Posts Tagged ‘color’


• Sunday, September 11th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'pata'.


  • (n.) dirt, earth, ground, soil
  • (adj.) brown
  • (v.) to be brown
  • (nm.) a boy’s given name

Toku ia ie pa ie pata.
“Put the bowl on the ground.”

Notes: I actually took a double take with this iku. I thought pata was a simple ikunoala, but it isn’t. It’s built off the syllabic glyph for pa, but has the glyph for water, lelea, superimposed over it. The way I think of it is the pa glyph somehow represents the earth (the top of the triangle is where the people walk, and it goes down to the core of the earth), and the lelea over it is used to indicate that it’s the substance that’s meant: the dirt.

The word pata is also used as a name for boys. To learn more about that name, go here.


• Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'heva'.


  • (adj.) gray
  • (v.) to be gray
  • (adj.) foggy
  • (n.) fog

Fuilaila heva ono te heva.
“Gray sky over a gray roof.”

Notes: Another picture from the Huntington:

A nice building at the Huntington.

I like the stone tiles on the ground. It reminds me of The Village.

A while back I did on a post on another sense of the word heva. That was the sense without the line determinative. This one has it, and can be considered the “original” sense. The idea of “gray” derived initially from the word for “fog”. Since then, it’s all but taken over as the primary meaning.

The iku itself derives from the iku for kawi, “cloud”. The iku for heva comprises two kawi glyphs, one right on top of the other. Over time, the line in the middle of each glyph dropped out.

You may also notice the aberrant ordering of the glyphs (i.e. it might seem like they should be pointing the other direction). This goes back to the days when Kamakawi was written in many different directions: bottom-to-top, top-to-bottom, left-to-right and right-to-left. Now bottom-to-top and left-to-right are the most common directions (in that order), but the iku for heva was fossilized by writers who wrote from right-to-left. And now it’s stuck that way. :)


• Monday, January 10th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'eilili'.


  • (adj.) yellow
  • (v.) to be yellow
  • (n.) yellowness, yellowishness
  • (n.) warmth

A eyana Eilili Noku ima.
“The Bad Yellow’s all good.”

Notes: I had a great time visiting with Don, Sylvia and John today (regarding which, see yesterday’s post). I didn’t even mind that I missed two outstanding playoff games; barely even gave them a thought.

I also discovered a few things I never knew about San Diego. For example, the whole time I was living there, there was—completely unbeknownst to me—a Ghirardelli ice cream shop! I was shocked! I could’ve been going there this whole time (well, that whole time), and I didn’t even know it was there! :cry:

In addition, I made friends with not one, but two donkeys on a street in Old Town I’d never been to! There was a time when we were going to Old Town like once a week while I was at UCSD. If I’d known there were donkeys to pet, I never would have left!

But, of course, the best part of the day was getting to spend time with conlanging friends. The internet has brought us together, true, but nothing beats face-to-face interaction. That’s part of what’s so great about the LCC: You get to meet people you’ve “known” for years online. It’s an experience worth having (or repeating).

Oh, and by the way, it’s now official: I will be attending LCC4 in the Netherlands.

Which, of course, means that tomorrow, I start learning Dutch! :D


• Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'naka'.


  • (n.) carrot
  • (adj.) carrot-colored, dull orange (not common)

A tokole hava o naka ie mata.
“Eating carrots strengthen the eyes.”

Notes: Or so I hear.

Good ol’ carrots! I love them so. Nice and snappish. They are perfect for biting. I always imagine myself a horse when I eat them. Or a small rabbit.

The iku is a standard combination of the syllabic glyphs for na and ka. This is probably one of the earliest words I created, as it was a part of the word nawanaka (the original fish that the woman hugged).


• Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Glyph of the word 'ku'uni'.


  • (v.) to be purple
  • (adj.) purple
  • (n.) squid

Iko pale ku’uni i Tílivia
“This purple house is for Sylvia.”

Notes: Awhile back, I told my friend Sylvia Sotomayor (of Kēlen Word of the Day fame) that I had a picture of a striking purple and teal house I’d seen on Balboa Island. For her, I present that picture:

A striking purple and teal house.

Isn’t that wild! I’ve got some other pictures, but the sunlight kind of distorts the color. Even in this one, the purple looks blue. Trust me: It is purple. And it’s awesome.

This iku actually takes another iku (cf. ikea) and makes a little squid out of it, so it’s kind of an ikuiku, and kind of an iku’ume. To be safe, I marked both.

Hey, if you’re 18 and live in California, it’s voting day! Go vote for something.


• Monday, September 6th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'falele'.


  • (n.) forest
  • (adj.) green
  • (v.) to be green
  • (n.) greenness
  • (n.) foliage, greenery

U ala ie falele.
“Then we arrive at the forest.”

Notes: So I have a funny story about this word. For the Second Inverse Relay, Arthaey Angosii (creator of Asha’illewas using Kamakawi.

Oh, wait, let me back up. In an inverse relay, participant A translates a text into participant B’s language, then sends it to participant B. Participant B decodes the message, and translates it into participant C’s language, then passing it on to C, and so on. So everyone is using someone else’s language. It’s a lot of fun!

Okay, back to the matter at hand. Arthaey translated what should have been a very simple sentence—the one you see above. When translating it for myself, though, I looked at falele and thought, for some reason, that it just meant “grass”. It, of course, does not. I racked my brain trying to figure out what the heck “We then arrive at the grass” meant, finally assuming that she meant “grass plains”. In my version, then, I translated it into something like “grass plains” (in Sylvia Sotomayor’s Kēlen, which was the language I was using) and passed it on.

Of course, she actually meant “forest”, which seems reasonable, since that’s what falele actually means! What a hoot. There I was, flummoxed by a word that I myself had created—and one that I should know right off the top of my head. That one deserves to go in the conlang blooper reel.

The word for “green” was a later addition to the Kamakawi color system, which is why it was derived from the word for “forest” or “foliage”. Hmm… Foliage sounds good to my right now. Leafiness. I wonder where it is to be had here in Southern California…


• Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Glyph of the word 'a’i'.


  • (adj.) white
  • (v.) to be white
  • (v.) to be misty
  • (n.) mist

Mata ei ie a’i o feya tou.
“I can see the white of the waves.”

Notes: Apropos of nothing, that sentence struck me as a good one, so there it is.

The word for “white” comes from the older word for “mist”, it being nice and white most of the time. I’d say both meanings are quite common.

Or, I would if I were saying such things.

But I’m not.

So what is there to say today…? It’s a nice ikunoala, this one. There’s not much from the a in there, but there’s enough to be recognizable.

Here’s the thing. There was something conlang-related that I wanted to report today, but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was. Grrr…

If I remember tomorrow, I’ll let you know.


• Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'ele'.


  • (v.) to be blue
  • (adj.) blue
  • (n.) sky

Au ele kamutililipi…
“Violets are blue…”

Notes: You know what they say: Better late than early or on time! YEEEEEEEEEE HAAAAAAAA! :D

I decided to do another color term while I sat and collected my thoughts. This one derives from the word for “sky”. The iku (designed for the meaning “sky”) is a star with the “ground” determinative beneath it. The sky, then, is the land of the stars.

Darn, I haven’t done “star” yet… So many words, so little patience! Or is it drive…?

Hey, it’s Saturday, man! It’s a good day. Time to do some laundry. Woo hoo! :D


• Friday, August 13th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'lake'.


  • (v.) to be black
  • (adj.) black
  • (adj.) obsidian
  • (n.) obsidian

A Keli ie kanekoi lake oi’i.
“Keli is my little black cat.”


Today is a very special caturday, because it’s Friday the 13th: The unofficial celebration of black cats everywhere that I just invented! :D Little black kitties like Keli, seen below guarding me from the arm of the couch, are well deserving of praise:

Keli on the couch.

Currently Keli is mulling about downstairs, sniffing what there is to be sniffed, and chasing what there is to be chased. Will do my best to ensure that she has a happy Black Kitty Day.

As you can guess by the definitions, the word for “black” derives from the word for “obsidian”. Obsidian’s pretty black, and it’s rather volcano-y, so it seemed like a nice, logical place to derive a word for “black” from.

The iku is a pretty straightforward combination of la and ke. It’s like a spear with a hook on the end of it. A hook for catching salmon… I should give Keli a treat the next time I see her. She’s earned it. :)


• Monday, April 19th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kuiki'.


  • (n.) seashell
  • (v.) to be pink
  • (adj.) pink

E kuiki nukoa hie.
“The meat is still pink.”

Notes: The iku for kuiki is a modified version of yesterday’s iku, eu. The idea is that the word for “pink” derives from the color of the inside of certain shells, which are, indeed, pink (e.g. a conch shell). Also, the “meat” inside a shell is also pink. It seemed to me like a plausible way for a non-essential color term to come into the language.