Archive for the ‘U’ Category


• Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'una'.


  • (adj.) gentle
  • (n.) gentleness
  • (v.) to be gentle

Una ia!
“Be gentle!”

Notes: This iku is a bit of a mystery. It contains neither u nor na, and almost kind of looks like fupu. I’m pretty sure the two words aren’t related (why would they be?), but I’m not sure just what I was thinking here… Of course, the “good” circle determinative is used, so it’s clear that this means something positive, but how the rest of it is supposed to relate to una I have no idea.

The thing is, looking at this, I know I had some specific idea in mind. But what was it?!


Oh, duh. And, yeah, that makes perfect sense.

Okay, never mind. This iku is built off the iku for kopu. It means “hand” and also “to feel” or “to touch”. By adding the “good” circle determinative, then, it means “good to touch” or “soft to the touch”—hence “gentle”. Makes perfect sense.

(By the way, if you go back and check out that post on kopu, I have since purchased my wife an Oven Squirrel.)



• Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'utaka'.


  • (adj.) ordinary, common, commonplace, usual
  • (n.) a plant or animal that is common to a particular region (not necessarily native/indigenous)
  • (v.) to be common, to be ordinary, to be usual
  • (v.) to cover, to be all over (something)

Au utaka katava i Kalivónia Eiliki.
“Palm trees are ubiquitous to Southern California.”

Notes: Though you wouldn’t know it by looking outside today (which is, actually, two days in the future from the date it says on this post). Raining like a rain parade outside! It’ll happen in the winter, of course, but this one came out of nowhere. It’s been hot here! Like a mini summer!

This is one of those iku that I’m not particularly proud of. The “W” shape of the u is truncated, and the whole thing looks a bit haphazard. Clearly this iku was built because I wanted more with ta in them (because that one’s one of my favorites), but it didn’t come off so naturally. Oh well. It’s here to stay!


• Monday, February 20th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'ulo'.


  • (v.) to be tan
  • (adj.) tan
  • (n.) tan person
  • (n.) islander

Oku lea i ulo.
“He’s not tan.”

Notes: So today’s word doesn’t quite mean “tan” is it’s used in English. Basically this is the word that means “skin color”, as the default Kamakawi skin color is what someone living in the mountains would consider tan. So perhaps a better translation of this would be “flesh-colored”. I’m not sure that would give the right impression, though.

Looking at today’s iku, you might think it was an ikunoala, and that the word is actually pronounced hulo. That’s not, in fact, the case (though ulo is sometimes pronounced hulo on account of the spelling). Actually, here the iku for hu is used for two reasons. First, it’s used because the vowel is the same as the first syllable of the word (so does give some clue as to how the word is pronounced), but most importantly, it’s being used as a face. Then the iku for lo is dropped in there for phonological reasons, and to kind of look like coloring on the face. The idea is to show that this is the color that one’s face is (since one’s face is usually the tannest part on one’s body).

In modern times (in the fictional world where Kamakawi is spoken), ulo is used to refer to someone who lives on the islands. It kind of means “native” or “local” (in the colloquial sense).


• Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'upo'.


  • (v.) to feel queasy
  • (adj.) queasy
  • (n.) queasiness

Ae upo i’i…
“The queasiness is inside me…”

Notes: That’s a bit of a different way of saying what, essentially, the verb by itself expresses.

Today’s iku is a simple ikunoala (u inside of po), but it rather neatly expresses how I feel when I feel nauseous. Basically, I feel like I have a great big W in my stomach. I don’t know if I can describe the feeling any better than that.


• Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Glyph of the word 'ui'.


  • (v.) to join, to conjoin
  • (n.) joining, conjoining, coming together
  • (n.) joint (body part)
  • (phon.) glyph for the sequence ui

He ui eya i peaka!
“Let’s conjoin them!”

Notes: I’ve classified today’s word as an ikuiku, but I’m not sure about the classification. It derives from a figure that looks pretty much like this one, but it started out abstract. It’s, essentially, an abstract representation of joining (perhaps originally a drawing of a knot, though it no longer means “knot”). So the thing looks like what it’s supposed to look like, but it’s not very…picture-y. Aside from throwing up my hands and calling it an ikunima’u, though, all I can do is classify it an ikuiku.


• Friday, January 13th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'uoi'.


  • (v.) to attempt (something), to try (something) out
  • (adv.) to try to

Ai ine ia i uku ai uoi?!
“What are you trying to do?!”


You know, I could have sworn that I’d already put this picture up:

Keli surprised.

But no. I was thinking of this picture. Apparently “surprised” is something Keli does well—and often.

As for this iku… Yeah. It’s, uh…something. Sometimes you just have to throw up your hands and say, “I don’t know where this came from.” I think that’s what all those involved say about Small Soldiers. It just happened, and now we’re stuck with it—just as I’m stuck with this really bizarre (and yet, somehow, specific-looking) iku. Ikunima’u? Check.


• Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'umu'.


  • (n.) lip
  • (n.) rim, edge

A kavi umu o ia!
“Your lip is big!”

Notes: Presumably from a fight. I think umu is an iku’ume. I mean, that seems right. Looks pretty good, for what it is. Not much else to say, other than iTunes won’t play right now, so I’m restarting my computer. So take that.


• Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'ue'.


  • (phon.) glyph for the sequence ue
  • (pron.) first person plural inclusive pronoun

Ue ie inotu.
“We are the world.”

Notes: Today’s iku completely mystifies me. It kind of looks like ua, but it shouldn’t be related to the word for “hill”. And yet, I think that’s what I was doing. I think by adding the line below, that kind of made it an e sound…somehow. Perplexing.

Anyway, Kamakawi, like many languages, distinguishes between a “we” that includes the addressee and a “we” that excludes the addressee. This is the one that includes the addressee—and today, that means you! :D So jump on in and enjoy the inclusivity!



• Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'uya'.


  • (n.) wrist

Oku itu uyo o ei.
“My wrist doesn’t hurt.”

Notes: This is true. Ever since I got the new keyboard and mouse, my wrist problems have vanished. And now that I have my chair, my shoulder problems have vanished, too. It’s awesome!

This was one of the last fome I did. I got to a point (some five or six hundred iku in) that I decided, “Enough! No more glyphs!” But this one was just too easy and made too much sense not to add. And since its middle consonant is a glide, it meant I didn’t have to add it to the bisyllabic glyph chart, so adding it was no problem.

Now, though, I’m pretty sure I’m done. I may get tempted and add one or two later (especially when I finally create my font that doesn’t foolishly make use of bold and italics to get all the glyphs in one font), but for now, the five hundred or so fome I have are good enough for me.


• Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'uno'.


  • (n.) pool of water

A tutuku lelea o ipe uno.
“The water from that pool is fresh.”

Notes: This is a common word. It’s something smaller than a lake, but larger than a puddle. Whenever you see a little bit of water anywhere, it’s an uno. They’re all over the islands: salty and fresh.