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monsuta in sitelen pona
monsuta in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ˈ 🔊 🔊
Usage 2023: Widespread (83% ↘︎ )2022: Widespread (85%)
Book and era nimi ku suli (pre-pu)
Part of speech Content word
Codepoint 󱥽 U+F197D

monsuta is a pre-pu content word and nimi ku suli related to monsters, scariness, and fear.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word monsuta is derived from Japanese モンスター (monsutā), itself from English monster. It was coined by jan Sonja in 2009, but it was abandoned shortly after.[citation needed] In 2010, the official Toki Pona wiki defined monsuta as:[1]

  1. creature that preys on humans; predator
  2. a real or imagined threat; danger
  3. a source of fear or dread

The word always saw some use among a minority of speakers. However, for a long time the word monsuta was underused and not well defined. This changed in the late 2010s and early 2020s, when the word became popular and certain trends emerged among its users.

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

The semantic space of monsuta includes things which causes fear or are otherwise dangerous, such as monsters. Even though fear is covered in monsuta's semantic space, in modern usage it is more commonly expressed as pilin monsuta ("scary feeling").

monsuta li lon anpa supa.

monsuta li lon anpa supa.

There's a monster under the bed.

sina kute ala kute e kalama monsuta

sina kute ala kute e kalama monsuta?

Do you hear a scary noise?

Transitive use of monsuta[edit | edit source]

The meaning for the transitive use of monsuta is unclear. Depending on the speaker, it may mean "to turn into a monster" or "to fear (something)". Several pepole support multiple of these interpretations, where the specific meaning depends on context. The fact that transitive monsuta can be analyzed to have two opposite meanings has inspired the monsutatesu analysis of Toki Pona.

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated these English words as monsuta:[2]

scary3, fear3, monster3, horror3, scare2, disturbing2, terror2, beast2, afraid2, demon2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

monsuta in linja pona

The sitelen pona glyph for monsuta (󱥽) is a horizontal zigzag shape representing sharp teeth. The glyph for monsuta was designed by jan Same in October 2016. The original proposal for the glyph included a circle, from the glyph for ijo, with the zigzag extending across the diameter. This was removed at jan Tepan's suggestion in order to avoid confusion with combined glyphs.[3] In version 2 of linja pona, the glyph for monsuta was changed to be sharper and have a bulging envelope.[4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "monsuta". Toki Pona. Archived from the original on 5 July 2013.
  2. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 288.
  3. jan Same. (16 October 2016). "Sitelen pona glyphs for new and apocryphal words". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  4. "linja pona version 2". musi lili. Retrieved 24 December 2023.

Further reading[edit | edit source]