Archive for the ‘Ikuleyaka’ Category


• Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'itai'.


  • (v.) to flee
  • (n.) flight, fleeing
  • (adj.) fleeing

Itai ia!
“Run away!”

Notes: A few days ago, I posted a word whose iku was a bit of a mystery to me. Turns out that iku (whose meaning is “slow”) was based on this one. Now to explain this iku

As I see it, I think this iku is simply iconic. The “ground” determinative is being used literally, and the little “F” figure there is, I think, a dude running away (along the ground). That’s the best explanation I can come up with. Sometimes after I was, like, three or four hours into a glyph-making session, I just started coming up with stuff, and after awhile, like a syntax student looking at semi-grammatical sentences, everything starts to look acceptable.

It certainly does fit the pattern of Kamakawi iku that use the “ground” determinative well, though. Looks just like one of those. And so it is!


• Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'iunu'.


  • (v.) to be slow
  • (adj.) slow
  • (adv.) slowly

Ale iunu, ale iunu…
“Go slow, go slow…”

Notes: This one’s a quote from a Fela Kuti song “Go Slow” (great one).

This iku is a bit of a mystery to me. We have the “ground” determinative there and also the “bad” line determinative, and that’s obvious enough. That “F” shape, though, has me puzzled… Could be something going fast (maybe a bird), and then the “bad” line determinative tells you it’s not that—i.e. it’s not fast, but slow.

OH! Ha, ha. Actually, it’s built off another glyph. So this one is both an ikuleyaka and an iku’ume. We haven’t seen that word yet, but now that I know it exists, I’ll be sure to put it up. I think it’s pretty good, the relationship; it makes sense.


• Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'natio'.


  • (n.) rack
  • (n.) spear rack

Toko ia ie la li’ia ie natio.
“Put your spear on the spear rack.”

Notes: This was a fun one. The iku for natio is the same as the iku for lave, “rain”, but it has the “identity” determinative beneath it. The reason its iku is used is because, coincidentally, the iku for lave (which is an ikunoala) looks kind of like a spear rack (after all, it’s got la right in there). Thus, the iku for natio was born.


• Sunday, November 20th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'natita'.


  • (v.) to snap one’s fingers
  • (n.) a finger snap

Oku natita ei tou.
“I can’t snap my fingers.”

Notes: Or at least not very well.

Today’s word is likewise onomatopoeic, but the iku has a different story. Those that remember way back to the word hela (which means “to leap”) may note that the iku for natita is identical. This is because I took a look at it and thought, “Hey! That looks like a hand snapping its fingers!” And so it became the iku for natita (with the identity determinative below it, of course).


• Sunday, November 13th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'fotu'.


  • (n.) husband (formal term)

Ea, ipe i fotu oi’i.
“Yes, that’s my husband.”

Notes: Pretty sure I’ve heard my wife say that once or twice. ;)

Today’s word is a counterpart to yesterday’s word tuli, which means “wife”. The common word for “husband” is hopoko, the word for “man”. This one only shows up in formal situations (or when one is mad with the other).

The iku for fotu is based on the iku for hopoko, but it has a line above it like the iku for ei, which means “I”. That line used to have more of a function in the olden days; now it shows up in just a few iku. This is one of them.


• Monday, October 17th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'fela'.


  • (v.) to be straight
  • (adj.) straight
  • (n.) straightness

Fela, ewelimia oku.
“Straight, no chaser.”

Notes: That is a highly literal translation that most certainly does not mean in Kamakawi what it means in English. It, in fact, is nonsense—which is precisely what I thought of the phrase “straight, no chaser” the first time I heard it.

You see, I’m not an alcohol drinker, myself. In fact, I’ve never drunk alcohol in my life (or, at least, not yet. After thirty years, though, I see no real reason to start). Sure, there might be some used in food or a dessert here and there, but the actual alcohol bakes out, leaving just the flavor (or so I’m told). So there’s a large gap in my knowledge having to do with alcohol. In fact, sometimes the only thing that prevented me from cleaning up in Trivial Pursuit (the old one that was actually challenging) was the fact that there were questions about mixed drinks in the “Sports and Leisure” category (apparently cocktail knowledge gets classified as a “leisure” activity).

The first time I heard the phrase “straight, no chaser”, then, was the song “Straight, No Chaser” by Miles Davis (this was some time in college [and the song is actually by Thelonious Monk. The Miles Davis cover was the first version I heard]). The words made absolutely no sense to me (something like “scooter, stitched shaved”), and I thought it was either jazz or music lingo that I didn’t know (this, perhaps, was influenced by the song “Two Bass Hit” from the same album). And so I believed for many years, until finally my wife explained what a chaser was (and once you know that, “straight” makes enough sense).

Anyway, so this Kamakawi translation is actually appropriate for understanding how I understood the words originally. This would be a great way to translate my experience of incomprehension to native Kamakawi speakers. Since none are about, though, this is rather an exercise in futility.

But the reason I even translated this was because after today’s day in football, I sure feel like I could use a shot of something straight (i.e. if I did, in fact, drink [which I don’t]). Man! I got murdilized! (Or should that be “moydilized”…?) I mean, I could still win, if Daniel Thomas gets…36 points (which would be near the best performance for any running back this season—and he’s a rookie), but in all likelihood, I’m going to drop to a shameful 3-3 on the season. Sigh…

In other news, this iku is an ikuleyaka that might look a bit reminiscent of uevolu, but it’s different in several obvious ways. Basically, the “ground” determinative is being used to point out the straightness of the line—and since a shortened line would be too short, it extends through the determinative, which is something one usually doesn’t see in an ikuleyaka. Orthographic rules are for breaking, though, I suppose.


• Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'eyana'.


  • (v.) to be good
  • (adj.) good
  • (n.) goodness
  • (n.) good person

Huita’u eyana o lea ti neviki o lea neape.
“His goodness is exceeded only by his charity.”

Notes: Since I brought it up yesterday, I figured I should do an entry for eyana. Eyana is the basic word for “good”, insofar as something can be good. It is old, general and basic. Its iku is the “good” circle inside of a square, which is about as conceptual as these glyphs get. The idea is that the iku embodies the quality of goodness—or, perhaps, quality itself.

I really did think that I’d done this one ages ago, since it’s so basic. Oh well. Happy day, everyone!


• Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'hoya'.


  • (n.) throat

He ha’ala’i ue ea ima, he hoya!
“We must coexist, throat!”

Notes: Erin came home sick today (sore throat, etc.). I felt fine. Now, though, my throat is starting to feel a little…funny. I know what it has in mind, and I want no part of it. None of that nonsense! I haven’t been sick in ages (I can probably go back and find the last entry where I was sick. I haven’t been sick yet this year!).

No matter, though. I have important stuff to do. I will fight this off and will be no worse for the wear; just you wait. We shall coexist, throat! Mark my words—and fear my wrath! >:(


• Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'hope'.


  • (adj.) deep
  • (n.) depth
  • (v.) to be deep

A hope ipe ha lona!
“That river is too deep!”

Notes: Good old “deep”. What a neat concept. It doesn’t even make sense that it exists. If you’re going to swim across a river, it doesn’t matter how deep it is: You’re going to be swimming across the top. And as far as the swimming goes, it’s no different swimming across a river that’s twenty feet across and five feet deep than it is swimming across a river that’s twenty feet across and a hundred feet deep.

The iku for hope is kind of a sneaky one. The “v” shape serves as a kind of arrow, and the “ground” determinative fills it out, but it also looks like a pair of legs diving into water—or maybe a whale’s tail when it dives.


• Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'tawa'.


  • (n.) skull

I tawa pe.
“There’s a skull over there.”

Notes: For reasons unknown.

So hey, I know I said that yesterday’s was my 600th post, but apparently the scoreboard says something different. If you take a look at the ol’ dictionary, it says that today is my 600th dictionary post. Outside of dictionary posts, I have four announcements. That means that either today is my 600th post, or it was a few days back.

Well, whenever it is or was, it’s always a reason to celebrate! :D Hooray for my 600th dictionary post according to the count in the sidebar! :D

Today we have a morbid word: the word for “skull”. You may recognize the iku. If you do, be not afeared: it belongs to ono. This version is simply the determined version of the iku.

Man, it’s hot in this state! Not dry like Nevada, though. Man was that dry! How do people’s lips not just melt off there?!