Posts Tagged ‘fishing’


• Monday, September 20th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'neyu'.


  • (n.) sea urchin

Owe! Ka olomo ei i neyu!
“Ow! I stepped on a sea urchin!”

Notes: Yeah. I done that. It’s not really a big deal if you figure it out quick. It’s only if you really put your full weight on it that you get the poison.

Today’s word has an iku of an altogether new type. In order to save room, I lumped all hikuiku together, but there are many different types. There are a series of hikuiku that are composed of two iku where the first iku is the first syllable of the word, and the second iku is a kind of determinative. It’s either some basic glyph that characterizes the word (e.g. the glyph for “bird” is used for bird words), or resembles its shape or type in some way.

The iku for neyu, then, begins with the syllabic glyph for ne, to give the reader a clue as to how the word is pronounced, and ends with the iku for “circle” (i.e. luku). There are a whole bunch of words like this, but, as far as I know, this is the first one to show up on the Word of the Day blog, so I decided to make a big production out of it.

(Watching The Gay Divorcee right now. It’s a good one! You know, most of the time Ginger Rogers looks kind of goofy, but in this scene, she’s hot.)


• Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'polao'.


  • (n.) blowfish (or puffer fish)

A iwe ipe polao ti heka.
“That blowfish is full of air.”

Notes: There’s a story behind this word, but it’s not for today. It came up when Sylvia came over for the Southern California Conlangers’ Meetup (second Tuesday of every month; go here for more info!). In order to get to what I need to, though, we have to start with the word for blowfish.

It’s an old word—been around since the beginning—as has its iku. I guess it kind of looks like a blowfish… It’s got spikeys.

Hey, speaking of blowfish, check this out!


Now that’s a cute blowfish if I’ve ever seen one!

Probably because of how old it is, this is one of the words I think of as characteristic of Kamakawi. It rarely sees any use (how often does one talk about blowfish?), but it’s always on my mind. Seems like a good word for a blowfish.


• Friday, January 29th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'muve'.


  • (n.) feather
  • (adj.) feathery, feathered
  • (adj.) soft (like a feather)

A muve ie noliku oi’i.
“The feather is my enemy.”

Notes: For this caturday, I decided to show a picture of my warrior cat Okeo in fighting form:

Another picture of my cat Okeo.

For my birthday, my sister gave us this little plastic stick with feathers on the end, and Okeo is absolutely nuts for it. He attacks it viciously, sometimes wresting it from our grasp and stalking away with it. He is quite a cat!

I thought that I could make a reasonable feather with this iku, but it doesn’t really look much like a feather… Too fat and squat. Kind of looks like a helmet… Anyway, it was intended to be a picture of a feather, so an ikuiku it is.


• Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'ikea'.


  • (n.) halibut

…takeke ikea ie elelake…
“…like a halibut in the sky…”

Notes: I’ll freely admit that I do carry within me a lot of guilt when it comes to eating meat. I really do love animals very much—all of them—and yet… I mean, I come from a culture where a meal without meat isn’t a meal.

Regarding today’s post, I love halibut. I love seafood in general, but halibut especially. I don’t get it often, but I rarely pass up an opportunity when I can.

In case you’re still wondering about the example sentence above, halibut have this very characteristic diamond-shape, and the iku for ikea is inspired by it. The top, actually, is a shape used in a ton of iku, most notably that for keva, “shark”. The bottom half is self-explanatory.


• Monday, January 18th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'hiaka'.


  • (n.) octopus

Ka liwi ipe hiaka ie o’opo li’i poiu!
“That octopus stole my coconut!”

Notes: The octopus is a remarkable creature. If you’ve never seen one in real life, I suggest you take a look at this video (which, by the way, inspired the sample sentence above). I have a lot of respect for octopuses—partially due to the fact that there is simply no correct or universally accepted way to pluralize the word for “octopus” in English.

The glyph itself is actually comprised of the syllabic glyphs hi, a and ka. The older glyphs of this type were built in a particular way, and have evolved in bizarre ways over the course of the history of Kamakawi. With hiaka, look for the hi on top (the part that looks like a squiggly t), followed to the lower left by a great big “x” (that would be a), and then the whole thing is capped by the ka on the right.

Despite the fact that I created this iku and can still trace its origin, I look at it and think, for whatever reason, that it looks like an octopus. It doesn’t (there are only seven legs, after all, and it’s octopus, not septapus), of course, but I can’t shake it. That crazy glyph that kind of looks like an English upper case cursive “G” will till the end of my days remind me of an octopus.


• Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'tape'.


  • (n.) net, netting
  • (v.) to catch someone or something in a net, to net something
  • (adj.) caught in a net

Tape ti ivupu; itava’u ti inoto.
“Caught in a web; removed from the world.”

Notes: Everybody! “Hanging on by a thread; spinning the lies; devised in my head!”

That’s the ol’ Dream Theater song “Caught in a Web”. I actually didn’t like it all that much the first time I heard it, but it’s grown on me…

Anyway, what word is this? Oh, right: tape. Yeah, that’s a net all right. Where would we be without nets?

Hey, you know what I find incredibly unconvincing? Every movie or television show wherein someone has a net thrown on them and suddenly they can’t move. Know what I would do if someone threw a net on me? I’d take the net off and ask them why the heck they threw a net on me. I mean, honestly: It’s a net! What are we, fish?! Use your freaking arms! I tells ya’…


• Saturday, January 9th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kilika'.


  • (n.) lobster

Au tiki kilika, he feya.
“Lobsters are red, my love.”

Notes: Sing it with me! “Urchins are blue—oooh-oooooh, taro is sweet, my love, but not as sweet as you!” I’m pretty sure that’s how it goes…

I’ve always thought this iku looked like a lobster. Looking at it today, though, I gather that some might not think so… Oh well. Close enough.


• Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'huka'.


  • (n.) anchovy

A havava ei ie huka.
“I like anchovy.”

Notes: Anchovies are much maligned, when it comes to pizza. I’m not sure if the fish themselves like or dislike this. Nor do I know how they feel about anthropomorphism. This is a curious world.