Posts Tagged ‘crustaceans’


• Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'fune'.


  • (n.) pipiwai (Hawaiian)

Iwe ha ti fune.
“The river is full of pipiwai.”

Notes: The pipiwai is a little shellfish that dwells in rivers. As I have never eaten one, I don’t know if they’re good for eating, and can’t, at this time, recommend them.

The glyph for fune is a combination of fu and ne. It’s always looked a little crowded to me… Eh. It adds flavor.


• Monday, December 12th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'luti'.


  • (n.) box crab

I luti pe!
“There’s a box crab there!”

Notes: Not much time to do a real post today, so here’s the word for box crab! Box crabs are bizarre looking creatures. Take a look at one here (though a Google image search will probably serve you better). I remember seeing these as a kid at the old Cabrillo Park Aquarium. I’ve always been a big fan of crabs. :)


• Friday, October 21st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'foka'.


  • (n.) fish (or any animal that lives primarily in the sea)

I ilea! Ai foka toi li’ia ai?
“Hello! Got any fish on you?”


This is my second time around writing this post, thanks to the DreamHost outage yesterday (IT ATE MAH POST!11!!). Here’s Keli, twisting up the way she does when she wants to get comfy:

Keli contorting.

As I explained yesterday, I believe Keli now knows when she’s being photographed, and relishes it. The second I unbutton my little iPhone camera case, she perks up—will wake up if she was previously asleep, even (I can’t get pictures of her asleep anymore!). And then she poses and looks straight at the camera. What a cat!

Today’s word was inspired by the Spanish word “marisco”. We often see it pluralized (“mariscos”), where it means “seafood”. I liked the idea of having a single word refer to everything that comes out of the sea. The difference with foka is that it doesn’t refer primarily to food the way “mariscos” and certainly “seafood” does.


• Monday, January 31st, 2011

Glyph of the word 'maka'.


  • (n.) crab
  • (nm.) a boy’s given name

A male liki maka ie tinitié li ia.
“And a crab shall hold your sword.”

Notes: And a charming crab at that! Take a look at this picture of the interior of a typical medieval Japanese house at the Huntington:

A crab statue in a house.

What a helpful little crab! I think it is a sword-holder (why would the pincers be upturned thus?), and if so, well done! It’s the most unique sword-holder I’ve ever seen.

I’ve still got a lot more pictures from the Huntington; I’ll eventually get to them all.

Today’s iku is a pretty standard ikuiku, but the line in the middle there has two duties: (1) to fill up the space, and (2) to remind one of the glyph for ka, giving this iku a slight phonetic component. This was one of the first iku I designed for Kamakawi. It’s an old friend.

For more information about the name Maka, see its corresponding entry in the baby names section.


• Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'peme'.


  • (n.) crawdad, crayfish, crawfish
  • (n.) a person who ruins things, or is otherwise a downer (a spoilsport, a fuddy-duddy, a party pooper, etc.)

Ipe peme!
“What a spoilsport!”

Notes: That was me yesterday getting tired before three, and now I’m going to bed even earlier—and today I fell asleep during an NFL playoff game! Truth be told, the Packers had turned it into a laugher, but still…

So I’m 0-2 so far in my new predictions, and my Super Bowl match-up is dead. My Super Bowl winner—the Patriots—is still alive, but I hate them, and will be aching to see them lose to the Jets tomorrow (or, today; whatever). We’ll see what happens…

The iku for peme has always vaguely troubled me. Specifically, it strikes me as non-Kamakawi. True, Kamakawi does have rounded edges in many iku (luku‘s got a full circle, no matter which way you write it), but this is the only iku that uses this particular arc (which is something like 75% of a circle).

So what do you think? Does it strike you as alien, or do you think it fits? I can always make it boxier…


• Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'tetu'.


  • (n.) shrimp

A havava tetu oi katativa li’i!
“I like shrimp with my bacon!”

Notes: Actually, it’s “I like shrimp on my hot dogs”, but I didn’t want to bother coming up with a loosely-equivalent concept for “hot dog” in Kamakawi. (Suppose I could’ve said hatataka…) Anyway, this is in reference to what I eat during the Super Bowl to annoy the friend of mine that holds the Super Bowl party. They think I’m foolish to put shrimp on my hot dogs. But look at their shaped! They’re perfectly fitted to one another!

Anyway, this is all building up to my 2011 NFL Playoff Predictions! :D Those who are familiar with the NFL playoff format should also be familiar with the problems prognosticators face. For those who aren’t, I’ll explain.

In the first round of the NFL playoffs, the teams seeded 3-6 play each other (3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5). The winners of these two games go on to face the 1 and 2 seeds. Some playoffs have the winner of a specific game move on to a specific place in the tree, but in the NFL playoffs, the teams are reseeded so that the 1 seed plays the lowest remaining seed. This means that if you predict, for example, that the 3 and 4 seeds will win and the 6 seed wins, your entire playoff tree is thrown off. It leads to fun and chaos.

Bearing that in mind, though, this is how I think the NFL playoffs will go:

Wild Card Round

  • (5) New Orleans Saints def. (4) Seattle Seahawks 31-13
  • (3) Philadelphia Eagles def. (6) Green Bay Packers 27-17

Divisional Round

  • (1) Atlanta Falcons def. (5) New Orleans Saints 31-28 (OT)
  • (3) Philadelphia Eagles def. (2) Chicago Bears 17-14

NFC Championship

  • (1) Atlanta Falcons def. (3) Philadelphia Eagles 29-24

Wild Card Round

  • (5) Baltimore Ravens def. (4) Kansas City Chiefs 35-13
  • (3) Indianapolis Colts def. (6) New York Jets 30-27

Divisional Round

  • (1) New England Patriots def. (5) Baltimore Ravens 30-17
  • (2) Pittsburgh Steelers def. (3) Indianapolis Colts 44-14

AFC Championship

  • (1) New England Patriots def. (2) Pittsburgh Steelers 23-17

Super Bowl XLV

  • (1) New England Patriots def. (1) Atlanta Falcons 49-10

As a Raider fan, this result does not please me, and I’d love to be proved wrong, but the Patriots are darn near unstoppable this year. Somehow they seem even more dangerous because they’re not undefeated.

I’d love, of course, to see the Colts win, but they’re so badly injured that they’re just not competitive (in fact, it might be my own personal prejudices that have me choosing them over the Jets). Baltimore was an early Super Bowl favorite, but that 3 point loss in Week 13 to the Steelers cost them the division, and I think cost them their chance at the Super Bowl. I’m a big fan of the Ravens, so that, too, is disappointing, but I think it’s what’s going to happen.

As for the Jets, this is going to be a disappointing finish for them. They had all the Super Bowl hype in the beginning of the year, and they’ve kind of lost their way. Maybe next year, Jets fans.

The iku for tetu is one of my favorite because I think it really looks like a shrimp with only a few lines. (Astute observers, though, will note that it looks quite a bit more like a cooked shrimp than a live one. :shock:)


• Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Glyph of the word 'ineyu'.


  • (n.) sea urchin spine
  • (adj.) spiny, spiky
  • (v.) to be spiny, to be spiky, to be covered in sharp spines

Ae ineyu ie e’i o ei.
“There’s a spine in my foot.”

Notes: If I may follow up on yesterday’s post, the trick is not to actually walk on the ocean floor, if you can avoid it. If you’re up to the point where you can tread a little bit, you should try to stay off the ocean floor, putting down a foot here and there gingerly to make sure you’re not stepping on any of the many little ocean critters that populate our shores.

So many things to do today, and so little day left… I best be off.


• Monday, September 20th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'neyu'.


  • (n.) sea urchin

Owe! Ka olomo ei i neyu!
“Ow! I stepped on a sea urchin!”

Notes: Yeah. I done that. It’s not really a big deal if you figure it out quick. It’s only if you really put your full weight on it that you get the poison.

Today’s word has an iku of an altogether new type. In order to save room, I lumped all hikuiku together, but there are many different types. There are a series of hikuiku that are composed of two iku where the first iku is the first syllable of the word, and the second iku is a kind of determinative. It’s either some basic glyph that characterizes the word (e.g. the glyph for “bird” is used for bird words), or resembles its shape or type in some way.

The iku for neyu, then, begins with the syllabic glyph for ne, to give the reader a clue as to how the word is pronounced, and ends with the iku for “circle” (i.e. luku). There are a whole bunch of words like this, but, as far as I know, this is the first one to show up on the Word of the Day blog, so I decided to make a big production out of it.

(Watching The Gay Divorcee right now. It’s a good one! You know, most of the time Ginger Rogers looks kind of goofy, but in this scene, she’s hot.)


• Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Glyph of the word 'kanaka'.


  • (n.) animal
  • (adj.) animal (bestial; used to describe something that is animal in nature)
  • (v.) to be natural (said of beings)

Mata ia iu ipe kanaka!
“Look at those animals!”

Notes: Today’s post is an advertisement for Sylvia Sotomayor’s Kēlen Word of the Day blog, because…man! Take a look at this post!

Reluctant to click? Let me list just some of the animals Sylvia has taken pictures of in Australia:

  • Bats
  • Koalas
  • Penguins
  • Sea Lions
  • Tree Frogs

And there are more. And they’re all on the same page! There are some incredible shots there. Let me tell you, this didn’t make my day: It made my month. (And I didn’t even mention the hopping kangaroo!)

So, yeah. Head over there. I promise you, you will not be disappointed. (And if you are, this animal fanatic doesn’t want to hear about it.)

This iku is a strange one, because I’m certain I had a reason for designing it the way I did, but what that reason is completely escapes me. The word, of course, is based on the Hawaiian word kanaka, which means “man”. Perhaps it was an inside joke that the iku is built off the glyph for hopoko, the Kamakawi word for “man”.

Anyway, let’s think about this. There’s a little notch on the right side which means…something. And then a slash through the leg. I think my original idea was to draw a connection between humans an animals, which is why this iku is built off hopoko. As for the notch and the slash… I get the impression that the slash is supposed to be a claw of some kind. I don’t know. It’s a puzzle. Anyway, there it is. What, what, rah-ther, and all that.

It’s all right to have some mysteries in one’s writing systems, so long as there aren’t too many (I mean true mysteries, not just etymologies that have been lost to one’s imagined speakers). With Kamakawi’s system, I think there’s just the right amount.

Now, to bed! Or…water first, then bed! And teeth brushing… Something or other.


• 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.