Posts Tagged ‘water’


• Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'kaiwea'.


  • (n.) stork

Lea i kaiwea! Ua hale ei…
“He’s a stork! I think…”


Today I got quite a surprise. Erin said she had a present for me, and I descended the stairs to see this fabulous gentleman:

My new bird statue.

Isn’t he outstanding?! I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a stork or a flamingo or some other type of bird, but I decided his name should be Kaiwea—and that has given birth to a new Kamakawi word. Storks, you see, are ubiquitous, and I’m rather surprised I didn’t have a word for it yet. Well, now I do! And it also allowed me to use the iku for le’o as a determinative, which is something I haven’t yet done.

Today is a good day! :D


• 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.


• Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'hule'.


  • (n.) o’opu naniha

Iwe levea ti hule.
“The water is full of o’opu naniha.”

Notes: The o’opu naniha is a very small little fish endemic to Hawai‘i, and it has a little cousin that swims the waters of the Kamakawi Islands. They’re nice fish, as far as little fish go.

Believe it or not, this iku is an ikunoala: a kind of blend of hu and le. Unlike most ikunoala, it’s not really built off any one iku. Instead, the two just kind of morphed together over the years. And now we have what we have here.

It seems to me that this would be a great, iconic name for a baseball team. You know how some baseball teams end up with these names that don’t seem fierce at all (the Cubs, the Mudhens, etc.)? I can see a team called the Hule in the Kamakawi baseball league. (Of course, they probably wouldn’t have a league of their own. They’d probably be a part of a main land minor league and have an irregular schedule due to the distance. But that’s another story…)

Update: No Kamakawi Word of the Day tomorrow—but this time not because I’m lazy! Tomorrow I’ll be going off the internet in protest of SOPA. Hope your Wednesday is a happy one.

Edit: LOL Isn’t that just like me? I scheduled the post specifically so it would avoid the whole SOPA protest. I kept on thinking, “Okay, schedule it for the next day”, and so I moved it one day ahead. Unfortunately, the day I moved it ahead of was…yesterday, the 17th (which, at the time, was “today”). So…yeah. Oops!


• Monday, January 16th, 2012

Glyph of the word 'hupe'.


  • (n.) marine toad
  • (n.) any kind of toad

Fuleke ia ti’i, he hupe.
“I miss you, toad.”

Notes: The toad is a peculiar animal. They’ve always looked to me like little rocks. When I was in kindergarten, I tried to capture and domesticate a toad. It didn’t go well. I wasn’t sure what he ate, so I gave him little pieces of hot dog. I’m not sure if he knew they were supposed to be food. The toad died in a relatively short amount of time. I feel pretty awful about now. I didn’t know what I was doing, but, crucially, didn’t know that I didn’t know. I assumed I could take care of it. I believe television led me to believe this. Nevertheless, I shall bear the terrible burden for the rest of my days. I apologize, Mr. Toad (for that was, indeed, the name that I gave him). I did wrong by you, but I never made the same mistake again, and have done what little I could to ensure that the mistake isn’t replicated by others (and that includes this blog post). It’s nice to know that your troubles are at an end.


• 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…


• 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. :)


• Monday, December 5th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'poli'.


  • (v.) to soak something in water (or let something soak in water [by default])
  • (adj.) soaked
  • (adj.) soaking

Poli ia ie pe’aka.
“Soak the clothing in water.”

Notes: This seemed like a pretty good basic term for an island people. Poli is one of the few formants whose adjectival versions are both “passive” and “active” (i.e. you can use it describe something that has been soaked in water and something that is currently soaking in water). Otherwise, this is a pretty plain-jane word, and a pretty plain-jane iku. Every language needs them, I suppose.


• 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!


• Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Glyph of the word 'a'iki'.


  • (n.) coral reef

I a’iki kavi pe.
“There’s a large coral reef there.”

Notes: A’iki is certainly an older word, and its iku is one of those that defies exact description. It’s, of course, built off the iku for “white”, a’i, but there’s no etymological relationship between the two. It features the “ground” determinative (used with places and locations), and it also kind of looks like a coral reef, but that could just be me. So it might’ve been an ikuleyaka, but usually those don’t have any phonological component.

Hey, apropos of nothing, if you want to see something good, check out the latest series at the Kēlen Word of the Day blog. Sylvia’s translated “The Jabberwocky” into Kēlen and is discussing the translation line by line. I never thought of the “slithy toves” as lizard, but that’s part of the fun!