From sona pona, the Toki Pona wiki
monsuta in sitelen pona
monsuta in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ˈ
Usage 2023: Common4, Widespread6 (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, jan Same changed the glyph for monsuta to be sharper and have a bulging envelope.[4]

sitelen sitelen[edit | edit source]

The sitelen sitelen word glyph for monsuta is derived from the syllable glyphs for monsuta (MONSUTA) and the sitelen sitelen exclamation mark (). It was designed by jan Saki in 2021 as part of a nimi ku suli collaboration project with jan Josan (Jonathan Gabel).[5][6]

The body of the monsuta glyph is a fusion of the m syllable container (M) and the sitelen sitelen exclamation mark (). In it, there is an a vowel radical (A) fused with an o vowel radical (O), which are overlapped by an u vowel radical (U) that is fused with the upper element of the t syllable container (T).

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.
  5. jan Saki. (25 July 2021). [Message posted in the sitelen sitelen group on Telegram]. Telegram. Archived from the original on 18 March 2024. Retrieved 18 March 2024.

    Additionally, I did a brainstorm session for monsuta that I actually think turned out very well and I would love to hear your guys’ feedback on. I got the idea when I was writing the syllable version at the top and the ‘mon’ looked like a monster face with a tongue sticking out. So I started there with the addition of teeth then thought to incorporate parts of other syllables. I added the ‘u’ to the top to give the impression of a brow, and the extra line from the ’t’ to accentuate it. I also included an implied ‘a’ line to the side. As it was going I had the idea to integrate the bottom with an exclamation mark because fear, screaming, etc. So yeah I think it turned out pretty well but would love you guys’ opinions.

  6. Gabel, Jonathan. (5 September 2021). "Designing glyphs - sitelen suwi pi nimi ku suli". Retrieved 22 January 2024.

Further reading[edit | edit source]