Posts Tagged ‘flowers’


• Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'hu'e'.


  • (n.) geranium

Au nina hu’e li’i.
“My geraniums smell lovely.”

Notes: Kind of a…bizarre sentence…

I do like geraniums. The problem is I don’t like the word “geranium” in English (sounds ugly to me). I actually don’t much care for the word in Kamakawi, either. Huh. Really, though, the flowers aren’t all that bad. I mean, they’re all right. They’re flowery; have a pleasant smell. I’d like to have geraniums, I think. I just wouldn’t refer to them by name. I’d call them “those flowers out front”, or something similar.


• Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'lope'.


  • (n.) hibiscus arnottianus

A male owa ei i lope i malalele
“I will plant hibiscus in my garden.”

Notes: This particular flower refers to what in Hawaiian is called koki‘o ke‘oke‘o. It’s a white flower which, in typical hibiscus fashion, has a little spout coming out the middle. It’s a gorgeous flower, and it brightens up any garden. For some reason, hibiscuses (hibisci…?) always relax me. They remind me of being in Hawai‘i. As does this particular brand of sunscreen. I should stock up on that…


• Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ma'o'.


  • (n.) lavender

Ikiki o ma’o!
“Morning of lavender!”

Notes: Lavender is also an incredible flower. Check out this field in Japan which is covered with it:

A field of lavender.

The iku should look slightly familiar. It’s basically the same as the iku for male, but without the midline. I think both of them pass the ikunoala test, though. (Translation: I’m not going back and changing the category of male, on account of my unaccountable laziness.)

Also, in case you haven’t heard it elsewhere, the 2011 Smiley Award went to Matt Pearson’s Okuna! It’s a great language, and if you have some time, I recommend you give it a look.


• Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'mote'.


  • (n.) heliotrope

Meya mote!
“The heliotrope is blooming!”

Notes: Hey, when it comes to flowers, heliotrope ain’t half bad. Here’s a non-copyrighted picture of heliotrope to look at:


Not bad! The iku for “heliotrope” is supposed to look like heliotrope. It might be a bit much, but, honestly, have you seen Egyptian hieroglyphic?! Take a look at how crazy some of these glyphs are (Unicode chart go)! Kamakawi’s iku are tame by comparison.


• Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'linea'.


  • (n.) jasmine
  • (adj.) smelling of jasmine
  • (v.) to smell of jasmine

Ikiki o linea!
“Morning of jasmine!”

Notes: And since I already brought it up, why not translate the Arabic greeting into Kamakawi, too? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander (though I’m not sure which is the goose and which the gander, in this case).

My wife loves the smell of jasmine. I’m not as partial, but I appreciate the aroma, nonetheless. I have to put this knowledge to good use some day… Hey, that reminds me: I’ve got an anniversary coming up in seventeen days! If I only could somehow take these two unrelated facts and merge them…!

You may recognize this iku from pivo. Conventional wisdom would suggest that linea came first. In fact, the iku for linea came from the iku for pivo—the reason being that the five pointed star of the pivo looked a lot like the jasmine. Thus, the figure was borrowed and made into an iku of its own. Due to the similarity in appearance, though, linea are often referred to as iniviei: little stars.


• Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'havai'i'.


  • (n.) plumeria

Ikiki o havai’i!
“Good morning!”

Notes: Taking a cue from Arabic, I thought a nice way to say “good morning” in Kamakawi would be “morning of plumeria”. In Arabic, one way to say “good morning” is “morning of jasmine”. The plumeria seems better suited to the Kamakawi islands.

And speaking of islands, this word should look familiar. :) As a tribute to the land and language that inspired Kamakawi, I named the Kamakawi plumeria after Hawai’i. Erin and I came home with a plumeria when we went to Hawai’i. As far as I know, it’s still alive… Not flourishing, but alive.


• Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'pinia'.


  • (n.) bird of paradise
  • (nm.) a girl’s given name

Kau i pinia po pale li’i oi malimali o ei.
“There were birds of paradise outside my house during my childhood.”

Notes: And indeed, there were. Until I was five, I lived in San Pedro, a city by the sea. In the second house I lived in, there were birds of paradise planted just outside the front door. I always liked them because they were big and tough. In this way, they were unlike other flowers, that tend to be smaller and more frail. I’ve always associated them with pride and strength.

For more information about the name Pinia, you can check out its name entry here.