Posts Tagged ‘food’


• Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'holi'.


  • (n.) sugar cane

A katava ia takeke holi!
“You’re as tall as a sugar cane!”

Notes: Today’s word is also a fairly simple ikunoala composed of ho with the leg forming the little hand of li. It doesn’t look anything like a sugar cane, though. Kind of looks like a dude with a hand growing out of his foot. Heh, heh…


• Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'eta'.


  • (n.) fat (of an animal)
  • (v.) to have lots of fat
  • (adj.) having lots of fat, fatty (in the corporeal sense)

Oku meimei nukoa oku: eta kupae.
“There’s no meat left: only fat.”

Notes: Today’s word refers only to the substance “fat”; it’s not a descriptive adjective.

Describing this iku as an ikuleyaka is a bit convenient… It’s clear that the iku is based on the iku for nukoa, “meat”; what isn’t clear is what’s going on underneath. What it looks like to me is that the meat is roasting on a spit, and the fat is dripping off (hence the three lines, instead of the one). I’m not sure if this is what I intended, though, so calling it an ikuleyaka seems like a safe way to characterize the difference between it and nukoa.

Also, if you’d like to go back in time, now you can see how feta was built off of this iku. :D


• Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'oli'.


  • (n.) fruit
  • (v.) to pick (fruit, nuts, etc.), to harvest
  • (adj.) picked, harvested

Ai ipe i oli ai?
“Is that fruit?”

Notes: Fruit sounds good right now. I may have to go and harvest me some.

So this iku is a bit of a mystery. It doesn’t contain either o or li, and it doesn’t really look like an ikuiku. (What do you think? Does that look like a piece of fruit?) My first idea, on looking at it again, was that it kind of looked like a harvested field, but that doesn’t seem likely.

No, I think I may have intended this to be some sort of bizarre iconic representation of the category “fruit”. I’d say it looked like a coconut, but this is what a coconut looks like to the Kamakawi. Yes, I have to say that this one is a true mystery. We may never know what it’s supposed to represent…

Well, aside from the word oli.


• 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, January 11th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'ilu'.


  • (n.) liver

Toku ilu o ia oku.
“Your liver’s not strong.”

Notes: No idea what that’s supposed to mean. What’s the liver even do, anyway? I know it’s important, but who ever sees it besides doctors? Such an ugly organ…

According to the Wikipedia, the liver apparently helps in “detoxification”. I guess since I don’t drink alcohol that means I’m set for life! Take that, liver! :twisted:

The iku for ilu is built off the iku for lu. Where ordinarily there’s a space, the midline extends up to the top to form an i. I’ve kind of associated this iku with the liver in my mind. Coincidentally (or perhaps not?!), it looks like another ugly thing I don’t like to think about. What will that thing be? You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out! 8O


• Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'teka'.


  • (n.) (sea) salt

Li ia ie teka livu e nevi i’i.
“Pass me the salt.”

Notes: There’s no polite version of “give” here, so nevi serves. (Wait a minute! I’ve never done nevi?! Man oh man!) Salt will come most naturally from the sea to island-dwellers, so the type of salt this refers to is sea salt. It’s been extended to salt that comes from other sources (they both do the trick), but the sea is its true origin.


• Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'tone'.


  • (n.) ladle

Neo ia ie tone, funa!
“Use a ladle, you oaf!”

Notes: Sometimes a word is born simply because I have a good idea of the way the iku will work. So we have mate, novu and fa’e, all of which rely on the “open box” shape seen in a lot of Kamakawi iku acting as a tureen of sorts. In this one, then, you have the ladle going into the tureen, and thus: tone.

I didn’t give much thought to how a ladle would work its way into Kamakawi culture. I’m pretty sure, though, that if you have soup, you’ll find a way to get a ladle. Ladles just make sense, after all—at least if you have big pots or bowls. And why wouldn’t you? Those are useful! I mean, who makes a stew for one?

Ha, ha. That’s a good name for a blog for single cooks: Stew for One. If you use it, the royalty checks come straight me.


• 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, November 27th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'fa'e'.


  • (v.) to boil
  • (adj.) boiling

A fa’e lelea.
“The water is boiling.”

Notes: Today’s iku may look familiar. It’s the iku for mate turned on its head.

Oh, shoot, wait a minute… Actually, maybe it’s the iku for novu with steam rising off the top, and mate is the iku for fa’e turned on its head. Darn!

I guess it kind of depends what order these glyphs were created in. Surely the word for “boil” would precede the word for “soup”, because you couldn’t have the latter without the former. Or could you…? Oh, but wait a minute: that’s not at issue. The iku for novu (“soup”) certainly preceded the iku for fa’e, whether or not the words were coined in that order. What’s at issue is the order of fa’e and mate (“pour”). Seems to me the latter word would come about first, but that doesn’t mean the iku would’ve come first… I’m going to go out on a limb and say that fa’e came first, and mate is fa’e turned on its head.

So, yes. Revise what I said above. Revise, I say!


• Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'awitipo'.


  • (v.) to be sweet, to taste sweet
  • (adj.) sweet, sweet-tasting
  • (n.) sweetness

Owe: E awitipo! E feya i’i kau!
“Ahhh, the sweetness! It knocks me down!”

Notes: I’m back from my sojourn up to Northern California, where I was able to get a taste of some Shubert’s ice cream. Here’s what I had:

My ice cream from Shubert's.

For those not in the know, Shubert’s was voted the second best ice cream store in America awhile back. And since the number one ice cream store got its title because it offers a $1,000 sundae (that’s how much you pay. What a joke!), I don’t think it’s too far-fetched to say that Shubert’s is the best ice cream shop in America.

And it just so happens to be in my wife’s hometown. Not bad!

Anyway, whenever we go up, I make sure to get some Shubert’s. I only made it out once this time, but man, was it good! That’s three scoops of ice cream: mocha chip, chocolate chip and cookies and cream. I love their mocha chip. Will not touch coffee (the drink), but when it comes in ice cream form, it’s pretty darn good.

Today’s word derives from the word uitipo, the word for “mango”. While “mango” is pretty incredible, I think the word awitipo doesn’t quite cover what “sweet” covers in English. That is, awitipo still has the “mango” right in it, so you get a certain type of “sweet” with it. Of course, in the era I’m thinking of, things like “ice cream” are completely unknown to the Kamakawi (reason enough for staying put here in 21st century Southern California), so the taste sensation doesn’t really need to be described by the language. Some day, though, far in the future…

Oh, by the way, this is what Shubert’s ice cream looks like when it’s gone:

My empty ice cream container from Shubert's.