L Dictionary



laa #1

(from PPN ^laa).

[np]  the sail of a ship.  Parts of the sail include: haha, kauolo, kautuu, kautakoto.


laa #2

(from PPN ^laalaa).

[np]  a branch of a tree.

sa: haa#3, kau.


laa #3

(from PPN ^la’a).

[n]  the sun.

ca: hakalaa <to dry in the sun>,

cp: hakalaaina <to be dried by the sun, to be sunburned>.


laa #4

(from PPN ^la).

[demonstrative pronoun]  that, there.  A deictic marker referring to objects that are distant or speech that is separate from the occurring conversation. Te tama laa e kee ma te tama nei, ‘that person there is different from this person here’.

do: ikilaa.


laa #5

[nq follows definite article or possessive pronoun]  other. Tona laa hale, ‘his other house’; te laa tama, ‘the other person’; a laa tama, ‘the other people’.

sa: a laa, te laa.



(from PPN ^lafa).

1.[no]  ring worm.

2.[np]  moss.


laha tanetane

[no]  a disease which causes white spots to appear on the skin.



(PPN ^lafalafa).

[vs]  to be wide, broad.

opp: maanihi,

do: lahalaha.



[no]  a disease of the eye, a sty infection.



[na]  the root of the pandanus {paku} tree that is sliced and then left to dry in preparation for being used as house walling slats {hili}.

sa: hili, paku #1.



[nf]  a fish species.



[nf]  a fish species, large.



(from PPN ^laka, ‘step’).

1.[vi]  to cross over, to pass, to step over. Te aavana o Vaeoma ni laka i te laakau a Leitaka, ‘the wife of Vaeoma stepped over the war club of Leitaka’.

ps: lakahia,

do: lakalaka.

2.[vi]  to be first, to be the best; to pass, as in passing a exam. A koe ku laka, ‘you are the best, the greatest’; te tama laa ni laka i te eksami, ‘that person passed the exam’.

sa: soaaki.

3.[vi]  to be past, of time; ku laka ma te haa, ‘it is after four o’clock’.



[vi]  to walk past each other; maaua ni lakalaka i te ala, ‘we passed each other in the street’.



1. [nf]  a tree, a stick, a plant.

2. [no]  a person’s genealogy, family tree; tona laakau, ‘his family tree’.


laakau a Tehui Atahu

[nf]  a plant species, probably thus named because it grows near the place where the statue of Tehui Atahu once stood.


laakau alo

[na]  a fishing rod used for bonito {atu} fishing {ane}.

sa: ane#2


laakau hahaele

[no]  stilts for walking, a children’s game.


laakau hau paa

(from hau ‘lash’ + paa ‘bonito hook’).

[n]  a stick with markings that show how to tie a bonito hook {paa}.  The method of tying the hook is believed to affect the chances of a good catch and is kept secret.  Rarely used today.

sa: paa#1.


laakau maa

[nf]  a plant species, frangipani; used for decoration.


laakau matalliki

[nf]  a plant species, beach morning glory.


laakau sseu

[na]  a bamboo fishing rod used for casting in fishing {sseu}.


laakau ula

[nf]  a plant species, red hibiscus, used for decoration.



[vs]  to be decorated with flowers; koulua ni laakei ki te hano o te vahi nei, ‘you were decorated with the hano plant from this side of the island (TS)’.

ca: hakalaakei,

ps: lakeia.



[n, direction]  the west.



[vi]  to commit incest, to have intercourse with people who are relatives.



1.[vt]  to scratch.

2.[vp]  to draw someone’s attention by scratching them.

For both senses:

ps: lakutia,

ot: laku.


lala #1

(from PPN ^rara).

[vt]  to heat a material in a fire.

ps: lalalia.


lala #2

[nf]  a tree species.


lala #3

[n]  a part of the kunaaika ceremony when the honored are taken to the western islands {Muli Akau} and celebrate there for a few days.

wh: kunaaika.



[np]  the fin of a shark.


laalaa seva

[nf]  a jellyfish species that zigzags in the water.

ge: pakipaki.


laalaa tea

[n, time] midday.

wh: aho#1.



see llani.



(from PPN ^lalo).

1.[n, location]   below, underneath.

2.[n, direction]  down; when at sea towards deeper water both inside the lagoon and outside the lagoon.


lalo manu

[np]  part of bird net {seu manu} that hangs down under the cross‑piece near the handle.

wh: seu manu.



(from PPN ^rama).

[na]  a light or torch made from coconut leaves{kaulama}.


llama (lalama)

[vi]  to go fishing at night with torches {lama} which provide light.  Any fish seen on the surface is killed with a long knife or machete. Traditionally done with coconut leaves {lama} but done today with a pressure lamp {ahi pamu}.

wh: haanota.



[vp]  to watch secretly; to follow secretly.

ps: lamalamalia.


lana #1

[vs]  to swell, of an infected sore.


lana #2

[vs]  to float above the surface of the water without touching coral, of a canoe.


llana #1 (lalana)

(from PPN ^lalanga).

[vt]  to weave a pandanus mat {vasa}; to weave mats made from coconut leaves {pola, kapanni, tapakau}.

cn: hatu#3, tau#6.

ps: lanaalia.


llana #2 (lalana)

[vt]  to pry up. Te matani ni llana te inaki, ‘the wind lifted up the roof thatch’.

st: malana,

ps: lanaatia.


llana #3 (lallana)

[vi]  to float in water.


llana #4

[np]  the beater of the loom {mea tau}; the board used to push thread in place when weaving onto a loom.

wh: mea tau.


lani #1

[vt]  to sing a type of prayer {kai tae}.  This prayer type seems to have been sung in the ritual house {Hale Aitu} and when a fish was brought from the reef during the teika lle.

sa: kai tae.


lani #2

(from PPN ^lani).

1.[n]  the sky.

2.[n]  rain clouds.


lani papa

[n]  dark rain clouds that are a sign of coming heavy rain.


lallani (llani)

[vt]  to eat the kernal of a split coconut by placing the teeth over the top and biting inside.



[vs]  to be divided into equal portions among many different people.


lano #1

(from PPN ^lano).

[nf]  a fly.


lano #2

[vs]  to be lost: te laumea ku lano, ‘the book is lost’.

tr: hakalano <to lose something>,

pl: llano.


lano #1 (lallano)

[vi]  for the tide to come in. Te tai ku llano mai, ‘the tide is coming in’.


llano #2 (lalano)

1.[vt]  to support, to prop up.

do: oka llano.

2.[vt]  to compose a song that replies to a previous song written

by someone else.



[vt]  to forget.

ca: hakalanomea.



(from PPN ^lanu).

[vs]  to be mixed, of a semi‑solid with a liquid to thin the semi‑solid.

tr: hakalanu.


llao (lalao)

1.[vt]  to feel something without looking at it.

sa: laolao simu, hakavoika.

ps: laolaohia <to be touched, of the genitals of a woman>.

2.[vt]  to put one’s finger down one’s throat to induce vomiting.



[vs]  for a fish bone to get stuck in the throat.



1.[vs]  to be good, fine, content, healthy, in working order: a koe e laoi?, ‘is everything fine?’.

opp: he laoi, hakkinokino.

ca: hakalaoi.

2.[affix]  when affixed to verbs carries the meaning of kind, good, generous: hailaoi, ‘kindness, to be kind’; hakamemelaoi, ‘to praise’.

opp: haeko #3.

do: hailaoi, memelaoi, hakamemelaoi, laoina, laoiake.



[comparative]  to be better. Te vaka nei e laoiake ma te laa vaka, ‘this boat is better than the other boat.’



(from? laoi ‘good’).

[vs]  to be lucky in some endeavor, fishing, bird catching, courtship.

syn: mooea, leia, maalama,

opp: haekotia.


laolao simu

(from llao ‘feel without touching’).

[nv]  a fishing technique in which people go at night and feel under rocks in the sea for trigger fish {simu}.

ge: haanota.



(from Eng ‘rubber’).

[na]  rubber.


llapa (lalapa)

[vi]  to flash, as lightning or a flashing light.  E tanata, taaua ku olo poi te uila, e llapa mai, taaua ku veisoni, e llapa muli, taaua ku heai, ‘Oh man, we are like the lightning, it flashes hither and we are kissing, it flashes again and we are no longer lovers (TS)’.

ps: lapatia <to be flashed at>.



[np]  the places in the trunk of a tree that extend out from the tree, as the trunk of the tava tree.



[psn]  the name of one of the original members of the crew of Tehui Atahu and the founder of the Saakava clan.  Also called Te Aliki o Muli.



1.[vp]  to use black magic mostly for love and evil purposes.  At present, this term refers to magic that is not indigenous to Sikaiana, but brought to Sikaiana from other areas, including Kiribati (Gilbert Islands).  Some claim that this term can be used for the traditional ritual associated with one of the no longer existing clan houses, Maniva.

ps: lapua, lapulia.



[n]  the area in the sea both inside and outside the reef where it becomes too deep to see down to the ocean floor.

sa: mmana.



[personal pronoun, third person plural] they.


lau #1

(from PPN ^lau).

[np]  the leaf of most plants.


lau #2

[vt]  to strain a liquid.


lau #3

[cardinal number]  one hundred for mats, pudding, fish, and fathoms.

sa: kaato.


lau kataha

[nf]  a plant species.


lau pita

[nf]  the leaves used for chewing when eating betel nut.


lau puka

[nf]  the leaf of the puka tree, eaten like cabbage.


lau ppuku

[na]  the heart suit in *card games.



[personal pronoun, third person dual] they (two people).



[n]  the distance from land at sea where one can still see the undergrowth of the island.

sa: tahanahana, kunaatua, hati na peau.



(from PPN ^’ulu).

[no]  the hair on the scalp: laulu tonu, straight hair;

laulu piki, curly hair.



1.[na]  a piece of paper, a book, an album, a magazine.

2.[nao]  a written letter.


Laumea Tapu

(from tapu ‘sacred’).

[no]  the Christian Bible.


launutu# 1

1.[np]  the rim of a basket.

2.[no]  the lips of a person. Te launutu o lalo nei e he tau ma te launutu i aluna, ‘his top lip is a dif`fer`ent size from his bottom lip (TS)’.  (Archaic).


launutu #2

[vi]  to be superstitious, to think that something was caused by a spirit {aitu, tupua} or some other supernatural force when natural explanations are just as likely.



[nf]  a tree species (macaranga tree?) used for some woodworking and firewood.



(from? lau ‘leaf’+ tama ‘person’)

1.[no]  a generation or age group.

2.[no]  the mature but unmarried young men and women between the ages of about 16 and 25: te lautama tanata, ‘the young unmarried men’; te lautama hahine, ‘the young unmarried women’.



1.[nf]  a plant species, used for decoration.

2.[na]  European style tea.



1.[np]  an amoeba in the stomach of a marlin {paala} that continues vibrating long after the fish has died.

2.[no]  a feeling in a person that constantly reminds him of something; most often referring to continual suspiscion of a spouse’s affection for a former lover.  (Figurative).



(from PPN ^lawa).

[vs]  to be sufficient, usually in measurements of quantity, size and weight. Maatou ni hiiunu i te pia, ka a maatou seleni ni he lava, ‘we wanted to drink beer, but we did not have enough money’.

tr: hakalava <to make sufficient, to increase>.


lava tunu

[na]  a recipe; taro {haahaa} is mixed with coconut gratings {ota} and pounded until hard.


llava (lalava)

[vt] to hang oneself by the neck.



[v, usually followed by ki and sentence]  to be capable to accomplish something, to be possible. A nau e he lavaka ki lanomea a koe, ‘I cannot forget you’; te sui o te motakaa e he lavaka e nau, ‘It is not possible for me to pay for an automobile’.

ps: lavakaina, lavaka.



[vs]  to be deserted, to be empty of people; te kiona lavaki, ‘a deserted place’.



1.[vt]  to catch onto, to hook onto, as a fishhook catches onto a piece of coral.

ca: hakallave,

do: laavea.

2.[vi]  to have met a person, to have lived when another lived or to have seen an event. A koe ni lave i te seuana o na hale henua?, ‘did you live at the time of the destruction of the clan houses?’.



(from? lave ‘catch onto’).

1.[ps]  to catch an illness. Te tama likiliki ni laavea e te maki namu, ‘the small child caught malaria’.

2.[vs]  to be drunk, intoxicated.

For both senses:

ca: hakalaavea <to pretend to be sick, to pretend to be drunk>,

pl: lavelavea.



[nf]  a fish species.


lle (lele)

(from PPN ^lele).

1.[vi]  to flow, as a river flows; to bleed as blood.

2.[vi]  to fly.

ca: hakalele <to make fly>,

cp: hakalelekia.



(from PPN ^refu).

1.[np]  dust, ashes.

2.[na]  the lime used when chewing betel nut.

3.[na]  burned coral.



[n] clouds.



[psn]  the name of a spirit {aitu} whose carving was in the spirit house {Hale Aitu}.  (PCR).

sa: Te Haolei.


leia #1

[vs]  to have a good catch of fish when fishing with a rod {sseu}.

syn: mooea, laoina, maalama,

opp: haekotia.


leia #2

[vi]  to choke on water.


leia #3

[nf]  a bird species.



[no]  regurgitated food.



1.[vp]  to signal to the opposite sex, to *wink, to make sexual advances, in courtship.

ps: lelleletia <to be winked at>.

2.[vi]  to start to fly, of baby birds.



(from Eng ‘lead’).

1.[na]  lead, the metal; and more commonly the lead used for fishing weights for both a line and a net.

2.[na] marbles.

sa: tama a te kokituu.


llemo (lelemo)

(from PPN ^lemo).

[vt]  to drown someone.

st: malemo,

ps: lemosia.



(from PPN ^le’o).

[no]  voice, the sound of a voice, pronunciation, the tune of a song.


llepo (lelepo)

[vt]  to surround someone or something by encircling.

ps: lepotia.



[vt]  to stir a semi‑solid.



(from PPN ^leu).

[vs]  to be ripe, of fruit.

pl: lleu.



[no]  clothing, including both cloth and European style shirts and pants.


leuleu hhuti

[no]  a European style skirt or dress.


lleva #1 (leleva)

[vs]  to feel weak or feeble from lack of food or a physical injury.

ca: hakalleva manava <to cause weakness>.


lleva #2 (leleva)

[vi]  for something to turn away from its original target, as an arrow may turn course in air.

tr: hakalleva <to intentionally throw or shoot an object so that

it will turn direction>.



[nf]  a kind of coconut that has an edible husk and is sweet.

ge: niu.


lli #1 (lili)

[vp]  to be allergic to something, to be susceptible to suffering from the sting of an insect or food when there are others who are not.


lli #2 (lili)

1.[v]  to enjoy sex too much, to be sensitive in sex, of women.  (Demeaning, Figurative from lli #1?).

2.[v]  to have an orgasm.  (Rare).



(from PPN ^lia).

[np]  nits, lice eggs.


liaki #1

(from PPN ^liaki).

1.[vt]  to scatter about, to shake out.

2.[vt]  to lay eggs, of fish.

3.[vi]  to change direction, of the wind.


liaki #2

[np]  the verse of a composed song {mako hatu} that follows the hati.

wh: mako hatu.



[vs]  something that is too sweet, over‑sweetened.

sa: kkala.


Llihu (lilihu)

[vs]  to be sad, grieving, worried, tired.

ca: hakallihu <[vp]  to make a person grieve, to be obnoxious>,

ps: lihutia.



(from llihu ‘grieve’).

1.[ps] to be emotionally saddened, upset.

2.[no]  sadness, grief, sorrow.



(from PPN ^lika ‘fierce’).

1.[vs]  to be untame, to be wild, to be frightened by humans, as fish or birds are.

opp: tala #2.

pl: likallika.

2.[n]  to avoid out of shame or fear.  Idiom: hellika, to show no shame to others, to be bold, to break social mores without remorse or worry for consequences.


lliki (liliki)

1.[vt]  to strike with a hand held object.

2.[vt]  to beat a drum or to play the guitar: lliki te pulotu, ‘beat the drum’; lliki te kitaa, ‘play or ring the guitar’.

3.[vp + ki]  to ring up, to call up on the telephone.

For all senses:

ps: likitia <to be hit by a hand‑held object, to be rung up on the telephone; to be struck by the force of the wind or waves: likitia e te peau, ‘struck by the waves’;likitia e te matani, ‘struck by the wind’>.



(from PPN ^liki).

[vs]  small, little; te tama likiliki, ‘the child’.

pl: lliki.


lliko (liliko)

[vt]  to expel, to send away, to chase away, to disinherit.

ps: liikoa <to be expelled, often used in expelling someone from using plots of land>.


lili #1

(from Eng ‘lily’).

[nf]  a plant species, lily; used for decoration.


lili #2

[no]  a grass skirt.  Traditionally statues of the spirits in the ritual house {Hale Aitu} were dressed in these types of skirts.  Today, they are worn for dancing at special occasions.



(from PPN ^lilo).

[vs]  to be hidden from sight.  Idiom: te henua ku lilo, the distance from the island at which the island can no longer be seen.

tr: hakalilo <to cover>,

do: hakalilolilo.


lima #1

(from PPN ^lima).

[cardinal number] five.


lima #2

(from PPN ^lima).

[no]  the arm from the elbow to the end of the fingers, the hand. Idiom: limalima, ‘to be rapid at working, to complete tasks rapidly’.  Idiom: lima maaliki, lit., ‘cool hands’; ‘to be good at work with the hands, to make things grow’.

cn: kapakau.



(from PPN ^limu).

[na]  sea grass.


llini (lilini)

(from PPN ^lilingi).

[vt]  to pour a liquid.

st: malini, <to be spilled>

ps: liinia.



1.[vs]  to be emaciated from sickness.

2.[vs]  to be an unusually low tide.

syn: tai mmate.



[nf]  the sprout of a young coconut palm.


liu #1

[vt]  to deceive to gain advantage.  Liu talatala, to change the content of a conversation or situation in the retelling so that it serves the purposes of the speaker.

ps: liua <to be tricked or deceived in such a manner>,

do: liuliu, maliu.


liu #2

(from PPN ^liu).

[np]  the hold of a canoe, or steamship.


liu #3

(from Malaita?)

[vi] to be unemployed, jobless, in Honiara. Recent, urban term.


(from liu ‘to deceive’).

[vt]  to continually change a narration as it goes from one person to another.



(from PPN ^lo).

[nf]  an ant.


lloo (loloo)

[vs]  to be very quiet, of an area, with the connotation of fear.



(from PPN ^lo’ata).

[nf]  an ant species, larger than loo, black in color and with a painful bite.



(from PPN ^roha).

1.[prefix before a counting number]  prefix for counting fathoms of measurement: lohalua, ‘two fathoms’; lohatolu, ‘three fathoms’; lohahaa, ‘four fathoms’; lohalima, ‘five fathoms’; lohaono, ‘six fathoms’; lohahitu, ‘seven fathoms’; lohavalu, ‘eight fathoms’; lohasivo, ‘nine fathoms’.

2.[prefix before a counting number]  a handspan, used for measuring the width of mats {vasa} and other small objects.


llohi (lolohi)

[vi]  the spreading of a smell, either good or bad.

ps: loohia <of an area, to be full of a spreading smell>.



[no]  the hair on the bottom lid of the eye.


lloi#1 (loloi)

[vt, vs]  to sweeten, especially of tea or coffee; to be sweetened.

syn: kkala.


lloi #2 (loloi)

[vt]  to dip something into water.

ps: looia.



[no]  tears from crying; sasali ooku loimata, ‘my tears are falling’.



\[na]  a soup made from the fruit, tava.



[n]  a woman who does not have a husband; a widow, or any other woman who is at the age when she should be married but is not.

do: haitama lokoniu.



(from lolo ‘coconut oil’ + lehu ‘dust’).

[na]  talcum powder, baby powder, frequently used in parties for decorative purposes.



(from PPN ^loli).

1.[nf]  a sea slug.

2.[no]  a man’s penis.  (Figurative).


lolo (llo)

(from PPN ^lolo).

[no]  coconut oil; used for medical purposes and adornment.

do: llolehu.



(from PPN ^loa).

[vs]  to be long or tall.

opp: potopoto.

tr: hakaloloa  <to make longer>,

pl: lloa, lolloa.



(from lono ‘hear’).

[n]  an echo.



[nf] a tree species, traditionally used to decorate the statues in the ritual house {Hale Aitu}.


lloma (loloma)

[vt]  to strike very hard against something.



[vt]  to push into the ground, as in planting.

ps: lomakina.



(from PPN ^rongo).

1.[vp]  to hear, to listen, to understand.

ca: hakalono,

ps: lalona,

pl: llono.

2.[no]  news, information; a person’s reputation. Mea i te mea e laoi ki te henua, ki mea too lono ki tele laoi, ‘do good things for the island, so that people will think well of you (MS)’; too lono, ‘your news, opinions about your behavior’.

3.[vp]  to feel sensation through touch.



[nf]  a plant species (yaw bush?).



[na]  a sleeping mat made from broad pieces of pandanus {kie}.


loto #1

(from PPN ^loto).

[n, location]  center, between, inside: i loto hale, ‘inside the house’; i loto o te papa, ‘inside the box’.


loto #2

[vp]  to be angry.

tr: hakaloto <to pretend to be angry, to make another person angry>,

ps: lotoa,

pl: lloto.


loto ao

(from ao ‘daylight’).

[n]  the bush, the interior of the island, any location where the ocean is not in sight.

syn: vusi.


lottonu (loto tonu)

[n, location]  in between, in the middle.



(from PPN ^lou).

[na]  a stick used for knocking down fruits from a tree, usually

a long stick with a knife or another stick hafted onto the end.


llou (lolou)

[vi]  to veer to one side, to turn away from one’s intended direction.

ps: looua.



[vi]  to struggle to free oneself.


lua #1

(from PPN ^rua).

[cardinal number]  two, when counting.

sa: siaoa.


lua #2

(from PPN ^lua).

[vi]  to vomit.

tr: hakalua <to make a child vomit>,

\ps luakina, lualia.


\e lua#3

(from PPN ^lua).

[na]  a hole in the ground; lua mmalu, a cave.



[pln]  the legendary place of origin of the island’s founder, Tehui Atahu.  By legend, its exact location is not known.



[psn]  one of the spirits {aitu} whose carving stood in the ritual house {Hale Aitu}.  She was a female who looked after the welfare of pregnant women and newborn children.  (PCR).


luaoa #1

[no]  a collar of pandanus, worn around the neck of the chief {aliki} and other ritual leaders during ritual occasions.  (PCR).


luaoa #2

[cardinal number]  four in counting by twos.



[psn]  a star constellation; its appearance is a time for wind and to catch the yellow fin tuna {ppaa}.



[vt]  to shake leaves at the fish which has been brought ashore during the teika lle.  This was part of the ritual to pacify the fish which could otherwise bring destruction to the island.  (PCR).

sa: teika lle.



[no]  a strong rope made from by plaiting three strands of string, used for binding the feet when climbing trees among other things.

sa maea, sai, hhili.



[vt]  to announce from house to house that some important ritual event is about to take place; to summon people to such an event.  (PCR, archaic).



[no]  a married couple, a husband and wife.


lulu #1

[vt]  to steer a canoe or steamship.

do: hoe lulu.


lulu #2

(from PPN ^lulu).

[vs]  to be protected from the wind, to be sheltered.

do: lluakina <to be shaded or protected by a nearby obstacle>.


lulu (lluu)

[vi]  to make a noise like that made by the engine of a ship or motor car.



1.[vt]  to shake the head in the negative.

opp: tunaki.

2.[vt]  to shake an object, as an earthquake shakes an area.

ps: luuluuna, luuluulia.

3.[vi]  to shake hands.


lulusa (llusa)

1.[vi]  to walk back and forth discontentedly as pigs do in their pigpen.

2.[vi]  to be disturbing, unsettling, of an emotion; te lihutia e lulusa i toku manava, ‘the sorrow is disturbing in my heart’.



(from Eng ‘room’).

[no] room.


llupa (lulupa)

[vs]  to be loose fitting, of clothing; to be wrinkled, of skin that is sagging from the body.



(from PPN ^lupe).

1.[nf]  a bird species (Ducila pacifica?).  Varieties include: lupe haikatona, a pigeon with a red spot on the nose; lupe helo.

2.[no]  a lover.  (Figurative).



(from PPN ^lupo).

[nf]  a fish species; very small trevally.

sa: malau seli.


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