Posts Tagged ‘insects’


• Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'fupu'.


  • (n.) spider

A ile ei iu fupu.
“I hate spiders.”

Notes: Bleh. I do. I hate them. I hate them and I fear them—and they disgust me! It’s pretty much the worst thing in the world, me and spiders. I gave them what I thought was the stupidest-sounding word in the world (fupu) in order to try to sap their strength. It didn’t work. They still have the power to utterly destroy me.

It’s too bad the iku actually ended up looking pretty all right… I mean it’s not bad.

Blech. Oh well. Lousy spiders…


• 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!


• 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!


• Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'paketepi'.


  • (n.) anthill

Oku olomo pe! Ipe i paketepi!
“Don’t step there! That’s an anthill!”

Notes: Since we recently had a word for ant, I thought I’d put up “anthill”. Works pretty much the same as English, except that rather than “hill” it’s pake, the word for “mountain”. This isn’t my favorite Kamakawi word for “anthill”, but it kind of reminded me of the song “Worm Mountain” by the Flaming Lips (easily one of my favorite songs off their album Embryonic), so I threw it up today.

In other news, I’m probably going to win my fantasy football matchup today, but probably not going to make the playoffs (even though the leader in one division is sub-.500). Lot of bad, bad luck this year and bad matchups. One can one do?


• Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'tepi'.


  • (n.) ant (any kind)

Ai ipe i tepi ai?
“Is that an ant?”

Notes: This is not the only word for “ant” in Kamakawi, but it serves for any kind of ant. There will be at least one more word for “ant” in the future. Something to look forward to! ;)


• Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'aye'.


  • (n.) bee

Hetu ei i aye oku.
“I don’t fear bees.”

Notes: This happens to be true. I know quite a few folks who will run the other way if they hear a bee. I’ve never understood it myself. Perhaps this is because I’ve never been stung by a bee.

By the same token, though, I could never imagine being stung by a bee. I mean, an honest to goodness bee stinging me?! It sounds about as awful as getting into a car accident! I mean, sure, it may happen, but one should probably try one’s best to avoid it if one can—for the entirety of one’s life.

But, yeah, I’ve got nothing against bees. I don’t like their honey, and they don’t like to sting me. We have a fine understanding.


• Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ila'.


  • (n.) moth
  • (nm.) a woman’s given name

Awei! Ila miwimi!
“Bah! Lousy moth!”

Notes: That’s usually what I end up saying whenever I see a moth. They’re not my favorite insect. They’re not as terrifying as spiders, but they’re just kind of…there. Always be gettin’ up in my business, if you know what I mean. And they’re one of those insects that flies too close to your face… They’re the insect equivalent of the Close Talker (as are many flying insects, in fact).

The iku for ila is a genuine iku’ui (I know there aren’t many of those). The glyph is built off of the mi syllabic glyph, which means “butterfly”. It’s used mainly for the shape (which is intended to be evocative of a butterfly), but also because the main vowel is i, like the first syllable of ila. The syllabic glyph for la is dissects the glyph, giving it a further phonetic component, but it’s shape will ensure that the reader knows that some sort of a large-winged flying insect is intended.

Ila is also a girl’s name—and quite a popular one. For more information on the name, go here.


• Friday, January 7th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'huoyu'.


  • (n.) cricket
  • (nm.) a boy’s given name

Tomi o ei i Keli: Nemilele o Huoyu.
“My name is Keli: Killer of Crickets.”


Here’s Keli in what I call her cricket-killing crouch:

Keli crouched.

She isn’t actually after a cricket in this picture (she’s just fascinated by the new box I gave her. She’s a big fan of boxes), but this is what she looks like when she is. See, first she’ll spy it. Then she stalks it and smacks at it with her paw. When it’s been disabled and can no longer job, she sits over it and stares at it (just like this!), and swishes her tail back and forth. When it finally stops moving completely, she loses interest and meows at me.

I’ve had rather a tangled history with crickets. In the house I lived in for much of my life, crickets would frequently wander in and hop around. I never gave a thought to them one way or the other.

One night, though, I was chatting with someone on AOL (remember when that was the thing to do? [Hmm… Perhaps if you’re not my age older, you don’t…]), and I spied a cricket to my right. I relayed this information, and my correspondant said that I should kill it. Being a teenage boy, this seemed like a sensible course of action, so I set about it.

Within arm’s reach was a large bookshelf. On the shelf was a book I was reading at the time (War and Peace), and it was pretty hefty (1,136 pages, hardback). So I picked it up, held it about four feet above the poor cricket, and let it drop. A moment later, I bent over, picked up the book, and…

…the cricket hopped away!

I took this as a sign. I vowed then and there to do what I could for crickets, which I came to realize are charming creatures.

A few years later, in college, I was living at the infamous co-op known as Casa Zimbabwe. For some reason, a group of Czars got it in their heads to make chocolate covered crickets. As a conscientious objector, I declined to participate.

The day after, though, on my way to class, I did what I did everyday: I went to the kitchen to grab a handful of Ghirardelli chocolate chips. When I tossed them into my mouth, something felt strange. It felt like a clump of hair had made it into mouth. I went to the sink and went to spit it out, and that’s when I felt a little leg on my tongue. I somehow managed not to throw up, but even so, I spit everything out, and there was a dead cricket. Apparently during the chocolate-covered cricket fest, one had made its way into the common chocolate chip bag. The whole event certainly put a kink in my day.

Fast forward to today, and I currently live in a cricket refuge. Crickets come from miles around to get out from the cold and into my nice warm house (why, I don’t know). I wasn’t bothered by this, but Erin, it turns out (and for reasons I can’t begin to fathom), is terrified of crickets. She doesn’t like them, and is actually disturbed by their presence in the house. To accommodate this peculiarity, I made a cricket catcher so that I could catch them up and transport them outside.

Things were going on quite merrily until Keli came along. Keli sees crickets as little toys, and has feels no remorse when she torments and kills them. I will often wake up and go downstairs to find a trail of fresh cricket corpses. Their losses sadden me, but what could I do? I save those crickets that I can find first, but they’re not many. I would love to find a way to keep the crickets from entering the house—now for their own good. I haven’t hit upon a successful strategy yet, though.

So that is me and crickets. I really do think they’re charming creatures, and I don’t wish them harm. Despite my best intentions, though, harm seems to come to them through me. What an odd life this is…


• Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'mi'. and Glyph of the word 'mi'.


  • (syl.) glyph for the syllable mi in the Kamakawi syllabary
  • (n.) butterfly
  • (v.) to float (in the air)
  • (adj.) floating
  • (v.) to be carefree
  • (adj.) carefree
  • (v.) to be muddy
  • (adj.) muddy
  • (n.) mud (uncommon)

A eli ei iu mi.
“I love butterflies.”

Notes: So this word got turned into a crazy amount of words later on via derivation. You’ll likely see some of them in the days to follow, even though I’m still not sure how I feel about them.

The iku derives from a fairly standard picture of a butterfly, even though he kind of looks like a dude now. But the meaning “butterfly” is only attached to the determined glyph. The undetermined version of this iku means “muddy”, and is derived directly from me via an old (now no longer productive) derivation process.