From sona pona, the Toki Pona wiki

pomotolo in sitelen pona
Pronunciation /ˈpo.mo.to.lo/ 🔊
Usage 2023: Obscure (2% ↘︎ )Caution: Most speakers don't understand this word.2022: Obscure (3%)
Book and era nimi ku lili (post-pu)
Part of speech Content word

pomotolo is an obscure post-pu content word and nimi ku lili relating to effectiveness.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The word pomotolo is derived from the Pomodoro Technique, a time management method associated with a tomato-shaped kitchen timer. The name is itself from Italian pomodoro, meaning "tomato". pomotolo was coined in 2019 by jan Kawa in the ma pona pi toki pona community.[1]

Semantic space[edit | edit source]

The semantic space of pomotolo includes effectiveness and usefulness. It can mean "to give good results", or refer to things and methods that do so.[1]

ku[edit | edit source]

For Toki Pona Dictionary, respondents in ma pona pi toki pona translated the English word tomato as pomotolo,[2] despite this not being the meaning of the word. According to yu, the error is attributed to lipamanka.[3]


sitelen pona[edit | edit source]

The sitelen pona glyph for pomotolo (pomotolo) depicts a hand holding a fruit, probably specifically a tomato, and is a combination of the glyphs for luka and kili. It may be meant to evoke kepeken ("using") or pali ("work"), other words whose glyphs use the hand radical.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 jan Kawa [@j.kawa]. (15 February 2019). [Message posted in the #tomo-toki-pini-ante channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. Discord. Retrieved 29 December 2023. "New: TP word "pomotolo", meaning: Effective, useful, "to give [good] results"".
  2. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 332.
  3. (25 September 2021). "yu". Google Docs. Retrieved 28 December 2023.

    (lipamanka) refers to mistaken etymological translations that are not the meaning of the word, as a jab at lipamanka for putting "tomato" as the definition for pomotolo in ku when the actual meaning is "effective".

Further reading[edit | edit source]