Nonstandard color words

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Caution: The subject of this article is nonstandard and will not be understood by most speakers.
If you are a learner, this information will not help you speak the language. It is recommended to familiarize yourself with the standard style, and to be informed and selective about which nonstandard styles you adopt.

This is a list of nonstandard color words. Many speakers coin new words to fill the perceived gaps in Toki Pona's core color system.

kapesi[edit | edit source]

Pronunciation /ˈka.pe.si/
Usage 2023: Obscure4, Rare6 (19% ↗︎ )Caution: Most speakers don't use this word.2022: Rare (14%)
Book and era nimi ku lili (pre-pu)
Part of speech Content word

kapesi is an obscure, pre-pu nimi ku lili for brown and gray.[1] It is derived from either Cantonese 咖啡色 (gaa3 fe1 sik1) or Mandarin 咖啡色 (kāfēisè), meaning "brown" (lit. 'coffee color'). It was found in the original dictionary of the language from March 2002,[2] but had been removed from the word list by June of the same year.[3]

jan li wile pali e ni2   kili-lili kapesi li pana ala e kon ike

jan li wile pali e ni: kili lili kapesi li pana ala e kon ike.[4]

People want to cause this: small brown fruits (beans) don't give bad gas.

In practice, kapesi is more commonly used for browns than grays, because browns are usually hard to describe with pu words, while grays can easily be described as pimeja walo ("light black") or walo pimeja ("dark white"). One possible alternative to kapesi is kule ma ("earth color").

The most commonly used sitelen pona glyph for kapesi (kapesi) is derived from the color triangle radical and the word ma ("dirt, soil").

The sitelen sitelen word glyph designed by jan Alonola

An experimental sitelen sitelen word glyph for kapesi was designed by jan Alonola for a poem in lipu tenpo nanpa walo.[5] It seems to be derived from the sitelen pona glyph and sitelen sitelen color radical. The standard way to write kapesi in sitelen sitelen is by writing its syllable glyphs (KAPESI) enclosed in a capsule.

nalanja[edit | edit source]

Pronunciation /ˈna.lan.ja//j/ sounds like English Y, as in "fjord" or "hallelujah".
Usage 2023: Obscure (3% ↗︎ )Caution: Most speakers don't understand this word.2022: Obscure (1%)
Book and era No book (post-ku)
Part of speech Content word

nalanja is an obscure word and nimi sin for orange and similar colors. It was derived from Spanish naranja, meaning "orange". Similar words include analanjato, jole, and lejo. Possible alternatives to nalanja include jelo loje and loje jelo.

There are several sitelen pona glyphs proposed for nalanja. The most commonly used glyph (nalanja) is composed of glyph for kili above the color triangle radical. Other proposals include:

In an article for lipu tenpo nanpa sewi, kapesi Pake advocated for the glyph composed of glyph for kili and the color radical.[6]

peta[edit | edit source]

Pronunciation /ˈpe.ta/
Usage 2023: Obscure (2% ↗︎ )Caution: Most speakers don't understand this word.2022: Obscure (1%)
Book and era No book (post-pu)
Part of speech Content word

peta is an obscure word and nimi sin for green and green–adjacent colors, differentiating them from laso ("blue~green"), as well as meanings related to verdancy, liveliness, and eco-friendliness.[7] It was coined by kili Tesa in 2019, and is derived from Esperanto verda, meaning "green".

The sitelen sitelen word glyph designed by jan Alonola

An experimental sitelen sitelen word glyph for peta was designed by jan Alonola for a poem in lipu tenpo nanpa walo.[5] The glyph is the same as the word glyph for laso (laso), but with shorter vertical strokes at the top. The standard way to write peta in sitelen sitelen is by writing its syllable glyphs (PETA) enclosed in a capsule.

unu[edit | edit source]

Pronunciation /ˈu.nu/
Usage 2023: Obscure4, Rare6 (16% ↗︎ )Caution: Most speakers don't use this word.2022: Rare (12%)
Book and era nimi ku lili (post-pu)
Part of speech Content word

unu is a an obscure, post-pu nimi ku lili for purple and purple–adjacent colors, including violets, and sometimes magentas and indigos.[8] It was coined by jan Sonja in 2020 and is derived from Indonesian ungu.[9] Possible alternatives to unu include loje laso and laso loje.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 242.
  2. Sonja Lang. (21 May 2001). "Toki Pona Word List". jan Pije's site. Archived from the original on 11 March 2007.
  3. Sonja Lang. (1 June 2002). "Toki Pona Word List". tokipona.org. Archived from the original on 7 June 2002.
  4. Sonja Lang. (24 May 2002). "seme li sin lon ma?". Toki Pona Forums. Retrieved 22 January 2024.
  5. 5.0 5.1 jan Alonola. (1 February 2022). "toki nasa" (in Toki Pona). lipu tenpo. No. walo. ISSN 2752-4639.
  6. jan Kapesi Pake. (25 December 2023). "sitelen pona pi nimi “nalanja”" (in Toki Pona). lipu tenpo. No. sewi. ISSN 2752-4639.
  7. kili Tesa [@jezzzzzzzzzz]. (9 November 2019). [Message posted in the #pana-sona channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. Discord.
  8. Lang, Sonja. (18 July 2021). Toki Pona Dictionary. Illustrated by Vacon Sartirani. Tawhid. ISBN 978-0978292362. p. 382.
  9. jan Sonja [@sonjalang]. (23 December 2020). [Message posted in the #toki-pona channel in the ma pona pi toki pona Discord server]. Discord. "ken la nimi sin li unu tan nimi ungu pi toki Intonesija".