Word of the Week
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Word of the Week Archive




group fishing Word submitted by Wayne Andrew and Peter Black: Wayne said that HOPE is a good name because it sounds a lot like the ramari Hatohobei name for group fishing. There are two names for group fishing, pehupoh and hope. Peter asks if this word hope is a Tobi word and if so, should we spell it houp?
hiriya tautau
double thatch screens Word submitted by Barbara Black: The word for double thatch screens or panels that people use to close the roof or to sit on can be spelled at least three three ways.  Justin Andrew pronounced it using his preferred spelling.   Thomas Patris used the word in his story of Chasing the Ship Back Over the Horizon.  Any other ideas about spelling?
tafei choucher massage Word submitted by Aunchalee Loscalzo: Massage is often described as a good first medicine.
Comment submitted by Huan Hosei:
I noticed that the the Word of the Week, Tafei Choucher is not Tobian at all. I guess the right way to put it is that both words are misspelled. The combination of both words doesn't come close to the word "massage."  I think the Tafei refers to local medicine. Tafea and Choucher may refer to TsouTsou re massage. So, the combination of  Tafea and TsouTsou should be come out as Tafeyari TsouTsou which means medicine for massage or massage medicine [vice versa]. The most common spelling usage is "TS" in lieu of  "Ch"; "Ch" usage in spelling at times maybe perplexed with mainstream Palauan word(s), might end up to denote bad word (s). Just a thought for today.
hahuhauryopacha outrigger strut or brace Audio by Isauro Andrew. Word definition by Justin Andrew: The precise meaning is the second yopacha.
nguung chew Word submitted by Justin Andrew: From the FOTI Forum on betel nut chewing--chew is nguung and spit is hutuf or hootoof. Nguutamo mere hosa hutufaroh means chew this and spit it away.
siyefah chairen lizard fish Word submitted by Barbara Black: This word comes from Robert Johannes's Tobian Fish Dictionary. Is it correct Tobian for lizard fish? Marcus thought it might be wrong.
uh lobster, neck, sail Word submitted by Peter Black: Another meaning, according to Isauro, is the phase of the moon two days before it is full. Does anyone know another Tobian word with so many meanings?
sabuho goodbye Word submitted by Peter Black: This is ordinary goodbye. I remember something else people used to say for special goodbyes like leaving on the ship but I can't remember what it sounded like. Any ideas?
Mar animal Word submitted by Soty Patris: You can use this word for horse, zebra, lion, giraffe, and all the other beasts that don't live in Palau.
Ramarih language Word submitted by Peter Black.
Comment submitted by Justin Andrew: Ramarih would literally mean "fish word" or something that fish say or a fish sound. Raam in this context should be the root word for language. For example, ramari peih means pig sound and ramari koko is chicken sound. Raam would be the correct form used here to show that the English word language is what we intend to define. I hope I have explained it better; if anyone out there has a getter way of explaining this, please do so.
ruh coconut Word submitted by Peter Black.
mai breadfruit Word submitted by Peter Black: Are there different words for different kinds of breadfruit?
  iaung shadow, photograph Word submitted by Peter Black & Soty Patris: Maybe this word means something like "image."
fiteh work Word submitted by Peter Black & Soty Patris: Babysitting is work.
Hihi To get married Word submitted by Peter Black & Soty Patris: Is there another word for wedding? How about a wedding in the rain? There's a story here, too.
Mane Money Word submitted by Peter Black & Soty Patris: If you only knew how much it cost to fix Peter's head, you'd know why we have submitted this word!
Chimori fas Stone Head Word submitted by Peter Black & Soty Patris: If you only knew what happened to Peter's head, you'd know why we have submitted this word.
Nau Sweet Word submitted by Marcus Hangaripaii.
Mangau Eat Word submitted by Marcus Hangaripaii: Mangau refers to eating but only for food such as rice, beans, potato, taro, etc.  For example, mangau rice and not hotsots rice.
Meraumemi Feifir Soty Our Girl Soty Word submitted by Marcus Hangaripaii.
Comment submitted by Marcus Hangaipaii, October 2004: Feifir should be spelled Faifir! Meraumemi faifir Soty. means Our Daughter Soty. Faifir means female and can be used to describe a girl or a woman. Mar means male and can be used to describe a boy and a man. When using mar and faifir to describe male and female animals, you would add maru which means animal (it also means bird). For example, marufaifir means female animal or a female dog and marumar means male animal or a male dog.
Pieraurou Transit Reef

Comment submitted by Dave Sapio: Pieraurou would translate to something like sand (pie) underwater at low tide;rou, which I have also taken to mean a pool on a reef flat at low tide, still has water at low tide.
Comment submitted by Marcus Hangaripaii:
1. PIE = SAND that's correct
2. RAU = not a word w/out ROU
3. ROU = pool of water on a reef flat when its low tide
4. RAUROU = the act of caring or taking care of (see #6)
5. RAURU (no relation to PIERAUROU, but may help Dave's interpretation) = it's a Tobian word meaning to take care of (as in taking care of a child, etc.)
6. RAUROU = as defined above in #4 is not the same meaning as it is used in PIERAUROU.  The RAUROU that is used in PIERAUROU as I was told means to PASS-BY (that is going and coming).
Thus, based on traditional Tobian legend, the name PIERAUROU would simply translate to mean, "A submerged sandy reef that (old Tobian) sailors pass by (going as well as returning, or rauraroh, rauratoh in Tobian) during their course of sailing."

hura understand Word submitted by Soty Patris and Peter Black.
bachira werimihir
sorbana werimihir
see you later Word submitted by Justin Andrew.
Comment submitted by
Marcus Hangaripaii: Spelling of sorbana werimihir should be sabana. 
shell of a ripe coconut
wearing loincloth
Comment submitted by Dave Sapio: Tahah is the shell of a ripe coconut, tsou, and tahatah is wearing a thu or loincloth. I learned both these words the same day and had them a bit confused, and so when people asked me why I wasn't wearing tahatah, I had a picture in my mind of myself standing around with a strategically placed coconut shell, having no idea how that thing was meant to stay in place . . . .
Comment submitted by Marcus Hangaripaii: Tahah should be spelled tahahu.
hots to cut hatsi, tuba
Comment submitted by Marcus Hangaripaii, October 2004 : Hotsots is a new word and means to eat as in mangau. Hotsots can only be used to describe the action of eating meat, for example, hotsots ih and not mangau ih.
Comment submitted by Dave Sapio: Also counting days of the waning moon; coconut husks in the water to prepare rope fiber; reef or rock under water as in hotsarihie; hotshots--to eat; hotsohots--black or dark.
Comment submitted by Marcus Hangaripaii: Hotsots (Dave spelled it the same as HOTSOHOTS) refers to eating meat (such as fish, pork, beef, etc.). It is also used for eating fruits (such as apple, mango, papaya, pinneapple, grape, etc).  One cannot use hotsots when eating rice.
Words submitted by Soty Patris: Another word for wet and a word for rat.
Comment submitted by Justin Andrew: Muhuteh is actually not a Tobian word but a Sonsorolese. The Tobian word for wet is nou. For example, to say your clothes are wet in Tobian is enou ufom. Notice the root word nou. The letter "e" when used as a prefix gives the directional meaning of something is wet. Hope this clears it up.
Comment submitted by Marcus Hangaripaii: Justin is right. Muhuteh or mugutehi is Sonsorolese for wet.  Nou is Tobian for wet.

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  Updated: January 9, 2013