Archive for March, 2011


• Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'hie'.


  • (adv.) still (used also like auxiliaries such as “to keep x‘ing” or “to continue to x“)
  • (adj.) endless, continuous
  • (adv.) onward, on

E kemeaka oi e hala’i hie.
“I feel fantastic and I’m still alive.”

Notes: March 31st, and I’m still kicking. I’ll be here till they shut the lights off.

Hey, I just got some good advice from a spam e-mail. Dig it (punctuation added):

Elephant in the room; new item.

Walk the walk.

Love that: Walk the walk. Sometimes it feels like the only true poets left are spammers…

(At least, until they realize it. Then it all turns to trash.)

April is coming! Summer’s almost here. Happy days are here again. :)


• Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ati'.


  • (n.) sweet potato

Havava ei iu ati oku.
“I don’t like sweet potatoes.”

Notes: Let me tell you something about sweet potatoes. I know they’re kind of the “in” thing right now, and they have a unique flavor. I would like very much to like sweet potatoes—I really would!

But I do not.

Every so often I go to a place that sells sweet potato fries (again, because this is the “in” thing right now), and whatever group I’m with, we usually do get them, but I just don’t like them! I expect a certain level of saltiness and blandness from a fry, and no matter how heavily seasoned they are, I can’t get down with sweet potato fries.

And I don’t like them by themselves, either. Or baked. Or in a casserole. Or with butter. Or whatever. I just don’t like them. I’d like to (I swear!), but I don’t. I apologize to you all, and to sweet potatoes everywhere.

This iku could use with a little cleaning up… Don’t know how my mousing hand missed it during the last clean up. The bottom line is a little wobbly… I’ll get to it some day.

In other news, chocolate is tasty. Big thumb’s up to chocolate. It’s a favorite of mine.


• Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'eaka'.


  • (n.) fence, fencing (not the sport)

A a’i ipe eaka.
“That fence is white.”

Notes: There’s the word for fence!

So at halftime, we were down 21-20. By the time the game had ended, we had 27, and they had many, many more points. Not a great start, but not unexpected. We can’t expect to not play basketball for a solid year and then come back and play at peak efficiency. Good to get back out there, though!

I’m not sure if I should cal this an ikuiku… After all, it’s mu’a that’s the ikuiku, not this one. The only distinction between the two is the line determinative that tells you that the sign is what it looks like.

In fact, now that I think about it, that’s quite odd, isn’t it! The original iku is a depiction of bamboo, and this one has a mark that says the word is what it looks like—which isn’t bamboo, but a fence! Ha! How funny.

Well, time to go to the gym and run. I’m on the comeback trail!


• Monday, March 28th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'eakaka'.


  • (n.) fenced off enclosure or area
  • (n.) fortress (close approximation)
  • (n.) defense(s)

A itiki o uei i eakaka o uei.
“Our speed is our defense.”

Notes: I was tempted to make the sentence to eakaka, which means probably nothing, but which, if you look at it, kind of looks like “D” plus a fence. ;)

Tonight my friends and I start playing basketball again in a rec league we’ve played in probably seven or eight different times now. We’re out of practice and out of shape, but we’ve got talent and height (or, well, one of us has height). Hopefully we can keep it going this time, because my overall health is much better when I’m playing basketball.

For this game, I’m hoping to see how far I need to go cardiovascularly, and, as always, to make my “impression” on the other team (with my elbows and knees). Ordinarily, we can beat this team with ease, but given how out of it we are, we’re probably going to lose. No matter! It should be a good first game.

(Note: Regarding the iku, see mu’a, “bamboo”.)


• Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'humeyo'.


  • (n.) frigatebird

A o’emu hoya o ei takeke humeyo.
“My throat is swollen like a frigatebird.”

Notes: Thankfully it’s not, but check out the picture on the Wikipedia entry for frigatebird! That’s a male bird who’s ready for a mate. :)

Humeyo is one of the digraphic words that works in a very particular fashion. In these words, the first iku is a syllabic glyph for the first syllable of the word (in this case, hu). The second iku is a glyph that serves kind of like a determiner in ikuleyaka. In this case, the iku used is that of fuila. This second iku gives the reader a clue as to which word is intended. So the spelling here kind of tells the reader, “It’s the bird word that starts with hu.”

Obviously, only one spelling like this is possible for each syllabic glyph and “determiner” pairing (so if there was another bird whose name began with hu, it’d need to be spelled out with the kavaka i oala if it didn’t already have its own glyph), but that leaves a large number of possible spellings—and helps to shorten up a lot of words that would otherwise need to be spelled out syllabically.

[Note: Oh, actually, I’ve done a word like this before: neyu, “sea urchin”. Hurrah!]


• Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'nemei'.


  • (v.) to leave (a place)

Ka nemei Taviti ie pale.
“David has left the building.”

Notes: Well…I’m out. Doug Ball and I (and several of his friends) are participating in an NCAA bracket competition. We were each allowed to fill out three brackets, and my last national champion (Ohio State) has been defeated.

But it’s not over yet, necessarily. After all, everyone’s national champion has been defeated thus far. So I still got a shot at being the best of the rest—and all of us are the rest. ;)

Next time I’m doing a pure coin flip bracket…


• Friday, March 25th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'tou'.


  • (n.) wherewithal, ability
  • (v.) to be able or capable (in a general or habitual sense)
  • (adj.) capable
  • (adv.) able to, can
  • (n.) power
  • (v.) to be powerful
  • (adj.) powerful
  • (nm.) a boy or girl’s given name

A mata ei i ia tou!
“I can see you!”


Keli decided to play a little game with us today by hiding under the bed and peeking out at us, preparing to pounce:

My cat hiding under the bed.

(Heh, heh… Randomly listening to “Accidently Kelly Street” right now.)

Tou is one of those words that replaces English auxiliaries. It acts like an adverb, and is an adverb (in addition to the many other things it does), so it follows the usual rules for sentential modifiers. The only difference is it translates into English as a sentence with the auxiliary “can” in it. There are several adverbial modifiers like this in Kamakawi, and they form a consistent class, but the term escape me right now (I want to say “subject control”, but that will admit some verbs it oughtn’t).

I think the iku is pretty cool, with my crazy ou hawk in the middle. Kind of looks like a dude about to bust out of a box. Certainly one of my favorite happenstantial pairings (i.e. the pairing of to and ou in this word [and if “happenstantial” isn’t a word, someone please call the dictionary, ’cause it needs to be!]).


• Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'potu'.


  • (adj.) thick
  • (n.) thickness
  • (v.) to be thick

Au potu iko mopa.
“These walls are thick.”

Notes: That’s what I’d like to say about the walls where I live, but I can’t. Oh, snap!

Not a lot of time on this end, and not much to say about this dude (“dude” here referring to potu). In Dothraki, the word for “thick” (nroj) also means “complex”. I’m feeling that. It’s a thick world…

(Note: You may remember this word from such entries as tala.)


• Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'takemeka'.


  • (v.) to be perfectly still
  • (v.) to be scared or startled such that one stands perfectly still (more commonly takemekamu)

Oku po’u! Takemeka ia, he kanekoi eyana! Takemeka ia!
“Don’t move! Be still, good kitty! Be still!”

Notes: I happened upon this picture today and I just had to share it (note: this photo comes to us from the LA Times photographic archive at the UCLA Library. If you’d like to see the original photo, go here):

A line of cats waiting to audition during a 'catting' call.

Look at all those black kitties! According to the photo, these people are lined up with their cats in response to a casting call for the movie Tales of Terror. Apparently one of the three stories in the movie is called “The Black Cat”, and prominently features a black cat (though, having read the description, it sounds like the cat played rather an ancillary role; it mystifies me why the title of the segment [which seems like a pastiche of several Poe stories] refers to the cat). So, I guess when you need a cat, you put out a “catting” call. ;)

Anyway, I couldn’t help but love this picture, because all the cats look like little Kelis! I see one looking straight at the camera in a very Keli-like way, and a couple crouched in Keli’s “loaf of bread” position, and another that looks like it’s getting ready to pounce! Perhaps one of these famous (or almost famous) kitties is Keli’s ancestor…

Personally, I think they’re all incredibly well-behaved. I mean, they’re a bunch of cat. On leashes. In public. How are they not tearing around or attacking each other?! Truly remarkable! They must all have been trained as feline actors.

As for the word of the day, take a look at take, then take a look at meka, and you’ll probably get the idea.


• Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'iolu'.


  • (n.) lake

Oi takoi iolu ie inotu.
“And the lake reflects the world.”

Notes: Here’s the post I promised yesterday. I’ve never been one for lakes, myself. I’ve never lived near a particularly large one. The first one I went to was called Lake Shasta, and it turns out it’s an artificial lake (or fakelake, which looks like it could be a Kamakawi word). It was…eh.

There’s a folk etymology that holds that iolu derives from olu (another word I haven’t done yet) which means “wide”. There’s nothing to that, though: They’re two independent forms. That doesn’t prevent the word iolu from being tied up with the notion of wideness in the heads of Kamakawi speakers. So it goes.

Regarding the iku, sometimes a combination just works out. That’s definitely the case with iolu, which is a combination of the syllabic glyphs for io and lu. Io is itself one of my favorite words, but I haven’t done that one yet, either. Much to do…