v.) to wed, to marry
  • (n.) spouse

Kiko oine nanai oi’i ie nanai oilea.
“Today my friend marries his friend.”

Notes: So, truth be told, I should get eight hours of sleep tomorrow; we’ll see if I do. Just got back from the first bachelor party I’ve ever thrown (mostly successful), and today my friend gets married. He’s a little stressed, but he’s sleeping soundly right now, so for the time being, my job is done.

I absolutely couldn’t be happier for him. He’s found the woman he loves and wants to spend the rest of his life with. I know the feeling, and nothing beats it. Can’t wait to see him off. :)


• Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'oamo'.


  • (n.) surf, tide (general word for the character of the ocean)
  • (n.) mood

Mamata ia ie oamo i’i fei.
“Watch the tide for me.”

Notes: The general rise and fall, ebb and flow of the ocean. This is a top-level term for all of it, with many specific terms underneath it. Given that it vacillates, the word was borrowed over to describe a person’s mood.


• Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ova'.


  • (n.) hammock

A male fumi iko ti ova.
“This will make a good hammock.”


This is a good one! We’ve recently seen a picture of Keli resting on the laptop—and even a video of Keli fighting the laptop’s screen—but they weren’t nothing compared to this!

Heh, heh! She was just enamored of the laptop this day. Now, if it were cold out, my guess would be that she wanted it as a warm little seat. But it was summer! It was hot out! Honestly, sometimes I just can’t figure her out.


• Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'o'opo'.


  • (n.) coconut

Kawa ia i ipe o’opo e neviki i’i!
“Split that coconut and share it with me!”

Notes: Kind of on a food kick right now, and one of my favorites is coconut. Crucially, though, I only like fresh coconut; absolutely cannot stand dried coconut. Anyone else like this? Or anyone feel the opposite way? I tell you, to me it seems sometimes like the two don’t come from the same fruit…

The iku for o’opo is an old one, which is why the box is used rather than the circle used in later iku. Any guesses why the triangle is there, though? (See the various number entries for a hint [if that didn’t give it away already].)


• Friday, June 10th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'oloko'.


  • (v.) to dream
  • (n.) dream
  • (n.) dreaming
  • (adj.) dreaming

Oi oloko ei i kemevene!
“When I dream, I’m a lion!”


Here’s my little lioness asleep:

Keli couchant.

Doesn’t she look like a lion? This picture is from several days ago. She’s currently asleep on the chair next to me, but is rather curled up like a tetu.

It’s really nice to have a cat—especially one that purrs as much as Keli does. She’s quite the cat.

Oh, and this word derives rather obviously from olo. Quite different from the Dothraki concept.