From sona pona, the Toki Pona wiki
poka in sitelen pona
poka in sitelen sitelen
Pronunciation /ˈpo.ka/
Usage 2023: Core (99% ↗︎ )2022: Core (98%)
Book and era nimi pu
Part of speech Content word
Codepoint 󱥒 U+F1952

poka is a core content word, used as a spatial word, relating to something physically on the side.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word poka is derived from Croatian bok, meaning "side, flank".[1]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

The semantic space of poka includes the sides and vicinity of something. In relation to the human body, it usually refers to the hips.

When used as a spatial word, poka includes things that are physically beside or surrounding (but not enclosing) something, and is extended to refer to anything nearby. This sense is an antonym to weka, which describes the far-removed.

pu[edit | edit source]

In the "Official Toki Pona Dictionary" section, the book Toki Pona: The Language of Good defines poka as:

NOUN  hip, side; next to, nearby, vicinity

ku[edit | edit source]

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

side5, hip4, beside3, aside3, closely2, left (not right)2, sidebar2, alongside2

sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for poka (󱥒) is derived from the open box radical with a location dot placed besides it. Compare the glyphs for other spatial words—anpa, insa, monsi, sinpin, as well as the secular version of sewi.

sitelen sitelen[edit | edit source]

The sitelen sitelen glyph for poka (poka) was originally designed to be usable as a container, reflecting the now outdated pre-pu usage of poka as a preposition.[3] (See § Historical usage.)

Historical usage[edit | edit source]

Caution: The subject of this section is historical information that is presented for completeness, and might not reflect current usage.

In pre-pu Toki Pona, poka was used as a preposition meaning "with" or "in the accompaniment of".[4][5] Before its 2015 update, jan Pije's course taught it as synonymous with lon poka (pi):[3][6]

Unlike anpa and the rest, poka can also be used directly as a preposition. These two sentences below have the same meaning, but you go about them in a different way:

mi moku poka jan pona mi. -- I ate beside my friend.
mi moku lon poka pi jan pona mi. -- I ate at side of my friend.

This usage is now almost completely unused and considered archaic.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Word Origins". tokipona.org. Archived from the original on 8 August 2002.
  2. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 330.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jonathan Gabel. (25 July 2020). "poka anu lon poka?". sitelen sitelen. Retrieved 6 January 2024.
  4. Sonja Lang. "nimi ale / Official World List". tokipona.org. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2024. (Originally archived on 27 September 2007.)
  5. "Classic Word List". tokipona.net. Archived from the original on 8 January 2013.
  6. jan Pije. "Lesson 7: Other Prepositions". o kama sona e toki pona!. Archived from the original on 6 June 2007.

Further reading[edit | edit source]