- (n.) chicken (when it’s food), chicken meat
Kiko ka hava ei i i’iki.
“Today I had chicken.”
Notes: Today’s word derives, unsurprisingly, from the word iki, “chicken”. In Kamakawi there’s a distinction drawn between an animal and the meat of that animal. I decided to do this on purpose, but I now forget the reason… I’m pretty sure it was high-minded, but I don’t know if I agree with the sentiment any longer (especially as I can’t remember what it is). Nevertheless, the distinction remains.
There’s a famous case of lexical ambiguity that involves chickens that’s discussed by Sanford Schane in his class “Language and the Law” (you can see a syllabus here). The case (which you can read up on here) involves a fellow who ordered some chickens, and when they arrived, he discovered they were stewing hens (ones used primarily for stock or in soups) as opposed to young chickens, which are used for eating generally (fried chicken, roast chicken, etc.). He refused to pay for the stewing hens, claiming that they’re not what he ordered. The guy who sent the stewing hens claimed that they were, technically, chickens. The court ended up finding in favor of Frigaliment (the guy who expected young chickens) because while the stewing hens were chickens, it was ruled that any ordinary person who heard “chicken” would not expect a stewing hen (kind of like if someone is looking for bachelors, presenting them with a three week old male baby wouldn’t fit the bill—though the little fellow would, technically, be a bachelor).
Anyway, I brought this up because it occurred to me that the Kamakawi term would solve this ambiguity, but it does’t, actually: I’iki would be used for both stewing hens and young chickens that have been slaughtered for their meat. Oh well.
In other news, today is my good friend Scott Yarborough’s 30th birthday. For my very close friends, he is the last one to turn 30 in our year of 30s. Today we are officially “real” adults, and can no longer use our youth as an excuse for anything. We’re all old and supposed to be responsible. Oh well. It was a good run, while it lasted.
But yeah, happy birthday to Scott! Of us men of a certain age, you are the youngest. Today our hats are off to you. Tomorrow… Well, tomorrow is another day (which isn’t so bad after all).