jan Misali's thoughts on words

From sona pona, the Toki Pona wiki

On 8 November 2017, jan Misali posted a Twitter thread with short descriptions of every word in pu. With permission, it has been scraped and separated into the per-word sections below.

Alphabetized index: a · akesi · ala · alasa · ale · anpa · ante · anu · awen · e · en · esun · ijo · ike · ilo · insa · jaki · jan · jelo · jo · kala · kalama · kama · kasi · ken · kepeken · kili · kiwen · ko · kon · kule · kulupu · kute · la · lape · laso · lawa · len · lete · li · lili · linja · lipu · loje · lon · luka · lukin · lupa · ma · mama · mani · meli · mi · mije · moku · moli · monsi · mu · mun · musi · mute · nanpa · nasa · nasin · nena · ni · nimi · noka · o · olin · ona · open · pakala · pali · palisa · pan · pana · pi · pilin · pimeja · pini · pipi · poka · poki · pona · pu · sama · seli · selo · seme · sewi · sijelo · sike · sin · sina · sinpin · sitelen · sona · soweli · suli · suno · supa · suwi · tan · taso · tawa · telo · tenpo · toki · tomo · tu · unpa · uta · utala · walo · wan · waso · wawa · weka · wile

a[edit | edit source]

a roughly means “so”, used as a filler word and as an interjection. more formally, a intensifies the meaning of the previous word. it can also mean “too”, which was added to its definition to replace the word kin, which is no longer considered part of the core vocab. (source)

toki[edit | edit source]

toki is a verb meaning “communicate” and a noun meaning “communication”. any root can be used on its own as a sentence that means whatever the word describes is, or will soon be, present or happening. "toki!" means “communication is happening!”, a silly way to greet somebody. (source)

li[edit | edit source]

li indicates the beginning of a verb phrase. since every root in Toki Pona can be used as a noun, modifier, or verb, li is necessary to specify that you specifically are using its verb meaning. li is also the way to say “be”, even though li itself is not a verb. (source)

e[edit | edit source]

e goes before a noun phrase that’s being used as an object. a typical transitive sentence in Toki Pona is in the form of [subject] li [verb] e [object]. you can add extra stuff too, as in [subject] li [verb] e [object] e [object] li [verb] e [object] e [object]. (source)

pona[edit | edit source]

pona is a modifier meaning “good”. and a verb meaning “goodify” or “fix”. this is the default behavior of roots used as verbs. like all modifiers, it goes at the end of whatever phrase it modifies. for example, toki pona means “good language”. (source)

mi[edit | edit source]

mi is a pronoun meaning “me”. like all words in Toki Pona, mi has no inherent number, so it can also mean “us”. as a modifier, mi means “my” or “our”. mi also can be short for mi li, which some Tokiponists say is mandatory. (source)

jan[edit | edit source]

jan is a noun meaning “person” or “someone”. you can be more specific about which person you’re talking about by using their name. names are treated as modifiers rather than as nouns, meaning that everyone is called jan [Name]. for example, my name would be jan Mitch Halley. (source)

if you want, you can try to approximate your name with TP phonology. the only letters are iueoamnptkswlj, which are all pronounced like they are in the International Phonetic Alphabet. a syllable is (C)V(n), and ti ji wu wo nn nm or consecutive vowels are not allowed. (source)

la[edit | edit source]

la is the hardest word in TP to translate, which isn’t saying much. basically, A la B means that when A happens B happens, where A and B are two clauses. this is sometimes also translated as “in the context of A, B”. la is mostly used to say when, where, or how something happens. (source)

ni[edit | edit source]

ni is a noun and a modifier meaning “this” or “that”. ni is used for the closest thing TP has to relative clauses. in a sentence that ends with a colon, ni refers to the next sentence. this is used in mi toki e ni, which means “I say...”. (source)

tawa[edit | edit source]

tawa is a preposition meaning “towards” or “for”. jan li toki tawa mi, for example, means “somebody speaks to me”. when used as an ordinary root, tawa is a verb that means “go” or “move”. (source)

ona[edit | edit source]

ona is the third person pronoun. the way I like to translate it is “them”, which is a third person pronoun in English that similarly has no number, but it’s important to remember that ona can refer to anything, human or otherwise. (source)

pi[edit | edit source]

pi is usually translated as “of”, which is a little misleading. pi is used to clear up ambiguities in longer phrases. jan toki pona means a pona sort of jan toki, (a good speaker) but a jan pi toki pona is a toki pona sort of jan. (a Tokiponist) (source)

ala[edit | edit source]

ala is a modifier meaning “not” or “none” and a noun meaning “nothing”. it’s used in one of the ways to form yes/no questions: [verb] ala [verb]. to say yes in response to this, you repeat the verb in the question, and to say no, you repeat the verb followed by ala or just ala. (source)

sina[edit | edit source]

sina is a pronoun meaning “you”. just like mi, sina can be short for sina li, so you’ll basically never see sina li actually written out in full. (source)

en[edit | edit source]

en is a conjunction meaning “and”. there aren’t many cases where en is actually necessary, but it is needed when there are multiple subjects or multiple modifiers that æffect the same root without æffecting each other. (source)

kama[edit | edit source]

kama is a verb meaning “arrive” or “become”. it’s used a lot to describe future events, as they are things that are to come, as it were. in a verb phrase, kama can also mean “succeed at” or “manage to”, as in mi kama tawa. (I’ve managed to go) (source)

sona[edit | edit source]

sona is a verb meaning “know”, a noun meaning “knowledge”, and a modifier meaning “smart”. the type of knowledge sona means can be either “book smarts” or “street smarts” without needing to specify which one. a jan sona can be anybody with skills of any kind. (source)

mute[edit | edit source]

mute is a modifier meaning “a lot” and a noun meaning “quantity”. TP’s numbering system is, objectively speaking, not very good. usually, mute is used to specify plurals; mi mute unambiguously means “us”. however, in the numbering system, mute means exactly 20. (source)

this means that mute could represent any amount larger than one, but sometimes is exactly twenty. honestly, you should avoid numbers in TP as much as possible. additionally, mute can be used similarly to a. pona a is “very good” and pona mute is “a lot of good”. (source)

tenpo[edit | edit source]

tenpo is a noun meaning “time” or “situation”. it’s used with la to form phrases about when something happens. tenpo ni la means “now”, and tenpo kama la means “in the future”. (source)

wile[edit | edit source]

wile is a verb meaning “want” or “need”. this is one of those things that makes you remember, “oh right, Toki Pona is a philosophical language.” (source)

o[edit | edit source]

o is a particle that’s used in place of li to indicate a command. similar to how li can be skipped in mi (li) and sina (li), sina o is usually shortened to o. o is also used to address someone: jan [Name] o, [sentence]. (source)

ale[edit | edit source]

ale is a modifier meaning “all” or “countless” and a noun meaning “everything”. a simple metaphorical extension of the noun meaning allows it to also mean “universe” or “life”. (source)

you might notice that ale sounds a lot like ala, which could be a problem since those words have opposite meanings. to fix this, you can say ali instead. actually, fun fact, in the official 120 words, you can always replace e with i and o with u, and never run into any ambiguity! (source)

oh also ale is part of the numbering system (more like DUMBering system amirite) so it sometimes means one hundred. (source)

lon[edit | edit source]

lon is basically just a generic all purpose preposition that can be used whenever two things are just kinda near each other. it corresponds to “at”, “on”, or “in”, depending on the situation. lon is also a way to say yes in response to a yes/no question, with lon ala meaning no. (source)

ken[edit | edit source]

ken is a verb meaning “can”, by which I mean “be able to”, and not “put in a can”. ken is sometimes used with la to mean “maybe”, as in ken la jan li pona. (maybe humanity is good) (source)

ike[edit | edit source]

ike is a modifier meaning “bad", in a subjective sense. anything you like is pona; anything you dislike is ike. (source)

suli[edit | edit source]

suli is a modifier meaning “big”. it can, of course, mean “big” in any manner, be that height, width, mass, age, or significance. (source)

moku[edit | edit source]

moku is a noun meaning “food” or, more specifically, “sustenance”, because “food” implies that it needs to be a solid, which it doesn’t. as a consequence of TP's normal rules for verbing, moku can mean either “consume” (make something into moku) or “be food”. fun! (source)

ma[edit | edit source]

ma is a noun meaning “place” or “earth”. it’s used for country names. the prefered method is to use whatever name the country uses for itself, just like how when you’re talking about a person it would be very rude to call them something other than what they call themself. (source)

luka[edit | edit source]

luka is a noun meaning “hand” or “arm”. Toki Pona considers these to be the same part of the body. in the literal trash that is the numbering system, luka means five. get it? because a hand has five fingers! this is more convenient than just making more words! (source)

jo[edit | edit source]

jo is a verb meaning “have”. a “having” relationship is pretty difficult to define precisely. the ways to deal with this are either using separate words for everything or just combining them all and trusting that speakers will just deal with it. guess which solution TP went with! (source)

lukin[edit | edit source]

lukin is a verb meaning “see” and a noun meaning “eye”. it occasionally also means “appearance”, as in lukin pona, which means “attractive”.\noccasionally you’ll see people use oko for “eye”, but like kin, oko isn’t official. (source)

ijo[edit | edit source]

ijo is a noun meaning “thing” or “something”. depending on your first language, you might have a hard time distinguishing phonetically between this and jo, because they sound pretty darn similar. unlike with ala and ale, there isn’t a repair strategy for this. oops! (source)

pali[edit | edit source]

pali is a verb meaning “do”, “work”, or “make”. like how ijo is the most generic noun, pali is the most generic verb. (source)

lawa[edit | edit source]

lawa is a verb meaning “control” and a noun meaning “controller”. that’s the generic sense of “controller”, btw, like it can be anything that controls something. lawa is often translated as “head” or "leader", which are both things that control people. (source)

wan[edit | edit source]

wan is a modifier meaning “one”. much like how mute can be used to mark the plural, wan can be used to mark the singular. it’s important to remember that this isn’t required; jan can refer to one person without specifying jan wan. (source)

kalama[edit | edit source]

kalama is a noun meaning “sound”. interestingly, it’s listed as a verb meaning “produce a sound” in the official wordlist and its noun meaning isn’t, even though in practice the noun meaning is far more common. (source)

tomo[edit | edit source]

tomo is a noun meaning “structure people can be in”. it’s often translated as “building”, but that ignores phrases like tomo tawa, meaning “car”. (source)

kiwen[edit | edit source]

kiwen is a noun and an adjective meaning “solid”. a few words in TP might look like scientific terminology at a glance, but, with no exceptions, they are absolutely not scientific terminology. for this reason, kiwen is often translated as “rock” or “hard thing”. (source)

seme[edit | edit source]

seme is used to mark a question, where the answer is what word can replace seme to turn the question into a true statement. ma seme is “where”, ijo seme is “what”, and so on. it’s also used in an alternative way of asking yes/no questions that we will get to later. (source)

tu[edit | edit source]

tu is a modifier meaning “two” or “a couple”. we have now covered all the words for numbers, so I can now do a proper explanation of how numbers work. basically, you count wan, tu, tu wan, tu tu, luka, luka wan, luka tu, and so on. (source)

ten is luka luka, twenty is mute, one hundred is ale, and one thousand is ale ale ale ale ale ale ale ale ale ale. I’m sure you can see what the problem is here. (source)

lili[edit | edit source]

lili is a modifier meaning “little” or “few”. man, lili is a cute word. it’s just a fun word to say, honestly. lili. anyway, lili also can mean “young”, mostly because young people tend to be small. (source)

telo[edit | edit source]

telo is a noun meaning “liquid” and a modifier meaning “wet” or... “liquid”. it’s frequently translated as “water”, because that’s the prototypical liquid or something. idk dude, seems like you’re being a little too specific there. as a transitive verb, it usually means “wash”. (source)

nimi[edit | edit source]

nimi is a noun meaning “word”. if TP were marketed to Lojbanists, you’d hear stuff like “Toki Pona has no nouns, adjectives, verbs, or adverbs, and instead all of these are combined into one thing called nimi.” honestly? thank God that TP isn’t marketed to Lojbanists. (source)

nasa[edit | edit source]

nasa is a modifier meaning “strange”. I’ve seen a lot of wordlists that translate nasa as “stupid”, which I think is very rude! nasa can also mean “drunk” which makes sense when you think about it. (source)

pana[edit | edit source]

pana is a verb meaning “give”. one time I got in an argument with a guy who didn’t like TP who cited the multiple meanings of pana as an example of the "ambiguity" in the wordlist: it means give, send, emit, provide, put, or release. I still don’t know what he was going on about. (source)

sin[edit | edit source]

sin is a modifier meaning “new”. it also can, but literally never does, mean “extra”. this definition was added to sin in order to replace namako, which like nobody ever used. I guess you could say it was an… extra word? wow! I hate myself! (source)

ante[edit | edit source]

ante is a modifier meaning “different” and a verb meaning “change”. it’s used in phrases like jan ante ale, which means “everyone else”. (source)

meli[edit | edit source]

meli is a noun meaning “woman” and an adjective meaning “female”. officially it can also mean “feminine” but that’s so dumb please don’t do that. (source)

tan[edit | edit source]

tan is a preposition meaning “from” or “because”. you can use tan to say “why” in the phrase tan seme. (source)

taso[edit | edit source]

taso is a modifier meaning “only” and an interjection meaning “however”. you can easily extend its definition into a modifier meaning “alone” and a verb meaning “isolate” if you want. (source)

pilin[edit | edit source]

pilin is a verb meaning “feel”, in both the emotional sense and in the sense sense. these two meanings can collectively be described as “direct experiences”. pilin is frequently used to mean “believe”, as in mi pilin e ni: sina jan pona. and… it also can mean “heart”?? I guess?? (source)

sama[edit | edit source]

sama is a modifier meaning “same” or “similar”. as a noun it means “equality”. it appears in the wonderful phrase jan sama, which literally means “similar person”, but is used to mean “sibling”. (source)

kepeken[edit | edit source]

kepeken is a preposition meaning “using”. now, you might be thinking “that sounds like the sort of word you’d need to use a lot! why on earth would such a common preposition be three entire syllables long?” you might not be thinking that but I’m sure you are now. (source)

there isn’t an answer to the question I just felt like pointing it out. a lot of Tokiponists shorten this in some way to like “kepen” or something. I personally say something like “kep’ken” when I’m talking out loud. (source)

lupa[edit | edit source]

lupa is a noun meaning “hole” or “entrance”. it’s officially translated as “orifice” which is just a gross way to say “hole”. (source)

nanpa[edit | edit source]

nanpa is a noun meaning “number”. it’s also used in conjunction with the dumbering system to form ordinal numbers. infuriatingly, this means that you can’t use it to differentiate between stuff like “manual” and “five”. please try to avoid using numbers whenever possible. (source)

suno[edit | edit source]

suno is a noun meaning “sun” or “light source”. it’s somewhat controversial weather[a] it can also mean “star”, which is weird because stars are light sources and the sun is a star so why is that even a question. (source)

sitelen[edit | edit source]

sitelen is a noun meaning “image” or “writing”. basically, a sitelen is any visual representation of something. (source)

moli[edit | edit source]

moli is a modifier meaning “dead” or “dying”. as a verb, it can mean either “die” or “kill”, depending on context, which I’m sure would never get confusing. (source)

nasin[edit | edit source]

nasin is a noun meaning “way”, in both a literal and metaphorical sense. I mean to be fair using “way” to mean “method” is a pretty logical extension of the literal meaning of “path”. you could make the argument that both meanings are the same meaning. (source)

kulupu[edit | edit source]

kulupu is a noun meaning “group” or “collection”. in English a lot of things have specific words for when there’s a group of them, but in Toki Pona a herd, a flock, a crowd, a squad, a community, a business, a culture, and a family are all kulupu. (source)

olin[edit | edit source]

olin is a noun and a verb meaning “love”. some Tokiponists will get very angry at you if you use olin for any type of non romantic love but they’re dumb and wrong about what love is. go ahead and use olin for whatever type of love you want. (source)

kili[edit | edit source]

kili is a noun meaning “edible plant”. this is one of my favorite words both because it’s fun to say (for the same reason lili is fun to say) and because it’s the exact amount of vagueness that TP excels at. what even IS the difference between a fruit and a vegetable? (source)

ilo[edit | edit source]

ilo is a noun meaning “tool”. every tool is referred to by its function; a computer is an ilo nanpa and a sword is an ilo moli. (source)

mije[edit | edit source]

mije is a noun meaning “man” and a modifier meaning “male”. I assume the reason mije is a less common word than meli is sexism, ie. people think of women as abnormal and men as default. in this essay, I will examine th (source)

open[edit | edit source]

open is a verb meaning, uh, “open”. it also means “start”, but people usually say kama for that. officially, mi open pali e ijo means “I’m starting to do something” and mi kama pali e ijo means “I’ve managed to do something”. (source)

awen[edit | edit source]

awen is a verb meaning “continue” or “wait” and a modifier meaning “safe”. you’re safe if you’re able to just wait, after all. (source)

anu[edit | edit source]

anu is a conjunction meaning “or”. okay, remember earlier when I said you could use seme to form yes/no questions? well, here’s the other word you need to do that. simply take a statement and end it with "anu seme?". lots of people use verb ala verb and anu seme interchangeably. (source)

kute[edit | edit source]

kute is a verb meaning “hear” and a noun meaning “ear”. by metaphorical extension of “hear”, kute can also mean “obey”. (source)

musi[edit | edit source]

musi is a modifier meaning “entertaining”. as a noun, it can mean “art”. this is one of my favorite words in TP because it can be used to describe any form of entertainment, from music (kalama musi) to poetry (toki musi) to recreational neologizing (pali nimi musi). (source)

pini[edit | edit source]

pini is a verb and a modifier meaning “complete”. it’s used to indicate the past tense in "tenpo pini la…" (source)

soweli[edit | edit source]

soweli is a noun meaning “land mammal”. it also can be used for any animal if you want. the words for different types of animals don’t get too specific, so unless you wanna take a stance on what the fundamental difference is between a cat and a dog, they’re both called soweli. (source)

unpa[edit | edit source]

unpa is a verb meaning “have sex”. it’s also translated as “have marital relations with” but like come on we all know what you’re implying. (source)

utala[edit | edit source]

utala is a verb meaning “compete” or “fight”. a lot of people don’t use utala to its full potential and only use it for physical struggles, which is a shame because they’re missing out on things like utala toki (“argument”) and utala musi (“multiplayer game”). (source)

kon[edit | edit source]

kon is a noun meaning “gas” or “unseen force”. those of you who are good at science will know that those are pretty different things. Toki Pona is decidedly not for people who are good at science. (source)

lape[edit | edit source]

lape is a verb meaning “sleep” or “rest”. this word comes in handy in the phrase mi wile lape, which is something I find myself saying a lot! (source)

mama[edit | edit source]

mama is a noun meaning “parent” or “creator”. what I love about this word is that since "mama" means "mother" in basically every language, it would be silly to translate it as "father", meaning if you'd otherwise be dumb and sexist you're forced to remember that women exist. (source)

sewi[edit | edit source]

sewi is a noun meaning “top” and a modifier meaning “high”. this is one of a few words that can be combined with lon to form more specific prepositions. lon sewi means “above”. metaphorically, sewi can mean “holy” or “supernatural”. (source)

pimeja[edit | edit source]

pimeja is a modifier meaning “dark”. if you want you could use it to mean “dark” in a metaphorical sense but usually you can just say ike in those situations and it means roughly the same thing but less ambiguous. (source)

kasi[edit | edit source]

kasi is a noun meaning “plant”. it’s really just a kili that you’re not eating, when you think about it. (source)

laso[edit | edit source]

laso is a modifier meaning “grue”, and no, I’m not talking about the lovable supervillain from the Despicable Me and Minions franchises! ha ha! grue is a color in some languages that could be either green or blue. you can specify either green or blue with laso kasi and laso telo. (source)

lipu[edit | edit source]

lipu is a noun meaning “document” or “paper shaped object”. it doesn’t matter what medium a lipu is; (even though that second definition might imply otherwise) websites, books, scripts, epic poems, tweets, scrolls, and tablets are all lipu. (source)

palisa[edit | edit source]

palisa is a noun meaning “stick shaped object”. yeah, we’re getting into THESE words now. TP has this whole set of words that refer to objects that are shaped certain ways, and they’re mostly categories that don’t have good English names. (source)

I mean okay yes there is a certain thing that’s kinda shaped like a stick and yes there is a word in English that means shaped like that thing but honestly I already said sex before when I was defining unpa and I don’t feel like bringing it up again here EXCEPT I JUST DID OH NOOO (source)

insa[edit | edit source]

insa is a noun meaning “insides” or “center”. lon insa is a prepositional phrase meaning “in”. (source)

pakala[edit | edit source]

pakala is a noun meaning “mistake” and a verb meaning “mess up”. used transitively, it means “destroy”, and as a modifier it means “broken”. saying mi pakala translates to “I messed up”, and is a pretty good way to apologize for something. (source)

sijelo[edit | edit source]

sijelo is a noun meaning “body” or “physical state”. it can be used to describe someone’s health, where sijelo pona means healthy. (source)

walo[edit | edit source]

walo is a modifier meaning “bright” and a noun meaning “light”. you can combine it with pimeja to say walo pimeja or pimeja walo, which both mean “gray”. (source)

wawa[edit | edit source]

wawa is a noun meaning “power” and a modifier meaning “strong”, “confident”, or “intense”. this word is probably why people who don’t like TP sometimes call it “glorified baby talk”. but you know what? I like saying silly sounding words like wawa. they’re fun to say! (source)

anpa[edit | edit source]

anpa is a noun meaning “underside” and a modifier meaning “low”. lon anpa is a prepositional phrase meaning “below”. (source)

loje[edit | edit source]

loje is a modifier meaning “red”. combined with laso, you can say either loje laso or laso loje to mean “purple”. this is one of the cases where en comes in handy; if something is both red and grue separately and not purple, you can say that it’s loje en laso. (source)

waso[edit | edit source]

waso is a noun meaning “flying animal”. you could translate this as “bird” but like, bats? (source)

sike[edit | edit source]

sike is a noun meaning “round object”. oh wait there is a word for this one! “spheroid”! yeah, sike means “spheroid”. that’s a lot more sciencey. sike can be metaphorically extended to mean “cycle”, meaning you can say tenpo sike to mean “year”. (source)

sinpin[edit | edit source]

sinpin is a noun meaning “front” or “face”. lon sinpin is a prepositional phrase meaning “in front”. (source)

weka[edit | edit source]

weka is a verb meaning “leave” and a modifier meaning “absent”. I think it would make a lot of sense to say mi weka to mean “goodbye”, but instead people say mi tawa. oh, and if you’re saying goodbye to someone and you’re not leaving, you say tawa pona. (source)

jaki[edit | edit source]

jaki is a modifier meaning “unclean” and a noun meaning “filth”. as you probably expect by now, it can also be used metaphorically to mean “obscene”. (source)

len[edit | edit source]

len is a noun meaning “cloth” or “cover”. any given article of clothing is called len and then whatever part of the body it goes on, so a glove is a len luka and a hat is a len lawa and stuff like that. (source)

mu[edit | edit source]

mu is an interjection used for any animal sound, like “meow” or “moo”. the fact that this isn’t even the least necessary word on this list is one of my favorite things about Toki Pona. (source)

uta[edit | edit source]

uta is a noun meaning “mouth”. as a verb, it generically means “use your mouth on” but not “eat” because that’s moku. (source)

jelo[edit | edit source]

jelo is a modifier meaning “yellow”. fun fact: this is the same word as loje but with the syllables in the opposite order. it’s also literally just the English word “yellow”. (source)

noka[edit | edit source]

noka is a noun meaning “foot” or “leg”. I feel like the only reason luka is so much more common than noka is that luka is used in the numbering system and noka isn’t. (source)

poki[edit | edit source]

poki is a noun meaning “container”. predictably, it can be any type of container of any shape and of any contents. (source)

seli[edit | edit source]

seli is a modifier meaning “hot” and a noun meaning “fire” and “chemical reaction”. as we all know, most chemical reactions are just things heating up. (source)

linja[edit | edit source]

linja is a noun meaning “string shaped object”. this is a category that includes rope and hair and stuff. (source)

kule[edit | edit source]

kule is a modifier meaning “colorful” and a noun meaning “color” or “pigment”. you could probably get away with using kule to mean light instead of walo, but it might be a bit confusing. (source)

mani[edit | edit source]

mani is a noun meaning “currency”. virtually anything can be used as mani as long as people agree that it has value. in ma Mewika, the mani is really just some sike kiwen and some lipu and even some straight up nanpa. (source)

nena[edit | edit source]

nena is a noun meaning “bump”. when you think about it, there’s a whole bunch of things that can be described as bumps. a hill? a button? a nose? all of these are nena. (source)

selo[edit | edit source]

selo is a noun meaning “outer layer”. you know, like skin or bark or something. (source)

monsi[edit | edit source]

monsi is a noun meaning “back”. lon monsi is a prepositional phrase meaning “behind”. monsi also can mean “bottom”, but not the meaning of bottom that’s already covered by anpa if you know what I’m saying. I’m talking about BUTTS (source)

kala[edit | edit source]

kala is a noun meaning “aquatic animal”. just like how walo[b] means “bird” but not really, kala means “fish” but not really. (source)

pipi[edit | edit source]

pipi is a noun meaning “bug”. once again, this isn’t a super sciencey category. it’s basically just any living thing that’s small and gross, which technically could also include bacteria and viruses. it sounds like peepee so it’s objectively hilarious. (source)

lete[edit | edit source]

lete is a modifier meaning “cold” and a verb meaning “freeze” or “keep fresh”. (source)

ko[edit | edit source]

ko is a noun meaning “sticky substance”. not to be confused with palisa, which means “sticky object”. that’s completely different. (source)

mun[edit | edit source]

mun is a noun meaning “moon”. it also can mean “star” which is very dumb and unintuitive and please just say suno for star it’s so much easier. (source)

poka[edit | edit source]

poka is a noun meaning “side”, “direction”, or “hip”. lon poka is a prepositional phrase meaning “at the side”. specifying which direction poka refers to is a non trivial exercise, since there aren’t any easy ways to say “left”, “right”, or any of the cardinal directions. (source)

supa[edit | edit source]

supa is a noun meaning “horizontal surface”. strangely, there isn’t a corresponding specific word for “vertical surface”, but selo works for that in a pinch. (source)

akesi[edit | edit source]

akesi is a noun meaning “lizard”. officially it means “non cute animal” but like what did lizards ever do to you, Sonja? have you even SEEN a lizard? how come akesi are “non cute” but pipi aren’t? heckin Your Fave Is Problematic over here, smh. (source)

suwi[edit | edit source]

suwi is a modifier meaning “sweet” or “cute”. it’s a great way to describe any akesi. as a general rule of thumb, always call lizards akesi suwi because you never no[c] who to trust with this sort of thing, Sonja. it also can literally mean “sweet”, as in sugar. (source)

alasa[edit | edit source]

alasa is a verb meaning “collect” or “hunt”. we’re reaching the end of the word frequency list, so all these next words are pretty much never used. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone use alasa, like, ever? (source)

esun[edit | edit source]

esun is a noun and a verb meaning “shop”. people don’t say esun very much because it would be very impractical to buy things in Toki Pona. “mi ken esun e ni kepeken mani pi mute seme?” “a, sina wile pana e mani mute.” “mi sona e ni. taso, mani pi mute SEME?” “mani mute!(source)

pan[edit | edit source]

pan is a noun meaning “grain based food” that’s, frankly, underrated. I really like the word pan because it can be used metaphorically to mean “life”, but since it literally refers to any grain based food it can also mean “pizza”. (source)

pu[edit | edit source]

pu is a verb meaning “interact with Toki Pona: the Language of Good by Sonja Lang”. this word is literally only here so that the total number of words can be a nice even 120, and I absolutely love that. (source)

I love how TP doesn’t take itself seriously. it doesn’t pretend to be practical, and it doesn’t pretend to be logical. TP knows exactly what it is, and it’s the sort of language that would have the goal of having as few words as possible but then add an extra word as a joke. (source)

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Recte whether
  2. Recte waso
  3. Recte know