Glyph of the word 'lu'. and Glyph of the word 'lu'.


  • (syl.) glyph for the syllable lu in the Kamakawi syllabary
  • (n.) a glint or flash of light, a gleaming
  • (v.) to gleam, to glint, to flash suddenly and brightly, to catch one’s eye
  • (adj.) eye-catching
  • (n.) epiphany, sudden flash of inspiration

A fe’a ei ie motu o nea ti lu.
“I knew her face in an instant.”

Notes: For the most part, I’ve been remembering how the iku for these syllabic glyphs came to exist, but this one had me buffaloed. How could a glyph whose basic meaning is “flash of light” have an iku that basically looks like a human with a line coming out of it? Well, I went back to check the original script, and actually it’s pretty good! Check it out:

Old glyph of the word 'lu'.

So that’s a dude merrily going along his way, when, all of a sudden, something catches his eye, and he turns all the way around to look at it. Huh? Not bad! At least that looks like a turned-around dude to me.

I’ve found myself thinking (if not using) this word in English—e.g. “I knew in a lu how to do it.” The first time I used it was in one of the books I did for my little sister, but there I was purposely using Kamakawi words here and there. After that, it stuck.

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