Common lexicalizations

    From sona pona

    An important part of toki pona philosophy is that the speaker must think about what something is at its core before they can talk about it. Fixed phrases for specific things, also known as lexicalizations, are frowned upon, as they sidestep that aspect, while also forcing other speakers to memorize such combinations and making it difficult to use them to refer to other things.

    Nonetheless, some semi-lexicalizations do creep into common usage. This page aims to catalog them, and provide ideas for alternatives, and inspiration for your own phrasings.

    Featured in pu[edit | edit source]

    These phrases occur in pu.

    Lexicalized phrase Meaning Alternatives
    toki pona[1] the Language of Good by Sonja Lang toki ni, toki lili, toki pi nimi lili, toki pi nimi mute ala, toki pi nimi ale mute (or more)
    toki pi jan Sonja, toki pu, toki tan lipu pu, toki ku
    Any above, replacing toki with nasin toki
    tomo tawa[2] car ilo tawa, kiwen tawa, poki tawa, supa mute tawa
    Any above, replacing tawa with awen, pini (when parked, stopped, or braking)
    tomo nasin, poki jan, tomo pi noka sike, soweli ilo, mani kiwen
    tomo pi weka ma, tomo pi pana kon ike, tomo pi sike kalama, ilo moli (critical)
    telo nasa alcoholic drink telo pan, telo ike, telo pona, telo musi, telo pi ante lawa, telo pi lawa weka
    jan pona friend jan poka, jan olin (for close friends), jan mi, jan kulupu, jan pi kulupu mi
    Any above, replacing jan (for nonhuman friends)
    jan lili child jan kili, jan tan mama (as in offspring)
    jan sin, jan pi tenpo lili (as in youth)
    Any above, replacing jan (for nonhuman children)
    1. Same goes for sitelen pona and such.
    2. Funnily enough, pu uses this as part of a call not to lexicalize, proposing ilo tawa from the perspective of a driver and kiwen tawa from that of a hit pedestrian.

    Time phrases[edit | edit source]

    Other[edit | edit source]

    Lexicalized phrase Meaning Alternatives
    ma pona the Discord server ma pona pi toki pona ma ni, ma pi suli nanpa wan, ma pi akesi Jan
    jan sin newbie, especially in a toki pona context jan pi kama sona, jan pi open sona, jan pi sona lili
    Any above, replacing jan (for nonhuman newcomers)
    nimi sin[1] word created after pu or ku
    word that would be new to someone who has only read pu or ku, even if created before
    nimi namako[2], nimi pi pu ala, nimi pi ku ala, nimi nasa, nimi pi kepeken lili
    kasi nasa marijuana and its derivatives, such as edibles, vapes moku nasa, moku pi lawa weka, kasi pi pilin nasa, kasi pi wile moku
    pana sona to teach, teaching, education mi pana e sona, sina kama sona tan mi
    soweli tomo pet soweli pona, soweli poka, soweli mi, soweli jan, soweli olin, soweli awen
    Any above, replacing soweli with akesi, kala, pipi, waso (for non–land mammal pets)
    ken la maybe lon ken, ni li ken
    supa lape bed ilo lape, supa ko, supa unpa
    kalama musi music musi kalama, musi kute, kalama nasin, nasin kalama, kalama kulupu, kulupu kalama, kalama pona
    ilo sona computer ilo, ilo nanpa, poki nanpa, ilo pi sitelen soweli, ilo supa, ilo wawa
    wile sona question alasa sona, kama sona, toki tawa sona sin, toki pi lon anu lon ala, toki sama a ala a, toki tan sona ona pi sona ala ona
    tomo telo bathroom tomo jaki, tomo pi pana/weka jaki, tomo pi pona selo
    soweli mani cow soweli suli, soweli walo pimeja, soweli pi telo walo
    1. Often merged into nimi sin, itself a new word.
    2. Itself using a nimi namako. See Synonyms.