Archive for the ‘M’ Category


• Sunday, March 11th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'meuto'.


  • (adj.) difficult
  • (v.) to be difficult
  • (n.) difficulty

A meuto mawa i’i oku.
“Swimming isn’t difficult for me.”

Notes: This iku is a bit of a mystery. It’s clearly built off of me, so there’s a phonological component, but the little knot at the end mystifies me. I think the little knot is supposed to be the complication (and since there’s a complication, the iku is “difficult”). As for the little lines, I believe they’re there to fill out the rest of the space (otherwise there’d be blank space on either side of the line down). I guess then it’s best to call this an iku’ume. Works for me. :)


• Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'mi'e'.


  • (n.) yarn

Mi’e?! Li ia i mi’e i’i?!
“Yarn?! You get me yarn?!”

Notes: There was some highly specific reason I came up with a word for “yarn” in Kamakawi. It was something around about something at some time that led me to think, “I need a word for ‘yarn’ in Kamakawi!” I cannot for the life of me remember what that something may have been. I know nothing of the history of yarn, and honestly can’t think of a good reason for it to exist nowadays. Honestly, what do you do with yarn? Make hair for dolls? Use it in “art” projects in elementary school? What the heck is it good for?!

So Kamakawi’s got a word for “yarn”. Hooray. Even has it’s own iku. And it’s not like it’s an ikunoala, or anything: That’s an ikuiku that looks like a spool of yarn. What on Earth was I thinking…


• Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Glyph of the word 'mike'.


  • (n.) albatross

Oloko Keli ti mike.
“Keli is dreaming of an albatross.”


Here’s the picture:

Keli sound asleep.

What a big bushy tail she has!

Anyway, regarding this entry, here’s how I imagine the conversation will go in the future:

Person: So you had a Kamakawi Word of the Day blog?

Me: Yeah.

Person: And Kamakawi has a word for “albatross”?

Me: Yeah.

Person: And you had an entry that featured Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”?

Me: Yeah.

Person: So was that the entry for “albatross”?

Me: No.


Yeah. Oops. And now “albatross” is relegated to “afterthought” status. So it goes…


• Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Glyph of the word 'mola'.


  • (n.) rosemary

Havava ei i mola!
“I like rosemary!”

Notes: Got a couple of stray thoughts that I want to tack down here before I forget them.

First, this iku is built off mo, which is one of my favorites. Today my wife told me that a day or two ago she informed me that Portlandia is streaming on Netflix. I’d been wanting to watch it, since I’d heard good things, and was quite pleased with the first two episodes (we’ll have to wait to see the rest). Today’s iku reminded me of the “Put a Bird On It” sketch.

Anyway, then thinking about this post, I thought about how this iku is a part of the mo series. What this means is that it’s one of the iku that’s built off of mo. That’s really how I think of Kamakawi iku (or at least those that are built off other iku), but I have no way of searching them (e.g. if I think of an iku, and know it’s basic shape, I can’t go to my computer and type in, “Search for the one that kind of looks like novu, but upside-down”).

That’s when a thought occurred to me. Once I finish putting up all the foma and retire this blog, I can go back through all the entries and just add tags. I’ll probably want to come up with a native Kamakawi word for “series”, but then I can tag, for example, every foma that’s built off of mo, and, since every iku will be here on the blog, I can search them! Hooray! :D

This is also what’s stood in the way of encoding Kamakawi’s script in the Conlang Unicode Registry. I’d reserved a block, but then I had to come up with official names for each glyph and decide where it would be assigned. It was only afterwards I realized what a monumental task that would be, given the size of the Kamakawi orthography, and the design.

But! Maybe if I actually get everything up here and get it all tagged, it’ll be easier to do.

Oh, and I also plan to go and do the audio for every example sentence (might as well). Some day…


• Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ma'o'.


  • (n.) lavender

Ikiki o ma’o!
“Morning of lavender!”

Notes: Lavender is also an incredible flower. Check out this field in Japan which is covered with it:

A field of lavender.

The iku should look slightly familiar. It’s basically the same as the iku for male, but without the midline. I think both of them pass the ikunoala test, though. (Translation: I’m not going back and changing the category of male, on account of my unaccountable laziness.)

Also, in case you haven’t heard it elsewhere, the 2011 Smiley Award went to Matt Pearson’s Okuna! It’s a great language, and if you have some time, I recommend you give it a look.


• Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'mote'.


  • (n.) heliotrope

Meya mote!
“The heliotrope is blooming!”

Notes: Hey, when it comes to flowers, heliotrope ain’t half bad. Here’s a non-copyrighted picture of heliotrope to look at:


Not bad! The iku for “heliotrope” is supposed to look like heliotrope. It might be a bit much, but, honestly, have you seen Egyptian hieroglyphic?! Take a look at how crazy some of these glyphs are (Unicode chart go)! Kamakawi’s iku are tame by comparison.


• Monday, December 19th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'muto'.


  • (n.) silversides

Au mawa muto u takoikoi i kawi.
“The silversides swim and look like a cloud.”

Notes: Silversides are small little fish that are shiny on their sides (hence the name). They look like little minnows or grunions. Oh! Ha. Wouldn’t you know it? Grunions are a type of silversides. Shiver me timbers! Anyway, they’re shiny little fishes with a silver streak going across their side (actually I just think it’s their spine you can see through their little bodies). They’re wonderful sports. They swim in great big packs, and give the ocean charm.

Coincidentally, the iku for muto kind of looks like a stylized silversides. Rather fat for a silversides, but the little midline of mu kind of looks like the spine-line you can see on a silversides or grunion.


• Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'mono'.


  • (n.) canoe
  • (v.) to go by canoe

A male mono ei poiu a…
“And now I’m going to canoe away…”

Notes: Something like, “And now I’m taking my ball and going home.” It’s the first week of the fantasy football playoffs, and I’m not in them. I finished with a 7-7 record, behind even the terrible division winner who finished with an 8-6 record. Total bummer. On the other hand, in my friend’s league, which I’ve been helping out in, we finished with a 12-1-1 record and got a bye in the first round in a three tier playoff system. We’ve been relying on the Jets’ defense, but picked up the Broncos’ D at the last minute, so I think we should be good.

Today’s iku is another that’s based off mo, which is one of my favorites. All the iku based off mo turned out to be pretty good, in my opinion (that one and nu). And to me, it kind of looks like a canoe (or somehow the triangle reminds me of rowing a canoe). If I ever have a canoe, I’ll probably paint this on there. Or on an oar. Maybe both…


• Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'mele'.


  • (num.) one thousand
  • (adj.) one thousandth

Mele i fatu kavi.
“One thousand is a big number.”

Notes: And its iku looks like a cage that houses a wild beast! RAAAAAAAAAAWRRRR! :twisted:

Nothing much to say about today’s word. It’s a placeholder word, since I found myself without much time today. Bleh. So it goes… Should be asleep already. That’s the kind of day it is.


• Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'mava'.


  • (v.) to faint
  • (n.) fainting spell

Ka mava nanai oi’i!
“My friend has fainted!”

Notes: Funny story. In ninth grade biology, my biology teacher showed us a video of his gall bladder surgery (and he narrated it) as a part of class. He made a joke that was something like, “If you’re squeamish, let me know now, because this is pretty ugly”, and we all laughed. Not even a minute later, after the video had started, one of my best friends (who was taking the class with me) reacted. From my vantage point, it seemed like he slammed the desk with his hands, and then shot his chair out behind him and fell to the floor and started shaking. Since this had come so quickly after our teacher’s joke, I thought he was faking it, and I thought to myself, “That is just in poor taste.”

But he really fainted, and was convulsing.

So, yeah. While I sat there rolling my eyes next to my friend who was convulsing, my biology teacher (easily 20 feet away) sprinted across the room and grabbed a hold of him to make sure he didn’t hurt himself. Eventually the convulsions stopped and he screamed and kind of fell into a stupor. He had to be taken away in a wheelchair and he had absolutely no memory later of what had happened.

Afterwards, though, I felt pretty stupid. Here I was sitting right next to someone that wasn’t even a stranger, but my friend of some ten years, and I did nothing, because I thought he was joking! The whole situation’s pretty funny now (he never had a problem like that before, and has never had one since), but at the time, I was mocked quite a bit—and deservedly so! Always better to be safe than sorry. :)

So where was I? Oh, yeah, mava. The iku should be familiar enough: it’s the same iku used in hopoko, “man”. It’s turned on its head, iconically representing the fallen person.