K Dictionary



ka #1

1.[conjunction] but, and, so.
2.[discourse feature]  a request by the listener for the speaker to continue with his story and a polite indication that the listener is really listening.


ka #2

(from PPN ^ka).

[tense‑aspect marker, future inceptive]  will; with meaning that the action described will be done at some specific time. See Introduction.



(from PPN ^kaha).

[vs]  to be burning without flame, lit up.

tr: hakka <to light up>.



[vs]  to be sharp, as a knife is sharp.

ca:  hakkaa <to make sharp>.



[pln]  the name of a spirit {tupua} and an associated rock located in the lagoon near Matuiloto.



[pln]  a clan house located at Sokupu associated with the Saalupe clan.



[psn]  the name of a Sikaiana man who travelled long distances in outrigger canoes, about 8‑10 generations ago.



[na]  a long rod attached to another rod that is used for snaring marlin {sele paala}.  The rod is hit lightly upon the surface of the water to attract the attention of the fish.  Brought by Gilbertese in late 19th century.  No longer used.



(from PPN ^kafa ‘sennit’).

[np]  the lashing strings of the roof mats {pola} in the ritual house {Hale Aitu}.  Each clan {hale akina} was responsible for some of the roofing and the kaha were named after the ancestors of the clans, whose names were called out during the making of the roof.  (PCR).

sa: manea.



see kaihe.



[vt]  to summon someone, to ask for someone’s presence.

rp: kahikahi,

ps: kaahia,

do: kaahina.



(from ^kkahi ‘summon’).

[no]  an invitation, a summons to appear somewhere.



[no]  an abscess in the skin.



1.[vi]  to sweat, as from heat or physical activity.

ps: kahotalia <to be sweated upon by someone else>.

2.[no]  sweat, perspiration.



[no]  any membrane or tissue that covers animate beings in the eyes, intestines or other parts of the body; the tissue between the kernal and the skin of a fruit; the membrane of a new born baby after birth.



[no]  the bladder, the organ.



(from PPN ^kai).

1. [vt]  to eat.

ps: kaina,

pl: kkai.

2. [na]  food, meals.

3. [vt]  to bite: na namu e kkai, ‘the mosquitoes are biting’; te pakeo e kai tama, ‘sharks bite people’; na ika e kkai te mouna, ‘the fish are biting the bait’.

ps: kaina.

4. [vt]  to consume, use up, absorb.  Te teipi nei e kai viki haeko, ‘this tape consumes a lot of batteries’.

5. [nao]  a feast or party.  I te tulana te vaka e au, taatou ka penapena te kai, ‘when the ship comes, we will make a party’.

6. [vt]  to win points at a card game, to take another person’s man in a game of draughts.

sa: kaihulihuli.

7. [na]  the points won in a card game and any other board game in which points are kept.

8. [na]  the gardens and crops in the bush; food resources. Taatou kai i loto ao e naniu, ‘we have a lot of resources for food in the bush’.

sa: kai taka, kai taa.

9. [vt]  to supernaturally kill people, as it is believed that ancestral spirits {aitu mate} once did. I mua, na aitu mate ni kkai na tama,’time before, the ancestral spirits killed a lot of people’.

10.[vt]  to receive food and materials from a division of goods, especially from a brideprice payment. Maatou ni kkai i te penupenu laa, ‘we received goods from that marriage payment’.

sa: haanai.

10.[vt]  to make marks in a soft material as a plane does on wood, either intentionally or unintentionally. Seke te niapu, kai te paa noa, ‘the adze slips making an unintended mark in the canoe (TS)’.


kai ate

(from ate ‘liver’).

[vi]  to gossip, to discredit, criticize.


kai hala


[nf]  pineapple.


kai poloaki

(from poloaki ‘goodbye’).

[nao]  a farewell party.


kai taa

[na]  a type of land ownership, in which a man cleared land that belongs to him and his descendants.  (Precise rules of transfer are disputed).

sa: hau mokoaa, kai taka.


kai tae

(from? tae ‘feces’).

[nv]  a ritual prayer type that was sung {lani} to the spirits {tupua, aitu}.  This prayer form was used in the spirit house {Hale Aitu} and during the teika lle ceremony.  (PCR).


kai tae hakatele

[nv]  a ritual prayer that was sung during the manea. Listen to the kai tae hakatele.


kai taka

[na]  a type of land transfer.  (Precise rules of transfer care disputed).

sa: kai taa, hau mokoaa.


Kai Tapu

(from tapu ‘holy’).

1.[nv]  the Holy Communion ritual in Christian practice.  (CR).

2.[nv]  a ritual performed shortly after the death of the aliki in which his successor eats a specially prepared food.  (PCR).



(from PPN ^kaiha’a).

[vt]  to steal, to take secretly.

ps: kaiaatia.



[na]  a table.


kaihe (kahe)

[tense‑aspect marker]  to have just. Saua kaihe ttae ki tona haleka te telafon ku lliki, ‘Saua has just arrived at his house and the telephone is ringing’.



[nv]  a popular card game.  The person to the right of the dealer plays first and chooses the trump suit {tolomu, huli}. A player must follow the suit of the lead card, unless he trumps.  High card wins and winner leads next round.  Point cards include the ace {asi, hai}, jack {seki} and deuce {siaoa} of the trump suit; each is worth one point.  Points are also kept of the total cards collected: tens count ten points, aces count four points, kings count three points, queens count two points and jacks count one point.  Whoever wins the most in the card count {kimi} takes one point in the overall count.  The game is continued until one team reaches seven points.  Teams are called vaka (‘boat’). Very popular in the 1980s.

ge: muu #1.



[nao]  a ceremony for a woman during her first pregnancy in which food was brought to her and her family.  No longer practiced.  (PCR).

sa: ala pou.



(from laoi ‘good’).

[nv]  to give food or other resources to another person over an extended time, usually with the expectation of some future favor or consideration.



[vi]  to eat food that is not indigenous to Sikaiana or not eaten by most Sikaiana people.



[vp]  to lie, cheat, steal.



[na]  a young coconut {niu} without milk.

ge: niu.



[vp]  to give generously to another, used especially for children who share food.

sa: kaipulau.



(from manamana ‘branching’).

[na]  the club suit in card games.

sa: kaihulihuli.



[vp]  to feel jealous or unfairly treated as when another man is given a gift but one is not.



1.[no]  a named territory;  the island is divided into named and owned territories all of which are kaaina.  However, swamp land {keli}is not considered to be a kaaina.

2.[no]  a neighborhood, an area that is inhabited with some sort of separate identity for its residents.



[n]  a group of fish.



[vp]  to beg, for food, goods or money.  (Usually demeaning).



(from? pulau ‘stink’).

[vp]  to be stingy, possessive, cheap, to not give food freely or share resources with others.  (Usually demeaning).



[vt]  to report or tell a secret. Te tama laa ni hanaake o kaitaua ake na male o na tama te laa e isi o laatou soa, ‘that person went and reported the names of the people who have lovers’.



[exclamation]  serves you right, an exclamation used when the speaker feels that misfortune of someone is justified.

ca: hakkaitoa <to feel that the misfortune of someone is justified>.



(from PPN ^isu).

[no]  nose of a human, beak of a bird, snout of an animal.


kaiusu ttani

(from tani ‘cry’).

[vi]  to snore.


kaka #1

(from PPN ^kakaa)

[nf]  a bird species.

ge: kivi.


kaka #2

(from PPN ^kaka).

[np]  the fibre that hangs from a coconut tree.



(from PPN ^kake).

1.[vi]  to climb, to step up: kake tino, ‘climb a tree with the feet and hands only’; kake ki te luhaluha, ‘climb using a rope tied around the feet’.

2.[vi]  to travel by some conveyance: airplane, boat or automobile.  Kake i te bas, ‘travel in the bus’; kake i te vaka lele i anna, ‘travel in the airplane’.

For both senses:

ps: kaakea,

pl: kkake.

3.[vt]  to dedicate an outrigger canoe {vaka hai ama} to the spirits {aitu}. Too tamana ni kake too vaka ki pupui na ika saa, ‘your father

dedicated your canoe to keep away the dangerous fish (TS)’. PCR).

syn: hakaani.



1.[n]  a ladder.

2.[n]  the holes cut in the side of coconut trees to make them easier to climb.

3.[n]  a stretcher for carrying a person. Toku moe i he kaakena, taku otiana ma te henua, ‘when I lie on a stretcher (die), I am finished with the island (TS)’.

4.[n]  the trail made by a turtle on the beach; the marks in sand left by lovers.


kkala#1 (kakala)

(from PPN ^kakala ‘fragrant’).

1.[vs]  to be pleasant tasting.

2.[vs]  to be sweet, as in mixing sugar with tea.

sa: lihu.

tr: hakakkala <to sweeten>,

cp: hakakkalalia.

3.[vs]  to be good, enjoyable; in courtship, to be pleasurable or spicey.


kkala #2 (kakala)

[vs]  to hurt, to burn, of a cut.



[nf]  a bird species.



[no]  the froth in the mouth of pigs or dogs.


kalakala pusi

[nf]  a plant species, sometimes used for making a bow {kavusu}.


kalakalaa upu

[na]  the charcoal remains of coconut shells that have been used for cooking.



[nf]  a crab species.  When full grown will be called a tupa.

sa: tupa.



[nf]  a sea urchin species.



[nf]  an insect like a cricket.



[n]  a song with dance actions brought to Sikaiana from the Gilbert Islands, probably in the 19th century.



(from Eng ‘glass’).

[na]  a glass cup.



(from Eng ‘kerosene’).

[n]  kerosene.



[vt]  to whip as in whipping a knife across the surface of paper to soften the paper.

ps: kalatia.



[n]  a pool of water inside the island where salt water is found, probably due to a subterranean passage.



(from PPN ^mata).

1.[no]  the eye of man or animal.  Idiom: kalemata e pouli,  ‘to black out’.

syn: mata#3.

2.[vp]  to look at.  Idioms: kalemata hakattoo, ‘droopy eyed’; kalemata hakananali, ‘sleepy eyed’; kalemata hakamoemoe, ‘dreamy looking’; kalemata kaiaa, to look secretly at someone; kalemata hatu, a person who goes to another person’s house and watches them eat hoping to get fed.

syn: mmata.

3.[np]  an opening; the opening at the top of a bottle, the space inside the mesh of a fish net.

sa: atu mata.

4.[no]  eye glasses.

syn: kalemata ttoka.

do: kalemata hhuti <a spy glass>.

4.[no]  a person’s true love, the one that is most desirable sexually to a person.  Idioms: kalemata taamaki:  lit., ‘many eyes’, a person who is attracted to many different people of the opposite sex; kalemata hoko tahi, lit.: ‘only one eye’, to have one true love.


kalemata ttoka

[no]  eye glasses.



(from PPN ^rena).

[nf]  turmeric powder.  Traditionally used for adornment; made from the ano plant.



[no]  labia minora.  (Restricted).



1.[na]  the sap of the coconut tree that is collected for various uses including, making: molasses {kamaimai}, toddy {kaleve pulau}, and candy {tono, mea ppili, kapeni}. Introduced by the Gilbertese in the late 19th century.

sa: kaluoluo, taetuna.

2.[na]  a fermented coconut toddy drink that is alcoholic and made from the sap of the coconut tree.  (Also called kaleve pulau).  Introduced by the Gilbertese in the late 19th century.

3.[vi]  to drink the fermented coconut toddy; kaleve haeko, to drink toddy and cause trouble.

See photos of kaleve preparation.



[no]  penis.  (Restricted).



[nf]  a shell species, cone shell.



[nf]  a shell species, trochus shell.


kalisitai #1

[nf]  a fish species.


kalisitai #2

[nf]  a plant species.



[nf]  a fish species, small goatfish.


kallo (kalolo)

1.[np]  the string along the bottom of a fishing net {tauto} where stones could be placed to function as weights.

wh: kupena, tauto.

2.[np]  the string of a bow {kavusu} for shooting an arrow.

3.[np]  the string used in a bird net {seu manu} that connects the net to a small support near the handle.

wh: seu manu.


kkalo (kakalo)

[vs]  to be fed up, to be tired emotionally of something or someone’s behavior. Te henua ku kkalo i te unu o te kaleve, ‘the island is fed up with the drinking of fermented toddy’.

tr: hakakkalo <to make one fed up>.


kalokalo #1

[np]  the rays of the sun’s light.


kalokalo #2

(from PPN ^kalo).

1.[vt]  to dodge a thrown object; as in dodging a ball; to move out of the way of some object.

2.[vp]  to avoid someone, to try to stay away from a certain place or person. Te tama laa e kalokalo i ona maa, ‘he avoids his in‑laws’.

For both senses:

ps: kalohia.



[vp]  to glance.

rp: kalopalopa <glance from side to side>.



[nv]  a net fishing technique {haanota kupena} that is similar to hakalletua.  Men go at night with hand held nets {kautoko} and chase the fish that live in the open areas. (These nets were no longer being made 1980-1987.)

ge: haanota kupena.


kkalu (kakalu)

[vs]  to be thick, of coconut oil in cooking.



(from PPN ^kalu).

[no]  interstitial tissues of animate creatures.



[na]  coconut sap {kaleve} that is heated to keep it from




[nf]  a species of land crab with a green shell.



(from Eng ‘government’).

[n]  the government or rulers of Solomon Islands.



[n]  a recipe made from taro {haahaa, kapulaka} that is placed in a container and left to ferment until eaten.



1.[vp]  to begin, to start a project or activity.

2.[vt]  to taste, to try a food to see if it tastes good.

For both senses:

ps: kaamatalia.



[na]  mature coconuts that have fallen or are about to fall from trees and can be used for making copra or eaten.  Five varieties are distinguished: kamatuu mataatea, a coconut that is still on the tree but about ready to fall; kamatu somo, a fallen coconut that has sprouted a shoot; kamatuu laulau, a sprouted coconut that is overgrown; takataka, a fallen coconut that is dry inside;  hattuna, a fallen coconut with a grown seed inside that is very sweet but does not have a sprout.

sa: hakatupunna, tumee, kanauto, pikopiko, niu, muko.



[vi]  to run.



1.[vt]  to press down one’s finger, as in pressing down on a fly.

2.[vt]  to steal.  (Figurative).

For both senses:

ps: kamotia.


kamu #1

1.[np]  the area of the reef where the sea floor is rising from the lagoon to form the dry top of the reef.  It has many rocks and coral and at low tide will be above the water surface.

2.[nf]  a piece of coral brought up from the bottom of the sea.


kamu #2

[vt]  to chew betelnut.


kamukamu #1

[no]  the mucus found in the eye.


kamukamu #2

[np]  rust.



[vs]  to be rusted; te kapa ku kamukamua, ‘the iron roofing is rusted’.



(from PPN ^kanahe).

[nf]  a fish species; a species of mullet fish.



1.[vs]  to be prepared, to be ready to start some endeavor.

2.[vt]  to prepare, to organize things to start some endeavor.



[nf]  a bird species.

ge: katoko.



1.[nf]  a recipe; natu fruit that has been smoked to preserve it.

2.[vs]  to be very black (like the fruit prepared in the above recipe).  (Figurative).



1.[na]  the apple, seed or fruit inside of a mature coconut {kamatuu somo}.

2.[na]  a recipe; fruit salad made from the inside of a coconut mixed with coconut sap molasses {kamaimai}.



[no]  buttocks.  Idiom: kanekane koikoi, ‘buttocks that protrude’.



[na]  a recipe; taro {haahaa, kapulaka} that is mixed with coconut gratings {ota}.



[no]  the back of a person, animal or thing.


kkani (kakani)

1.[vt]  to mark by cutting; to mark coconuts {kamatuu} by cutting a mark that identifies the owner.

ps: kaania.

2.[vp]  to make a vow or promise.

syn: polopolo.

3.[na]  a vow or promise.



1.[n]  a rainbow.

2.[n]  a beautiful person; na kaniva e olo ki te anumana, ‘the beautiful girls are going to the dance (MS)’.  (Figurative).



[np]  the fleshy part or inside of a solid substance. Te laakau nei, tona kano i tua e mmau, ka tona kano i loto e ppela, ‘this tree, its outside is firm, but its insides are soft’.

do: kano saa, kano vai, kano hale, kano vaka.


kano hale

1.[no]  a family of closely related blood relatives, a nuclear family.

2.[no]  a group of bilateral relatives who share a common ancestor, in common usage extended two or three generations, but may be extended further.

3.[no]  a landholding group that traces patrilineal descent from an ancestor, usually about 6‑8 generations ago.  This group is a segment of the patrilineages {hale akina}.

4.[no]  a residential group that lives in the same area and shares day to day work activities.  (Archaic).


kano malie

[vs] to be fully ripe, of taro {haahaa, kapulaka}.


kano maoha

(from maoha ‘shredded’).

[vs]  to be unripe, of taro.  Eaten in this state, the taro will crumble.


kano petau

[nf] a plant species.  May be used as fish poison.


kano saa

[vs]  to be unripe, of taro {haahaa, kapulaka}.


kano vai

[vs]  to be too watery, not yet ready to eat of cultivated swamp taro {haahaa}, uncultivated swamp taro {kapulaka} and yam {uhi}.

syn: kano saa.



[no]  the vulva.  (Restricted).


kanokano #1

[nf]  a wasp.


kanokano #2

[na]  kindling wood, small twigs and branches used for firewood.



(from kano ‘body’ + vaka ‘ship’).

1.[no]  the crewmen of a boat or outrigger: te kanovaka o Tehui Atahu, ‘the crewmen of Tehui Atahu’; te kanovaka o Vaeoma, ‘the crewmen of Vaeoma’.

2.[n]  a general term for Solomon Islanders and other Melanesians who are not from Sikaiana.



(from Eng ‘account’).

1.[v, usually with source case]  to take a loan, to be in debt to.

2.[na]  a debt, an account at a store, a loan; a social debt or obligation.



(from Eng ‘copper’).

[np]  sheet iron that is used for roofing; hale kapa, ‘a house with an iron roof’.


kkapa (kakapa)

[vp]  to touch, to place one’s hand upon.

ps: kapatia,

rp: kapakapa <to constantly be touching things, often with the connotation of stealing>.



1.[np]  the edge of the mesh of a bird net {seu manu} where the net attaches to the rim.

wh: seu manu.

2.[np]  the edge of a piece of clothing.



(from PPN ^kapakau).

1.[no]  a flipper or wing: te kapakau o te manu, ‘the wing of the bird’; te kapakau o te honu, ‘the flipper of the turtle’.

2.[no]  the arm of a person from the shoulder to the elbow.

cn: lima#2.


kapanni (kapanini)

[np]  mats made from coconut leaves {paakele} that are used for the walling of houses.



(from Eng ‘company’).

[no]  a cooperativegroup whose people take turns collecting resources for each of the members.



[no]  a boat made by building a platform across two logs and then a structure on top.  Not built on Sikaiana but seen by Sikaiana men who had travelled.  Models were built as toys for children.


kape #1

[nf]  a wild bush taro that grows on dry ground and is not eaten.


kape #2

1.[vt]  to scoop out, to dig out as in using a needle to dig out a splinter in the body.

ps: kapea.


kape #3

[vi]  to perform the ritual functions associated with the installation of a new chief {aliki} or other ritual roles {takala, tautuku, pule}. These had to be performed absolutely correctly in order for the person to assume his new role.  (PCR).

sa: sao#2, hakatootonu, ssau.



[na]  a candy made from coconut sap {kaleve} by cooking the fresh sap until firm.  Sap for this candy is collected only before midday.

cn: mea ppili.


kapi #1

1.[vt]  to hold, to possess, to guard.

ca: hakkapi,

do: kapitia.

2.[vt]  to paddle a canoe so that it stays in one place without being moved by the current or wind.

3.[np]  the harnesses of the back‑strap loom {mea tau} used to hold the strands of material taut.

wh: mea tau.

4.[np]  wooden prongs used to hold hot stones.


kapi #2

(from PPN ^kapi).

1.[vs]  to be crowded with people.

2.[vs]  to be tight or well fitted together, as in the wall slats of a house. Na hili ku kapi nniti, ‘the wall slats are closed together tightly’.

tr: hakkapi.



1.[vi]  to make a crashing sound, to have an impact, to strike.


2.[exclamation]  in discourse, this term is used to let the speaker know that something dramatic is about to happen in the narrative.



[na]  a mat for flooring similar to a tapakau, but with only one side.  Shaped to cover a small area inside the house where a tapakau would not fit.



1.[vs]  to be busy with, preoccupied by. Te tinana e kapitia i tana tama likiliki, ‘the mother is busy with her small child’.

ca: hakkapitia <to be confined to a certain area by someone else>.

2.[vs]  to be closed in by, held tightly in place without room to move around.



[vs]  to be capable, expert, competent.



[na]  a recipe for coconut salad.



[na]  a European style cup for drinking.



[nf]  a type of swamp taro (Cyrtosperma chamissonis) that is an important staple of the Sikaiana diet.  Unlike the cultivated swamp taro {haahaa}, this taro is not cultivated but grows untended in swamp land {keli}.  Other varieties include: kapulaka Tikopia (from Tikopia) and kapulaka piipii (from Luaniua).



[n]  a game involving flipping shells onto a target.Brought by the Kiribati/Gilbertese in the late 19th century.  Rarely played at present.



[np]  the buds of a shoot {kauloloa} of a coconut tree.



1.[vs]  to be overflowing of liquids.  (Rare).

2.[vs]  to have a lot of pubic hair.  (Restricted).



[no]  a ring for the finger.



[nq]  a group of coconuts that are tied together by their husks.

sa: hui.



(from Eng ‘cassette’).

[na]  a cassette for a tape recorder.



1.[nf]  a shell fish species.  Varieties include: kasi a Sina pupuku, kasi a Sina.

2.[na]  a scraper made from this shell and used as a tool for scraping coconuts.

3.[na]  a European style spoon.



[nf]  a kind of coral.



1.[nf]  a shell species that lives under the sand.

2.[no]  the female genitals.  (Restricted).



(from PPN ^kata).

1.[vp]  to laugh.

ps: kataina, katalia,

ca: hakkatakata <to smile>,

pl: kkata,

do: hakahiikata.

2.[nao]  a laugh, laughter.



[nf]  a frigate bird, generic term.  Types of kataha are: pulelua, manu hanaia, simu, poka, uua mmea, sinaa.



1.[no]  white shells used as ornamentation in a necklace {huilani}.

2.[no] money.  (Figurative).



[na]  a recipe of taro pudding made with less coconut oil than vaasina.

do: kaatalo ika <a taro pudding with fish inside>.



(from PPN ^katea).

[n, direction]   towards the side of the hull of an outrigger canoe {vaka hai ama} which is always on the left side.

opp: ama.



(from PPN ^kati).

1.[vt]  to cut a coconut sprout {taume} into pieces in order to start a fire.

2.[vt]  to nibble.

For both senses:

ps: katia,

ot: kati.



(from PPN ^nunu).

[vi]  to grunt or groan.


katoa (kato)

(from PPN ^katoa).

[nq, q follows noun]  all, every. Te kau tama katoa e olo ki te puina, ‘everyone is going to the puina‘; tokalua tama katoa, ‘both persons’.


kaatoa (kaato)

1.[cardinal number]  one hundred in the counting system of birds and coconuts.

sa: lau.

2.[cardinal number]  ten in the counting system of people.

sa: sehui, sekumi, tino.



[nf]  a seagull species.  Growth cycle: kanapu,mouakena.



1. [np]  a shoot for replanting, of the turmeric plants {pasai, ano}.

2. [no]  wart.



[nf] a plant species, creeper.



1.[nq]  a group: te kau tamataane, ‘the group of all the young men’; te kau tamaahine,’the group of all the young girls’; te kau vaka, ‘the group of ships’.

2.[nq]  a line, a row: te kau haahaa, ‘the row of cultivated swamp taro’; te kau laakau, ‘a row of trees’; hakatele kau, ‘to line up’.

3.[np]  the handle of a tool: kau niapu, ‘handle of an adze’; kau seu,’handle of a bird net’; kau takuu, ‘handle of an axe’.

Sa: kautoki.

4.[np]  the top part of the frame of a fishing net {kautoko}.

wh: kautoko.

5.[np]  the stem of a plant, of turmeric {pasai} and papaya.

6.[n]  a platform for placing gifts to one’s secret lover {hina}. Gifts were taken by a go‑between {tama kai} who placed them on a forked stick or platform for the lover of the sender.  The object was to give so many gifts that the platform would break from the weight of the gifts.  All had to be done in secrecy.  (PCR).

sa: hina, tama kai, kaunaki.



[vt, followed by direction particle]  to give, send: kaumai, ‘send towards speaker’; kauatu, ‘send between two people’; kauake, ‘give away’; but, kkave iho, ‘send down’. Te lavalava a koe ni kaumai ku moe ma te lihutia, ‘the cloth you sent me remains with sorrow (MS)’.

do: kkave.



[prefix for cardinal numbers]  the prefixed number times ten for counting pudding {kaatalo}, mats {pola, kapanni, tapakau} and years: kaulua, ‘twenty’; kautolu,’thirty’; kauhaa, ‘forty’; kaulima, ‘fifty’; kauono, ‘sixty’; kauhitu, ‘seventy’; kauvalu, ‘eighty’; kausivo, ‘ninety’.


kau he

[negative imperative]  do not!  (Possibly an abbreviation for: koe ki he).


kau uiui

[np]  the rods that run lengthwise along the boom of an outrigger canoe {vaka hai ama} intersecting with the boom rods {kiato}.

wh: vaka hai ama.


kkau (kakau)

(from PPN ^kau).

[vi]  to swim in water.

do: kaukau, koukou.



[no]  the cheeks of a face. Pale kauae, ‘to rest the cheeks on the hands’.


kaualiki lliki

[nf]  a plant species.


kaualiki naniu

[nf]  a plant species.



[no]  the upper thigh.



[np]  the gills of a fish.



[no]  laboris majoris.  (Restricted).



1.[n]  a man who is an expert seaman in long distance voyages {holau}.  (Archaic).

2.[n]  the sound of voices heard from the sea at the western side of the island, associated with the Sakamani.

sa: Sakamani.


kaukau #1

[np]  a part of the roof of a house; this is a pole that rests horizontally on the large roof beams {oka naniu} and supports the small roofbeams {oka likiliki}.

wh: hale.


kaukau #2

[vi]  to swim in water, to bathe, to wash one’s body.

sa: kkau.



[n]  a part of the kunaaika in which a mock fight is staged with one group trying to attack the honored and another group defending the honored.  (PCR).

sa: kunaaika #1.



[n]  betelnut.  Not grown on Sikaiana.



[na]  a branch of dried coconut leaves {haa}.

wh: niu.



[np]  the circular rim or frame of a bird net {seu manu} and flying fish net {taetae} upon which the net hangs.

wh: seu manu.



[np]  the blooming sprout of a coconut tree.

sa: kaputi.



[vt]  to request a special kind of food or service, mostly done at ceremonial events such as the kau and brideprice payments {penupenu}.

ps: kaunakina, kaunakilia.



[np]  a rod that connects the highest point of a sail {laa} on the outrigger canoe {vaka hai ama} with the mast {kautuu}.  This serves to hold the sail in place.

wh: laa#1.



[psn]  the name of one of the outrigger canoes {vaka hai ama} of the pule.  These outriggers could never be brought ashore and were reserved for the ritual work of the pule when he went to pray to the spirits {tupua} who inhabited the reef.  (PCR).



1.[nao]  a boundary line between two properties. Idiom: kaupaa siaoa: to have two different versions of where a border is, a boundary dispute.

2.[np]  the raised area of the cultivated swamp gardens {taluano} where taro is planted.

wh: taluano.

3.[np]  a wall of stone, as in the walls leading into a fish trap {tanaaika}, or the walls used to mark boundaries.



[na]  a tool made from a metal gouge that is hafted to a handle. Used in canoe making.



1.[no]  the intestines of a man or animal.

2.[no]  the center of emotions of a person.  Te loto ni sopo i tona kautae, ‘the anger jumped out (came) from his guts’.

syn: manava.



[np]  a pole that runs along the bottom of the sail {laa} on the outrigger canoe {vaka hai ama}.

wh: laa# 1.


kautalina (kautanna)

(from PPN ^talinga).

[no]  the ear of a man or animal.


kautanna aitu

(from aitu ‘spirit’).

1.[nf]  a fungus growth found on dead wood.  Named thus because the growth resembles an ear.

2.[nf]  a mushroom.



[n]  a group of people who are going to chase fish into a net.



[na]  a shell axe or adze.  These are often found on Sikaiana but no longer made or used.



[no]  a hand held fishing net, about three to four fathoms long. The parts of a kautoko include: vaemuli, usukau, kau.  See an illustration of a kautoko.

ge: kupena.



[np]  the mast for the sail of the outrigger canoe {vaka hai ama}.

wh: laa #1.



[na]  a stool with a handle that is used for grating coconuts.



[np]  the stick used to rub against a base in a fire‑making tool {sika}.


kava #1

[n]  a cemetery, a burial ground.


kava #2

[nf]  a generic term for a seaslug.  Varieties include: kava hai katona, kava uli, kava hai uu, paapaa, puniheo, hunahuna, kulutuma.


kava #3

1.[vp]  to spread, of an illness.

2.[vp]  to go from the top of one tree to another, as rats do when they are moving from branch to branch.

For both senses:

ps: kavasia.



(from PPN ^kawakawa).

1.[nf]  a species of coral trout that feeds on refuse and feces.  Not eaten.

2.[n]  an undesirable person; a sexually indiscriminate person.  (Figurative and demeaning).



[nf]  a fish species.

sa: tuu kavaliki.



[no]  an opposite sex sibling, both real and classificatory; opposite sex, same generation, lineal and collateral relatives.

do: haikave <to be in relationship of opposite sex sibling>,

kave ki taha <classificatory opposite sex siblings>.


kkave (kakave)

(from PPN ^kawe).

[vt]  to send, usually over a distance; to give; kkave noa, ‘to give without any expectation of return’.

ps: kaavea,

do: kau‑#1.



(from ^kkave ‘send’).

1.[ps]  to be sent, often against one’s will. A nau ni kaavea ki te koti, ‘I was taken to the court’.

2.[ps]  to be emotionally carried away, to fall in love. Te ata Amelika kaihe sula mai e kaavea toku manava, ‘the beauty of America that has just appeared carries away my heart (TS)’.



(from PPN ^kawe).

1.[np]  the tentacles of an octopus.

2.[np]  the strings used to tie a loom {mea tau} to a wall.



[psn]  a star constellation located near the star Scorpion. The star’s appearance means that octopuses are plentiful.


kaavei tahi

[nf]  a jellyfish=species with a long tail.



[conjunction]  after a while, after some time passed, eventually; in discourse, indicates the passage of time.



[n]  a group of people.

syn: meana.



(from Eng ‘cabbage’).

[n]  cabbage.



[np]  a sprout of a tree, may be growing from the ground or sprouting from the trunk of a dead tree.



[nf]  a land crab species.



[na]  the bow of a bow and arrow.



(from PPN ^kehe).

1.[vs]  different, not the same; te kiona kee, ‘the different place’; te hale kee, ‘the different house’.  Idiom: tama kee, tuputupu kee, ‘to be an unusual person, to have a socially unusual character’.



(from PPN ^kefu).

[vs]  to be very white, to be sunbleached, as an albino or a pandanus leaf {kie} that has been left to dry in the sun.



[vs]  to be different between two things. Sikaiana e kee, Honiara e kee; siaoa kiona laa e keekee, ‘Sikaiana is different, Honiara is different, those two places are different between themselves’.


kekennatolo (kkennatolo, kelekele na tolo)

[vs]  to be dirty, messy, overgrown, unkempt.



(from PPN ^kelekele).

1.[na]  earth, ground, sand, soil; kelekele maa, white soil, the soil near the shore; kelekele uli, black soil, the soil inland.

2.[no]  land that is owned; te maatou kelekele i loto ao e naniu, ‘our land in the bush is large’.


keli #1

(from PPN ^keli).

[vt]  to dig in the ground.

ps: kelia.


keli #2

[na]  swamp land for gardens both cultivated and uncultivated.

sa: taluano.



1.[vi]  to blink one’s eyes.

ps: kemotia <to fall asleep for a short time while in the presence

of others>,

ot: kkemo.

2.[vi]  to miss a period in the menstrual cycle.  (Restricted and figurative).


kkena (kekena)

[vs]  to be pale, to look sickly.

ca: hakakkena <to camouflage, change color>.



(from PPN ^kenu).

[no]  the motion of feet moving back and forth; tani kehu, ‘to make the sound of feet walking back and forth’.



(from Eng ‘case’).

[na]  a wood or cardboard box.



(from PPN ^kete).

1.[na]  a basket.  Kinds of baskets are: punaa kete, a small basket; kete sseu, a basket for holding fish caught with a bamboo pole; kete lana sasae; a man’s basket; kete piki, a round basket, kete taamakka, a basket with a special weave on the rim.

2.[no]  the stomach organ.


kete hatu

[nf]  a large clam species (Tridacna squamosa?).


kketi (keketi)

[vt]  to remove the husk of a coconut with the teeth, as a rat or small child does.

ps: keetia.



(from Eng ‘kettle’).

[na]  kettle.



[vt]  to twist, to turn.

st: takeu,

ps: keua, keulia,

pl: keukeu.


ki #1

(from PPN ^ki).

1.[preposition, destination] to. Maatou e olo ki Honiara, ‘we will go to Honiara’.

do: ki taha.

2.[preposition, instrument] with. Haa te laakau ki te takuu, ‘chop the tree with the axe’.

3.[preposition, goal]  for, to. A nau e aloha ki taku tama, ‘I feel compassion for my child’.


ki #2

1.[verb conjunction]  a conjunction showing that there is purpose.

See Introduction.

2.[tense aspect marker]  shows purpose or compulsion.  See Introduction.


ki taha

1.[direction]  away from, to the outside.

2.[nq, following a kinship term]  classificatory relatives: taina ki taha, ‘same sex classificatory sibling’; kave ki taha, ‘cross sex classificatory sibling’; tamana ki taha, ‘classifactory father, the true and classificatory brothers of a genetic father’; tinna ki taha, ‘classificatory mother’.  (This term is only used to make distinctions.  Normally, the root kinship term alone is used to refer to both true and classificatory relationships).



[conjunction]  no matter.



(from PPN ^kiato).

[np]  the boom rods that run from the canoe to its float {ama} on the outrigger canoe {vaka hai ama}.

wh: vaka hai ama.


kiato motu

[np]  the boom rods that run from the canoe to the float {ama} on the outrigger canoe {vaka hai ama}.  Unlike the other boom rods {kiato} these do not run all the way across the platform but are left short so that there is room to paddle on the boom side of the outrigger.

wh: vaka hai ama.



(from PPN ^kiekie).

[nf]  a species of pandanus, used on Sikaiana for making sleeping mats {vasa}.



[np]  a side dish; the food mixed with other foods, such as taro with fish, rice with meat.



[vs]  to be bulging, of the stomach as after eating a large meal.

syn: hhula.



(from PPN ^kikila ‘shine’).

[na] metal, steel, any substance that is metallic and shines.

do: mea kila <a metal spear used when diving for fish>.


kili #1

(from PPN ^kili).

[no]  the skin of a man or animal, the skin of a fruit, the bark of a tree: kili ffai, lit., ‘stripped skin, white skin’; kili huaalava, ‘the brown skin of Polynesians’.


kili #2

1.[nf]  a stingray species with rough skin.

2.[na]  sandpaper made from the skin of the above stingray {kili} or a trigger fish {simu paopao}.


kili pusi

[no]  a birth mark.



(from PPN ^kilikili).

[na]  gravel, the small pebbles and coral found on the sea shore.  Used for fill in house construction.


kilisimas tili

(from Eng ‘christmas tree’).

[nf]  a large tree species (Delonix regia?).


kiliu miti

[vs]  to be hungry for fish or some meat.

syn: umiti,

sa: mea ppoa, ssili.



[na]  the count of the points won through taking tricks in the card game kaihulihuli.

sa: kaihulihuli



[vt]  to cut.

rp: kinikini,

ps: kinitia,

do: kkini atu <to estimate, to predict>.


kiokio #1

[nf]  a bird species.


kiokio #2

[nf]  a fish species, similar to mullet.



(from PPN ^kiole).

[n]  a rat.



[no]  a place, an area; toku kiona, ‘my home’. Haiatu a Telauponini ki a Telauponana, a ia ka tele o ssee mona he kiona, ‘Telauponini said to Telauponana, I am going to run away and look for a new home’.



[vs]  to become emaciated, to loose weight through illness.



[nf]  any fruit tree that bears small fruit:  ihi kita, a tree with small chestnuts; natu kita, a tree with small natu fruit; niu kita, a coconut tree with small fruits.



(from Eng ‘guitar’).

[na]  guitar.  (Introduced to the island in late 1960s).

do: mako kitaa.



(from PPN ^kite).

1.[vt]  to see.

2.[vt]  to find.

For both senses of kite:

ps: kitea <to be seen, to be found>.


kivi #1

[vi]  to wink the eyes.

rp: kivikivi.


kivi #2

[nf]  a shell species, looks similar to kalea shell but with deeper ridges on the shell.


kivi #3

[nf]  a bird species.  Types of kivi include: tama a te lakikivi aitu, kivi talei, toloa, kolili, viiviitai, nnoa.

sa: tuitui na kivi.



(from PPN ^ko ‘specifier’).

1.[particle, specifier]  a particle to add emphasis. A koe e noho, a nau ko ka hano, ‘you are staying, I am going’.

do: aa ko, koai.

2.[preposition]  plural accompaniment for listing more than two human subjects.

sg: ma.



1.[na]  a stick for husking coconuts.

2.[na]  a stick for digging uncultivated swamp taro {kapulaka}.

3.[np]  a stick used for setting up the back‑strap loom {mea tau}, when wrapping the warp threads around the frame of the loom.



[vp]  to like a favorite food.  A Bili e koa i te kanauto, ‘Billy very much likes to eat the coconut seed salad’.



[interogative pronoun in sentence initial position]  *who? Koai too male?, ‘who (what) is your name?’; koai ka hano ki Honiara?, ‘who will be going to Honiara?’.



(from PPN ^koe).

[personal pronoun, second person singular]  you.



(from PPN ^kofu ‘mist’).

[np]  smoke, steam, mist when seen from a distance.

cn: au#2.



[np]  the foam of waves as they break.



[tense‑aspect marker, present progressive] still. Laatou koi nnoho i Tulagi, ‘they still live in Tulagi’.



[q following noun, verb]  only: te tama hoko tahi koia, ‘only one person’.



[nf]  a shell species.  Varieties include: kasi, pipi, kasi asina, koikoi ppileni, koikoi henua ulu, koikoi kano niho ula, ppileni, koikoi pupuku, koikoi vaka.



[nf]  sago palm.  Rare on Sikaiana.


kokoa #1

[np]  a point or place where something sticks out: mualae kokoa, ‘protruding forehead’.


kokoa #2

[nf]  a shell species, used for holding coconut oil {lolo}.



1.[no]  the clitoris.  (Restricted).

2.[np]  an organ of some fish, such as mullet, that digests sand.

syn: hakahatu.

3.[np]  the heart of bonito {atu} and yellow fin tuna {ppaa}.



[nf]  a bird species.

ge: kivi.



1.[np]  a latch, a place for snapping together something, especially clothing or a necklace.

2.[np]  a western style button.



(from Eng ‘crowbar’).

[n] crowbar.


kkolu (kokolu)

1.[vt]  to bend a hard substance, to apply pressure to a hard substance.

st: makolu

ps: kolusia,

rp: kolukolu <to straighten twisted metal>.

2.[vp]  to plead, to force someone to do something; to keep arguing or trying, even when one is unsuccessful or until one prevails.

ps: kolusia <to be persuaded or forced to do something>.

3.[vp]  to try to have one’s way, as a child who constantly demands attention or will not stop crying.

4.[vp]  to keep insisting, to keep at some endeavor despite its hazards; koe e kkolu tahi ki te kaleve, ‘you always persist in drinking the fermented coconut toddy (TS)’.


kona #1

[vs]  bitter to taste, as quinine; sour to taste as fermented toddy {kaleve}.

do: konakona.


kona #2

[tense‑aspect, past progressive]   to have been doing.


kkona 1

[np]  corner, as in the corner of a house.


kkona #2

[vs]  to protrude, of ribs.


kkona #3

[vs]  to be sore, of the eyes.



[vs]  to be salty, spicey.

sa: kona.



[vp]  to have intercourse.  (Restricted).

ps: konia.


kkope (kokope)

1.[vt]  to pluck out the eye of a fish.

2.[vt]  to indecently handle the genitals of another.

3.[vt]  to masturbate, of women. (Restricted?)

cn: uhe.

For all senses:

ps: kopea.



[vt]  to carry on the hip, as one carries a child.

cn: saapai, papa.


kkopi (kokopi)

[vs]  to be warped, to be bent by humidity or heat.



[vs]  to be narrow or confined in a small space.  Te manaui e apituu ma na tama, ku kopiti, ‘the canoe is full of people, it is very confining’.



1.[no]  the wind pipe, esophagus.

2.[vs]  to be short of breath, to be suffering from asthma; te tama laa ku koopu, ‘that person is breathing with difficulty’.



[vt]  to slice thinly.

ps: kosea,

ot: kose.



[vi]  to click one’s tongue as a sign of disrespect or disgust.

rp: kotekote.



[nv]  to go to court for a legal dispute.

ps: kotilia.


kkoti (kokoti)

[vt]  to break off leaves from a tree; kkoti vao, ‘to collect leaves for fertilizing the swamp gardens’.

st: makoti.



[vi]  to wash, to bathe.  (Recent).

syn: kaukau.



[personal pronoun, 2nd person dual].  you, (for two people).



[personal pronoun, 2nd person plural]  you.



[no]  a type of fishing net; some claim used for scooping fish out of fish traps.  No longer used.



(from Eng ‘queen’).

1.[psn]  the Queen of England, the honorary Head of State of Solomon Islands.

2.[n]  A person who does not work, a person who merely sits around and expects to be taken care of; te hahine laa e noho poi kuini, ‘that woman lives as if she were the Queen’.  (Demeaning).



1.[nf]  a shell species, oyster.

2.[na]  a tool for grating coconuts formerly made from the kuku shell and more recently, steel.



[nf]  a shell species.

ge: alli.



(from PPN ^kulii).

[na]  a dog.



[na]  a multi‑purpose basket made of coconut leaf {paakele} that can be used as a hat or for carrying food.



(from PPN ^kulu).

[nf]  breadfruit.  Traditionally, one of the fruits that was forbidden to be harvested until a ceremony {huata} was performed.  Varieties of kulu include: kulu hala, kulu molle, kulu matani.

sa: huata, tae kulu, malo#1.



[nf]  a sea slug species.

ge: kava#2.



[nf] kumara.  Not indigenous to Sikaiana.



(from PPN ^kumete).

[na]  a wooden bowl used for pounding food.



[psn]  a star constellation.



[vt]  to squeeze, as in squeezing out liquid from a cloth or fruit.



[vt]  to press hard, to massage.

ps: kuumia,

rp: kumikumi,

do: ahi kkumi.



[suffix]  a suffix for counting fathoms of material: sekumi, ’10 fathoms’; luakumi,’20 fathoms’; toluna kumi, ’30 fathoms’; haana kumi, ’40 fathoms’; limana kumi, ’50 fathoms’; onnakumi, ’60 fathoms’; hitunakumi,’70 fathoms’; vannakumi, ’80 fathoms’; sivonakumi, ’90 fathoms’.


kunaaika #1

[n]  a ritual ceremony held in the clan houses {hale henua}. It was during this ceremony that a pair of men had their arms tattooed.  A pair of woman could also participate, but there was no tatooing during the ceremony.  The ceremony was sponsored by the guardians {tupuna, ika tili} of the honored.  The ceremony may last several days and sometimes involved a stay at the islands at the western end of the atoll {lala} and a mock fight {kaukauana}.  (PCR).

sa: kaukauana, lala#3.


kunaaika #2

[no]  the name of the tatoo on a man’s arm.  (PCR).


kunaaika #3

[n]  a group of fish inside the reef, especially parrot fish and other smaller species.

sa: inaho, tau#1, manavali.



[pln]  the distance from Sikaiana where the island can still be seen, but looks very small.

sa: hati na peau, laulalo, tahanahana, lilo.



[nf]  a species of oyster, popular food on Sikaiana.



(from PPN ^kupenga).

1.[no]  a fishing net.  Varieties include:  tauto, siaa kupena, kautoko, kuani, pito kupena.  Today, only store‑bought synthetic nets are used. sa: kuani, atumata, kalemata, haanota kupena, tia#1, aha.

2.[no]  the tissues of the stomach, omentum.


kupu #1

[n]  the south, the southern direction.


kupu #2

[nao]   a prayer form that was sung.



[vi]  a fishing technique recently introduced in 1980.  A line is dropped to the bottom in fairly deep water with a stone tied by a coconut leaf as a weight.  The stone is jerked and the line immediately pulled up to the surface.



(from PPN ^kutu).

[nf]  lice.

sa: lia, vaakule.


kkutu (kukutu)

1.[vt]  to collect, to bring together.

2.[vi]  to come together, of people.

do: kutulana <a collection of people sitting or moving together>.

3.[vi]  to hold the arms tight to one’s body as when cold; to shrink from drying as wooden walling slats.

sa: makutukutu.



[nf]  a clump of ferns that grows on trees.


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