Archive for December, 2011


• Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'oto'.


  • (v.) to growl
  • (n.) growl
  • (n.) growling

Ka mata kaneko i’i ke oto.
“The cat saw me and growled.”

Notes: I forget if I talked about this before, but even though Kamakawi has some coordinating conjunctions (“and”, “but”), for the most part, they’re not used (they usually end up getting used for emphasis). The reason is that the subject status markers pretty much handle all coordination. Since ke above indicates that the subject of the following clause is the same as the previous—and also indicates that a new clause is coming—there’s no need for “and”. And there’s also no ambiguity (e.g. “The man saw him and he ran”).

Today’s word, suggested by yesterday’s, has an iku that’s pretty easy to figure out. It’s an ikunoala and a straight-up combination of o and to.


• Friday, December 30th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'otoko'.


  • (v.) to be serious
  • (adj.) serious
  • (n.) seriousness

Otoko ia?
“Are you serious?”


Before I go any further, let me assure you that Keli had a wonderful Christmas. She got a new tunnel which she seems to like, and we gave her all meat baby food twice—plus, she got a ton of new boxes to play with! And she had quite a good time jumping around in the tissue paper. So don’t feel too sorry for her when you see this:

Keli with a sleep mask on.

Now that’s a look that could kill! I can’t believe how patient she is with us. She’ll let us put pretty much anything on her, and will actually pose for pictures.

But it doesn’t means she has to like it. ;)

And, of course, just to be fair, I also took a picture of me with the penguin mask on. So we’re even, she and I.


• Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'lolota'.


  • (v.) to sew
  • (n.) sewing

Lolota, he fupone! Lolota takeke e hevaka!
“Sew, old woman! Sew like the wind!”

Notes: From one of my old favorites: ¡Three Amigos! Today is the aforewarnedabout word for “to sew”. I learned basic sewing as a kid, so I guess I know what I’m doing if I have to something to something else (or to itself). I’m no seamster, of course. Seamsters are lame. All their skinny hemmed jeans, saying things like, “Yeah, I don’t use needle threaders”, and, “Yeah, I use the model of sewing machine invented by Walter Hunt. You’ve probably never heard of him…”


• 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…


• Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'lota'.


  • (v.) to stitch together
  • (v.) to mend (clothing)

Kopuku ia i’i ae lota i ipe.
“Let me fix that.”

Notes: This was a word I coined because I couldn’t fathom how a word for “to sew” could be basic. It didn’t seem basic in Kamakawi: It seemed like something that would be the result of reduplication. And, in fact, it’s a reduplication of this word. So look out for the word “to sew” some time in the future!


• Monday, December 26th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'lume'.


  • (v.) to eat leftovers, to eat scraps
  • (v.) to be cheap with respect to food
  • (n.) one who eats leftovers habitually

I elea i Kilume!
“Welcome to Leftovers Day!”

Notes: Ahhh…yes. Today is the day. Today I stop eating food I prepare, and start eating food I reheat that others prepared yesterday. HOOOOOOOOORAAAAAAAAAY! :D

The nice thing about Christmas is that I get prime rib at one Christmas gathering, and ham at another. The great thing about this year’s Christmas? I got prime rib at both gatherings. That is a major win.

I’ve had this word for quite some time, and really like it. I think it deserves its own lexeme in every language. And you know what? I’m proud to be a lume. I’ll takes whatever I can gets! :D


• Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'levu'.


  • (n.) rag, washcloth, chamois, etc.

Hou! Ipe ie levu li’i!
“Hey! That’s my washcloth!”

Notes: Meeeeeeerry Catmas! :D

Today’s quote comes from The Simpsons. At the end of one of their Christmas episodes, everything is stolen from their house except a washcloth. They proceed to fight over the washcloth and run around the house trying to get it. You can see a clip of the ending here.

The word levu is just one of those words like “rag” that gets used wherever applicable. It’s one of those filler words you never think about that every language has. It’s never appropriate; it’s not particularly interesting: it just is. And this is the word I greet you with on this happy holiday. Hooray! :D


• Saturday, December 24th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'futi'.


  • (n.) ilex (succulent vine with white flowers)

…tiu ape o futi.
“…with boughs of holly”

Notes: Well, not quite, but holly is a type of ilex, and it does seem to be the season… So here’s a picture!


I have a very particular vine in mind, though. It suits the climate, I think.


• Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'poyouyou'.


  • (v.) to dangle

Mata ia i’i! Ae poyouyou i ipe otu mataitai i’i.
“Look at me! I’m dangling this pretty paw for you.”


I’ve got a couple of shots of Keli in this new pose she likes: three legs in, one stretched far away. It’s pretty cute:

Keli dangling an arm.

I think she knows how good she looks. “Regard ye this paw!” she says. “Regard it and resist me not!”

[Note: To see the word this derives from, look up poyou.]


• Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Glyph of the word 'kupe'.


  • (v.) to be young
  • (adj.) young
  • (n.) youth (young man or woman)

Nemei lia kupe ie aeko o ei!
“Young girl, get out of my mind!”

Notes: Man, talk about a creepy song! You can give it a listen here, or read the lyrics here.

So this iku is a bit of a mixed bag. It features part of the iku for ku, which gives the reader a clue how to pronounce it, but it also features the “ground” determinative. Here, though, that “ground” determinative is being used rather literally. The idea is that it will look like a flower springing out of the ground (recall that ku means “aloe”), and thereby stand for youthfulness. By definition, then, I believe this is an iku’ui, even though it looks like an ikuleyaka.