Posts Tagged ‘animals’


• Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'hule'.


  • (n.) o’opu naniha

Iwe levea ti hule.
“The water is full of o’opu naniha.”

Notes: The o’opu naniha is a very small little fish endemic to Hawai‘i, and it has a little cousin that swims the waters of the Kamakawi Islands. They’re nice fish, as far as little fish go.

Believe it or not, this iku is an ikunoala: a kind of blend of hu and le. Unlike most ikunoala, it’s not really built off any one iku. Instead, the two just kind of morphed together over the years. And now we have what we have here.

It seems to me that this would be a great, iconic name for a baseball team. You know how some baseball teams end up with these names that don’t seem fierce at all (the Cubs, the Mudhens, etc.)? I can see a team called the Hule in the Kamakawi baseball league. (Of course, they probably wouldn’t have a league of their own. They’d probably be a part of a main land minor league and have an irregular schedule due to the distance. But that’s another story…)

Update: No Kamakawi Word of the Day tomorrow—but this time not because I’m lazy! Tomorrow I’ll be going off the internet in protest of SOPA. Hope your Wednesday is a happy one.

Edit: LOL Isn’t that just like me? I scheduled the post specifically so it would avoid the whole SOPA protest. I kept on thinking, “Okay, schedule it for the next day”, and so I moved it one day ahead. Unfortunately, the day I moved it ahead of was…yesterday, the 17th (which, at the time, was “today”). So…yeah. Oops!


• Monday, January 16th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'hupe'.


  • (n.) marine toad
  • (n.) any kind of toad

Fuleke ia ti’i, he hupe.
“I miss you, toad.”

Notes: The toad is a peculiar animal. They’ve always looked to me like little rocks. When I was in kindergarten, I tried to capture and domesticate a toad. It didn’t go well. I wasn’t sure what he ate, so I gave him little pieces of hot dog. I’m not sure if he knew they were supposed to be food. The toad died in a relatively short amount of time. I feel pretty awful about now. I didn’t know what I was doing, but, crucially, didn’t know that I didn’t know. I assumed I could take care of it. I believe television led me to believe this. Nevertheless, I shall bear the terrible burden for the rest of my days. I apologize, Mr. Toad (for that was, indeed, the name that I gave him). I did wrong by you, but I never made the same mistake again, and have done what little I could to ensure that the mistake isn’t replicated by others (and that includes this blog post). It’s nice to know that your troubles are at an end.


• Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'ipu'.


  • (n.) slug

Oku! Hava ei i ipu okuoku!
“No! I would never eat a slug!”

Notes: Snail shells are about the only thing cool about a snail, which makes slugs the antithesis of…of something. Blech!

Today’s iku always reminds me of yesterday’s. The two look rather similar. As far back as you go they’re pretty similar, in fact (both being built off similar iku and combining with the same iku in the same way). I think both iku are kind of ugly. What can you do, though? They can’t all be birds of paradise.

Not that have anything against slugs, specifically. In fact the club we resurrected at Berkeley was called SLUG. It stood for the Society of Linguistics Undergraduates. And we even put together a symposium. That’s where I did my first ever presentation on conlanging. Know what I used? Overheads. Actual overheads. And they were awesome. In fact, that’s one of my wife and I’s oldest stories. She was the time keeper, and I’d mentioned that I was going last during our symposium so I could take up as much time as I wanted. She had signs that told us how much time we had left, and after I got the STOP sign (and I was still going), she pulled up some other signs she made just for me (signs that said things like “STOP! STOP! STOP!” and “PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STOP!”). I was so amused, that I got distracted, and pretty soon we were all waiting to see how many signs she had and what they said. Good times…

You know, we had a mascot too that I drew. It was a slug with a Superman cape that was attached via a gold chain that was fastened by a great big schwa that dangled over his chest (or thorax [or bodily mass…?]). In fact, can we get a shot of that guy? Let’s see… Ah! Here he is:

The SLUG mascot circa 2003.

Not the best drawing, but you can see his cape, his schwa, and his sardonic expression. I fear the Society of Linguistics Undergraduates is no more, but it had died before and been resurrected. Should the need ever arise, the Mighty SLUG will rise again from the ashes, like a fiery…slug. So be not sad! His schwa will live on forever.


• Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'to'o'.


  • (n.) swarm (of insects)
  • (v.) to swarm (said of insects)

Awei! I to’o o tata!
“Ack! It’s a swarm of flies!”

Notes: Bleh. A swarm of insects has to be the worst thing in the world—especially small flying ones when you’re biking. Bleh! :evil:

So, in reality, this post is coming after three of the weekend’s playoff games have already finished. Even so, though, I think it’s about time to do my NFL playoff predictions. Here they are:

Wild Card Round

  • (5) Atlanta Falcons def. (4) New York Giants 31-24
  • (3) New Orleans Saints def. (6) Detroit Lions 45-38

Divisional Round

  • (1) Green Bay Packers def. (5) Atlanta Falcons 42-17
  • (2) San Francisco 49ers def. (3) New Orleans Saints 23-21

NFC Championship

  • (1) Green Bay Packers def. (2) San Francisco 49ers 34-20

Wild Card Round

  • (5) Pittsburgh Steelers def. (4) Denver Broncos 53-9
  • (6) Cincinnati Bengals def. (3) Houston Texans 27-19

Divisional Round

  • (1) New England Patriots def. (6) Cincinnati Bengals 37-27
  • (2) Baltimore Ravens def. (5) Pittsburgh Steelers 31-27

AFC Championship

  • (2) Baltimore Ravens def. (1) New England Patriots 17-14 (OT)

Super Bowl XLV

  • (1) Green Bay Packers def. (2) Baltimore Ravens 45-26

You know who the Ravens and Steelers remind me of? The Titans and Jaguars from 1999. The Jaguars lost three games all year: all to the Titans. The Steelers lost a couple others, but I call them dropping three to the Ravens this year, and that’ll catapult the Ravens to the Super Bowl. Now, on paper, it’s hard to pick anyone but the Packers over the Patriots, but I hate those cheaters!


• Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'kaino'.


  • (n.) Hawaiian goose (nene)
  • (nm.) a man’s given name

Ka ni’u ipe kaino!
“That goose bit me!”

Notes: And geese do bite. You be careful around geese! Those birds don’t mess around. If only I’d had a camera the day that goose tried to run me down… You think I’m joking, but it happened! My wife was there; she’ll attest to it!

The iku for kaino is one of my favorites, on account of how goose-ish it looks. It’s certainly a proud goose. I can see a language deriving the word from “pride” from the word for “goose”. Then you could make reference to a person’s goose-ishness.

For more information about the name Kaino, go here.


• Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'oto'.


  • (v.) to growl
  • (n.) growl
  • (n.) growling

Ka mata kaneko i’i ke oto.
“The cat saw me and growled.”

Notes: I forget if I talked about this before, but even though Kamakawi has some coordinating conjunctions (“and”, “but”), for the most part, they’re not used (they usually end up getting used for emphasis). The reason is that the subject status markers pretty much handle all coordination. Since ke above indicates that the subject of the following clause is the same as the previous—and also indicates that a new clause is coming—there’s no need for “and”. And there’s also no ambiguity (e.g. “The man saw him and he ran”).

Today’s word, suggested by yesterday’s, has an iku that’s pretty easy to figure out. It’s an ikunoala and a straight-up combination of o and to.


• Monday, December 19th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'muto'.


  • (n.) silversides

Au mawa muto u takoikoi i kawi.
“The silversides swim and look like a cloud.”

Notes: Silversides are small little fish that are shiny on their sides (hence the name). They look like little minnows or grunions. Oh! Ha. Wouldn’t you know it? Grunions are a type of silversides. Shiver me timbers! Anyway, they’re shiny little fishes with a silver streak going across their side (actually I just think it’s their spine you can see through their little bodies). They’re wonderful sports. They swim in great big packs, and give the ocean charm.

Coincidentally, the iku for muto kind of looks like a stylized silversides. Rather fat for a silversides, but the little midline of mu kind of looks like the spine-line you can see on a silversides or grunion.


• Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'leota'.


  • (n.) fire ant

I Ánatoni: A leota! Male awape eya okuka!
“For Anthony: A fire ant! We will never be lonely again!”

Notes: These guys are bad business. Don’t mess around with them!

Now for this…iku. One of the ones I’ve been avoiding. This may, in fact, be my least favorite iku of the entire bunch. I hate it. In fact, this isn’t even the original version: It’s the redone version. I still hate it. In fact, I hate it so much that I’m keeping it. After all, no writing system can be perfect (cf. “Q”).

Anyway, this thing is a combination of le, eo and ta. The things that look like antennae on the top come from le. I’m pretty sure that was intentional. Anyway, the whole thing is just a disaster.

And to add to it, I have no idea how to classify it. It’s composed entirely of phonological iku, which suggests an ikunoala, but it’s actually built off of a single iku, which suggests iku’ume. The antennae, however, make it look kind of antish, so it could be an iku’ui. Or I could just throw up my hands and say it’s an ikunima’u. Absolutely crazy.

Update: So…as occasionally happens, I forgot to do an example sentence. Long-time commenter Anthony caught me on it, so, Anthony, this one’s for you!


• Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'io'.


  • (n.) dove

A hava ipe io iu fa li’i!
“That dove’s eating my seeds!”

Notes: Lousy doves! Always pecking away at all the seeds you worked so hard to sow! How would they feel if we went to their farms and pecked away at their seeds, huh?! :evil:

Okay, actually I got nothing against doves. They’re pretty cool birds. And I can’t imagine doves flying to a farm and eating the seeds lying on the ground…

The iku is an ikunoala, but it requires the “identity” determinative to get the “dove” meaning, so it’s classified as an ikuleyaka. For the other meaning, check tomorrow’s post.

Update: No, it’s not an ikunoala! I figured it out! For a detailed explanation, see tomorrow’s post. Spoiler alert:

Old glyph of the word 'io'.


• Monday, December 12th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'luti'.


  • (n.) box crab

I luti pe!
“There’s a box crab there!”

Notes: Not much time to do a real post today, so here’s the word for box crab! Box crabs are bizarre looking creatures. Take a look at one here (though a Google image search will probably serve you better). I remember seeing these as a kid at the old Cabrillo Park Aquarium. I’ve always been a big fan of crabs. :)