Archive for December, 2010


• Friday, December 31st, 2010

Glyph of the word 'fiti'.


  • (adj.) cold
  • (v.) to be cold
  • (n.) a cold thing

Fiti iko etielele!
“This winter is cold!”


I’m back home with my cat! It’s a wonderful day! Keli was hiding under the bed when we came in, but once she was sure that it was really us, and we were really back, she came out meowing! Not only did she sleep on the bed again, she stayed there the entire night. And since then, she’s been getting plenty of snuggles and love from us:

Keli getting snuggled.

What a cat! Don’t let her expression fool you: She’s loving it!

It’s been quite an up and down year. The up was up, but, man, was the down down… Looking forward to a little more up next year.

Here’s hoping.


• Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kiokuku'.


  • (n.) a make up day to help the Kamakawi calendar get back in sync

Kiko i kiokuku!
“It’s nothing day!”


The change of the moon from one phase to its opposite doesn’t always line up exactly with fourteen days. So it may happen that neki has come, but the moon isn’t full (or new, depending on where one started from). When that happens, the village chief declares a kiokuku.

A kiokuku is a kind of holiday, where anything goes. And since its declaration is dependent entirely on the discretion of those keeping track of the calendar, you can sometimes get several kiokuku in a row. And it will frequently happen that different islands which don’t communicate with each other regularly enough will end up being on different days. When that happens, one or the other of them will declare however many kiokuku are necessary to get the two calendars in sync again.

That (referring to all the calendar posts) is the Kamakawi calendar in a nutshell (at least, before the coming of the Zhyler speakers).


• Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'iteiwomo'.


  • (n.) the full change of the moon (i.e. going from, for example, one new moon to another new moon)

Inivieke uomoko i iteiwomo.
“It’s a marvelous night for a full change of the moon.”

Notes: Heh, heh… Little multilingual pun there.

Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone but me will get it, because I just realized I haven’t done the word tei yet! Argh! 8O

Anyway, if you break it down, iteiwomo means “moon dance”. Now hopefully fans of Van Morrison will get it. :)

Hey, today is a special day! Today marks the 365th post to the Kamakawi Word of the Day Blog! :D Despite adversity, I made it through a full year, with only one unfortunate break. Not a bad word for the anniversary, either.

See, the movement of the celestial bodies is conceptualized as a dance (at least for the calendrical system). The change of the moon from one phase to its opposite is conceptualized as a turn, and then the return to its original position is a dance.

In some ways, the iteiwomo is like a month in our calendar. However, an iteiwomo is not necessarily twenty eight days: an iteiwomo is an iteiwomo, no matter how long it takes. As such, it’s not a reliable enough metric to make reference to. Furthermore, it’s not thought of as comprising any number of days in a particular order. So from one new moon to the next is an iteiwomo, but so is the change from one waning crescent to another waning crescent.

This system, of course, does not hang together perfectly. To see the kluge that keeps it together, tune in tomorrow! :mrgreen:


• Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'umewomo'.


  • (n.) a Kamakawi two week cycle (perhaps equivalent to a fortnight)

Eteke mowoito ki ti umewomo.
“Fourteen days make a fortnight.”

Notes: We haven’t yet finished up discussion of the ill-defined Kamakawi calendar. We’re getting close, though! :D

As has been mentioned previously, the Kamakawi “week” consists of fourteen days. This “week” is referred to as an umewomo. It refers to a changing of the moon: The time it takes for the moon to go from a new moon to a full moon, or vice versa. This is often considered the basic unit (beyond the day) of the Kamakawi calendar. In usage, then, it’s like a month, even though it’s closer to a week. That said, there are no special names for the umewomo: Just one after another after another after another.

More terms shall follow!


• Monday, December 27th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'uomo'. or Alternate glyph of the word 'uo'.


  • (n.) moon
  • (v.) to be night
  • (adj.) bright white

A teve uomo.
“The moon is bloody.”

Notes: Here’s a nice picture of what the Dothraki would call a jalan qoyi, or “blood moon”:

A blood moon over New Zealand.

Photo Credit: photo by Jurvetson (flickr)

The glyph for uomo has a bit of a tangled history. Originally, the glyph for uo up there was the glyph for “moon”. It was just a moon character, and so a line was added below it to give it height. Pretty soon, the curvature of the moon part of the glyph changed, and came to look kind of like a hacek. Finally, the semantic concept “moon” became completely dissociated from the glyph, and it became just a syllabic glyph for uo (and we’ve seen it before in words like uola). It became such that a line determinative was needed to convey that the glyph meant “moon”.

Now, though, that usage has pretty much been phased out by the new glyph for “moon”. You can tell that it’s newer because the curvature of the moon part of the glyph has remained, and wasn’t angularized (spell check tells me that isn’t a word. I say fie on spell check!) the way other earlier curved glyphs were. Again, though, the curve of the moon was not felt to be large enough, and so the “ground” determinative was added beneath it, and that gives us the modern iku for “moon”.


• Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'ume'.


  • (v.) to rotate (something)
  • (v.) to turn around
  • (v.) to revolve
  • (n.) rotation
  • (adj.) revolving, rotating

Po’u ie hoki poki u ume i ika…
“You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around…”

Notes: That’s what it’s all about! :D

In the past, I’ve done posts on words that have been derived from this word (e.g. umeke), so I figured it was about time.

The iku for this word is kind of an ikuiku in more than one way. First, conceptually, if you trace a path with your finger from one end to the other, you will be turned around at the end of it (though you can’t do it without crossing over a line!). Second, though, this is actually an iku’ume, or a turned glyph, as it’s the rotated version of nimana. In this way, you can get the meaning of the word literally from the glyph itself, since what was done to the glyph for nimana is what the word itself means.

Otherwise, this word is not related to the meaning of “impossible”. I think those who attached the glyph to ume just noted the symbolic nature of the tracing.

Hey, I almost forgot: It’s football day! :D Here’s how I did with my predictions last week:

Week 15

  • Indianapolis 23 Jacksonville 20
  • Atlanta 31 Seattle 20
  • Oakland 48 Denver 7
  • New England 32 Green Bay 14
  • Minnesota 19 Chicago 17

That’s 4-1! I’m now 50-25 on the season. (And hey, for those keeping track, the Raiders are now 5-0 in their division with one more divisional game to play against the Chiefs!)

I had an unbelievable turn of events in Fantasy Football. I was down by four points with two minutes left to play. I had New England’s defense and my opponent had Tom Brady and Mason Crosby (Green Bay’s kicker). Matt Flynn had Green Bay moving, and it looked like they were going to score. On a second down play, he was sacked, giving me a point (down by three now). On the next play, Flynn completed a long pass, leaving them with fourth and, say, five. Due to some confusion on the field, Green Bay, with no timeouts, took a heck of a time getting a play called. When they finally got the ball snapped with six seconds left, Flynn dropped back, then scrambled forward and was sacked (+1 point for me), fumbled (+1 point for me) and New England recovered (+2 points for me) to end the ball game.

Meaning that the result of the last play of the game gave me a one point victory in fantasy. I’d never been so overjoyed to see the slimy New England Cheatriots win.

Next week, though, my outlook is pretty dismal. I’m playing a hot team (his QB is Michael Vick), but will need to overcome to make it to the finals against my best friend Blaine (who will most certainly be in the finals).

Here are my Week 16 predictions:

Week 16

  • San Francisco 31 St. Louis 28
  • Miami 17 Detroit 14
  • San Diego 35 Cincinnati 12
  • Philadelphia 28 Minnesota 23
  • Atlanta 20 New Orleans 17


• Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'inevi'.


  • (n.) gift
  • (v.) to make a gift of something

Kiko i Ki Inevi!
“Today is Gift Day!”

Notes: Merry Gift Day! :mrgreen:

If Christmas were somehow to make its way to the Kamakawi Islands, they’d probably call it Ki Inevi (rather than Kilitimata). The historical reason for Christmas would probably seem pretty silly to the Kamakawi—as would the compulsory gift-giving—but, hey, any reason for a party is a reason to party! :D

To all y’all, may you have a joyous Gift Day, and enjoy anything and everything. I’ll be having a good time spending Christmas with my wife’s family, who know that the real reason for the season is spending time with those you love, and reflecting on how wonderful it is to have them in your life, since we have so little of it to live.


• Friday, December 24th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kimoko'.


  • (n.) day five: the fifth day of the first week of a two week cycle (also known by some as Friday and/or Caturday)

Kiko i kimoko!
“Today is Friday!”

Notes: Today is a sombre Caturday, since I can’t be with my darling cat Keli. :( I miss her terribly. I hope she’s doing well. Here’s a picture taken (mid-lick!) on my new iPhone, whose camera is much better than the old one:

Keli investigating Sylvia Sotomayor's laptop.


• Thursday, December 23rd, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kito'.


  • (n.) day four: the fourth day of the first week of a two week cycle (equivalent to Thursday)

Kiko i kito!
“Today is Thursday!”

Notes: Thursday, December 23rd. I’m up in Chico, which is a beautiful city. The best part about it, though (well, aside from my family, whom I love dearly), is Shubert’s Ice Cream Parlor. It’s an ice cream shop that makes their own ice cream, candy and root beer, and it’s some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Shubert’s is routinely ranked at the top of the list of the best ice cream shops in America, and it came in second in a Good Morning America competition.

So, whenever I’m up in Chico, I make sure to eat as much Shubert’s as possible. It’s kind of like eating at In-N-Out in Southern California: If you don’t live there, you make the best of every opportunity.


• Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kino'.


  • (n.) day three: the third day of the first week of a two week cycle (a bit like Wednesday)

Kiko i kino!
“Today is Wednesday!”

Notes: Today I’m headed up to my in laws’ in Chico, CA. This will be our first trip away from Keli, which makes me very sad. :( Luckily we have multiple people stopping by the house every day that we’ll be gone to check on her. She’s still frightened by a lot of things, which makes me worry. We’ll only be gone a week, though.

But, really, nothing’s going to make me feel better about this. We just need to go, come back, and hope she’s all right. We can’t stay home forever; we have relatives that live too far away to let us come home every single night…