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A Dictionary of Mangareva (Or Gambier Islands)



  • Va (), to speak, to hold conversation. Cf. aha, vaha. 2. To produce sound with the voice. Cf. varaga. Plural, vava.

    Varaga (varàga), conversation, familiar discourse.

    Akava (aka-va), to judge, to pass sentence. 2. To talk, converse.

    Akavaraga (aka-varaga), verdict, judgment.

  • Vae (vàe), to choose, to select. Vaevae (vàevàe), plural of the action; vavae, plural of the subject.

    Vaega (vaèga), choice. Cf. vahe. 2. The centre; in the middle; in the midst.

  • Vaegal-pu, in the middle.

  • Vaha (vàha), a space, an open portion. 2. An interval or clearing in a forest. Cf. kovaha. 3. To put one's self in evidence. 4. Not to be finished: said of a piece of work. Plural, vahavaha.

    Akavaha (aka-vaha), to form an interval.

    Vahaga, the remaining portion of a day or of an epoch. Plural, vavahaga (vavahàga).

  • Vahe, one of the crew of a canoe. 2. To separate, to cleave, to split. Cf. vaha, vahi, vae, vae, vavaehe.

    Vavahe, to cleave, to split; to cut.

  • Vahi (vàhi), a place, a part; a certain point: Vahi ara gugu, a strong place. 2. To split, to cleave; to cut off. Cf. vahe, vae, vehie. 2. To put food into small portions. Vahivahi (vàhivàhi), to cut into smaller portions than is expressed by vahi. Vavahi, plural of the subject.

  • Vahi-hohonu, a deep place: said in speaking of the sea, &c. Cf. hohonu.

  • Vahikoko, a valley, a hollow; a sunken place. Cf. koko.

  • Vahiohooho, a level place, not rugged or broken.

  • Vahitapu, a prohibited place; a place regarded as sacred. Cf. tapu.

  • Vaho, out; without, outside. Cf. takavaho.

  • Vai, water. Cf. taetavai, uai, unuvai, vaiakae.

    Vaivai (vàivài), moist, humid. Cf. vekiveki. 2. Semen humanum. Cf. vekiveki (2).

    Akavaivai (aka-vàivài), to speak in a very low tone. 2. To whisper into the ear of another. 3. To be moistened; to steep.

    Akavaivairaga (aka-vaivairaga), confession. 2. To whishper and speak low to another person.

  • Vaia (vaìa), to announce, to declare, to inform. Plural, vavaia (vavaìa).

  • Vaiakae, the Deluge.

  • Vaie (vaìe), water which lies stagnant in places otherwise dried up.

  • Vaiea (vaìea), water which oozes out from underground. Cf. ea.

  • Vaiehu (vaìehu), water that has been stirred up. Cf. ehu.

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  • Vaierei (vàierei), water in a coco-nut. Cf. erehi, tumuerei.

  • Vaieroero (vaièroèro), a prattler, a babbler; a preacher. To preach; to propagate a doctrine, true or false. Plural, vavaieroero (vavaièroèro).

  • Vaihi, a kind of sweet potato: kumara-vaihi.

  • Vaikava (vài-kàva), bitter water. [Now used for brandy or other spirit.] 2. To be ungrateful, forgetful of past kindness.

    Vaikavaraga (vàikàvaraga), ingratitude.

  • Vaikura (vài-kura), red water.

  • Vaimaga, water which has its source in the mountain. Cf. maga.

  • Vaipu (vàipu), a pond.

  • Vaipuna (vàipuna), water which springs from among stones. 2. A muddy source.

  • Vaipurukaha, water from coco-nut butter.

  • Vairega (vàirèga), water tinged with a yellow colour. Cf. rega. 2. A gathering of persons to collect the starch-granules of rega.

  • Vairua (vairùa), to sew anew. Vaivairua (vaivairùa), plural of the action; vavairua (vaivairùa), plural of the subject. Cf. rua.

  • Vaitai, a mixture of salt and fresh water; brackish water. Cf. tai.

  • Vaiti, the juice or sap of ti. 2. The name of a fish.

  • Vaito, sugar; water of the sugar-cane. Cf. to.

  • Vaivaia, to be rude and rough in speech. 2. A scoundrel; a good-for-nothing fellow.

  • Vaka (vàka), a canoe. 2. A raft. 3. A roof. 4. The courses of papyrus that are beaten together. 5. A cow [modern].

    Vakavaka, the breast. Cf. umavakavaka. 2. E matagi no te vakavaka, to go with full sail; a good beam-wind.

  • Vakakura, a precious, life-giving thing. Cf. akakura, atakurakura, ekekura, puakura.

  • Vakamaori, a very large canoe. 2. A ship.

  • Vakaroa (vàka-ròa), a long cross-piece. 2. Pieces of wood or stone placed crosswise. 3. Threads which are not in the woof of a tissue. Plural, vakavakaroa (vàkavàkaròa).

  • Vana (vàna), the sea-urchin, sea-hedgehog (Echinus).

  • Vanaga (vanàga), a herald, one who bears a message or proclamation. 2. An orator. 3. A prayer of the taura (priest). 4. The person who incites or rouses the others at the funeral ceremonies, Cf. etuavanaga. 5. A noise, hubbub, tumult. 6. To name again and again, to make famous. 7. To pass on the news.

    Vanavanaga (vanàvanàga), the sound of a high voice; conversation carried on in a high key. 2. A diminutive of vanaga.

  • Vao (vào), uninhabited lands; lands unplanted and uncultivated. 2. A plain; open country without trees. 3. Relationship; family. Cf. vavao.

  • Vaoke, not to be of the same race or family. Cf. vao and ke.

  • Varaga. See under va.

  • Varaka (varàka), to know, to understand. 2. To find out, to discover. 3. To entrap on the march; to attack when on the march. Varakaraka (varàkaràka), plural of the action; vavaraka (vavàraka), plural of the subject.

    Akavaraka (aka-varaka), to show, to point out; to make another understand.

  • Varakamata (varàkamàta), to search out a likeness.

  • Varavara, thin, thinly sown; lightly scattered.

    Akavaravara (aka-vàravàra), thin, clear; to break, as daylight. 2. To space, to make an interval; to put clear of each other in distance. 3. Clear to view, not obscured.

  • Vare (vàre), a gummy exudation from the eyes. Cf. matavare. 2. Forgetfulness; to forget. Cf. turevare. 3. To remain; to exist; not to disappear. Varevare (vàrevàre), plural of the action; vavare (vavàre), plural of the subject.

    Akavare (aka-vàre), to retard, to delay. 2. To defer, to put off. 3. To remain behind; to keep in the rear. 4. To be long; prolonged. Akavarevare (aka-vàrevàre), plural, and denoting lengthened action.

    Varevare (vàrevàre), clumsy; inept; incapable.

    Akavarevare (aka-vàrevàre), a young coco palm, in which the centre is beginning to form.

  • Varepuga (vàrepùga), a glue or sticky substance formed by coral.

  • Vari (vàri), pap, or paste well diluted.

    Akavari (aka-vàri), to make soft, pulpy; diluted. 2. To chew well.

    Akavarivari (aka-vàrivàri) denotes stronger action than akavari.

    Varivari (vàrivàri), soft, pasty, sticky. 2. Flexible.

  • Varo (vàro), the name of a fish. 2. Lean, pitiful: said of new-born infants.

  • Varovaro (vàrovàro) the name of a shrub.

  • Varu (vàru), eight.

  • Varu (vàru), to plane; to scrape a fruit. 2. To cut the hair. Varuvaru (vàruvàru), plural of the action; vavaru, plural of the subject.

    Vararu (vavàru), to scrape quickly.

  • Vatavata (vàtavàta), unequal; rugged, rough, stony. Cf. ataata, hatahata, taata.

    Vavata (vavàta), to come out of the earth: said of growing seeds, &c.

    Vavatahaga (vavatahàga), to have no consequence; to be of no effect: said of speeches or enterprises. 2. To disperse without having gained its object: said of an assembly.

  • Vava, paste, glue.

  • Vava, to be torn, to be rent. 2. To tear, to break.

    Akavava, to tear, to lacerate. 2. To break, as one breaks a calabash. Vavavava denotes stronger action than vova.

  • Vava (vàva), to be neither very thin nor very thick; neither clear nor opaque.

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  • Vavae (vavàe), the foot; the leg. Cf. kapuvavae, tiavavae. 2. A footprint. 3. See under vae.

  • Vavaehe (vavaèhe), very small bulbs, the scions of taro. Cf. vahe.

  • Vavaeohoro, one who goes quickly; light in running. Cf. vavae, and ohoro, oro, hooro, &c.

  • Vavai (vavài), the name of a creeping-plant.

  • Vavao, a defender, a protector. Cf. vao (3). 2. To protect, to aid, to sustain.

  • Vavaro, to turn back a shark. 2. To cause the wind to cease.

  • Vave (vàve), promptly, quickly. 2. To grow, to shoot up. Cf. taivave. 3. To progress: said of an illness. 4. To try, by several jerks of the hand, if there is a fish fast to the line. Vavevave (vàvevàve), plural of the action; vavave, plural of the subject.

    Vavevave, to make haste, to look sharp; one who hastes.

  • Vehevehe (vèhevèhe), to explain, to make a thing clear, to unravel.

    Veheveheraga (vèhevèheràga), explanation, elucidation.

    Vevehe (vevèhe), to disentangle, to clear, to put in order. 2. To divide, separate. Plural, vehevehe (vèhevèhe).

  • Vehi, the new moon, when first seen. See vehitahi, under marama.

  • Vehi (vèhi), to be painful, intricate, mixed up: said of a march in darkness or among under growth, &c.

    Vehivehi, a slight humidity, as of dew, &c., or the remains of rains; to be wet with dew, &c. Plural, vevehi (vevèhi). Cf. vekiveki.

  • Veine (veìne), a woman. 2. A wife. Cf. mohine, ahine, tamahine, toaahine.

  • Veinemotua, the premier wife. 2. The first nuptials.

  • Veinepania, the second wife. 2. The second or third nuptials.

  • Veke (vèke), to refuse to yield a thing; to keep anything, to preserve. 2. To take without permission. 3. To contend for an object. 4. To pray or beseech with insistence. Vekeveke (vèkevèke), plural of the action; veveke, plural of the subject.

    Akaveke (aka-vèke), to force from, to pull away, to drag away from. 2. To pass through a very narrow place. 3. To pass through a very narrow place. 3. To oppose.

  • Vekiveki, humid, damp. Cf. vaivai, vehivehi. 2. Semen humanum. Cf. vaivai (2).

  • Veo (vèo), copper. 2. Tin.

  • Veonaveo, mine, my own, your own, his own, their own.

  • Vera, a fire among the reeds. Cf. mavera, kovera. 2. Pain that burns like fire; sharp, agonising: said of pain.

  • Vere (vère), to weed. Verevere (vèrevère), plural of the action; vevere (vevère), plural of the subject.

    Verega (verèga), the action of pulling up weeds. 2. A design put into execution. 3. One who is apt. useful, having a knowledge how to do things.

    Verevere, a blue sky, without clouds.

  • Veregakore, to be without design, to be useless. 2. One who is without tact or cleverness; insignificant. Cf. verega and kore. 3. One who behaves badly.

  • Verenunu (vèrenùnu), a great eater, a glutton. Cf. nunununu. 2. To eat all kinds of fish raw.

    Vereverenunu (vèrevèrenùnu), plural of the action; veverenunu (vevèrenùnu), plural of the subject.

  • Verevere. See under vere.

  • Vereveuveu, to weed out grass, &c. Cf. vere and veuveu.

  • Veri (vèri), a marine annelid like a centipede: it is venomous. 2. A string or thread that has become bristly by being often chafed through the hands. Plural, veriveri (vèrivèri).

    Akaveri (aka-vèri), to render threads or lines hairy or shaggy by often passing them through the hands.

    Veriveri (vèrivèri), very bad; disagreeable; ugly; repulsive. Cf. mataveriveri. 2. To hate, detest.

    Akaveriveri (akavèrivèri), to feel repugnance. 2. To displease. 3. To disdain. 4. To make out to be bad, worthless; to call any one wicked. 5. To repent; to express contrition.

  • Vero (vèro), the tail. Cf. etuvero.

  • Vero (vèro), to dart, to throw a lance. 2. To throw with force. Verovero (vèrovèro), plural of the action; vevero (vevèro), plural of the subject. Vero atu vero mai, to give one an other thrusts with spears. Cf. veroragi.

    Verovero, rays, beams. 2. A leaping flame. 3. Tentacles of the squid or octopus.

  • Veroragi (vèroràgi), a cloud terminating in a long point. Cf. vero and ragi.

  • Verota (veròta), a kind of sandstone.

  • Vete (vète), the name of a fish resembling the herring.

  • Vetehiva, the name of a fish.

  • Vetevete, to untie, to loosen; to detach.

    Vevete (vevète), to untie, to unloose; to detach. Plural, vetevete (vetevète).

  • Veuveu (vèuvèu), grass; herbage. Cf. vereveuveu, heuheu.

  • Vevaveva (vèvavèva), to eat quickly and with voracity.

  • Vevena (vevèna), to relish, to approve; to find good; to feel inward pleasure.

  • Vi (), the name of a tree and its fruit. 2. The name of a fish.

  • Viki (vìki), to run. 2. To go in search of. Vikiviki (vìkivìki), plural of the action; viviki (vivìki), plural of the subject.

    Akaviki (aka-vìki), to make another person run. 2. To run.

    Vikiviki (vìkivìki), to run here and there.

    Akavikiviki (aka-vìkivìki), to make many others run.

    Viviki, to run swiftly.

  • Vikiatohora (viki-a-tohora), to run very swiftly. Cf. viki and tohora. Vikivikiatohora (vikiviki-a-tohora), plural of the action; vivikiatohora (viviki-a-tohora), plural of the subject.

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  • Vikitia, the slope of the sea-board from the beach into the sea.

  • Vikitu-Vikitu (vìkitu-vìkitu), to be bold and without shyness.

  • Vikiviki. See under viki.

  • Vinivini, a soft sound; musical; music.

  • Vio (vìo), weak, puny: said of plants that only throw small leaves. 2. Whistling; to whistle in speaking. 3. To be very difficult to pronounce. Viovio (vìovìo), plural of the action; vivio (vìvio), plural of the subject.

    Viovio (vìovìo), a noise as of sucking a bone, or a sugar-cane.

  • Viri (vìri), to roll; to turn. Cf. taviri. 2. To unroll, to display itself: only said of the weather or season. 3. To twist two things together, as two strands to make a rope. Viriviri (vìrivìri), plural of the action; viviri (vivìri), plural of the subject.

    Viriga (viriga), the unfolding of dawn, &c.

    Akaviriga (aka-viriga), a deputy for another; one who carries orders.

    Akaviri (aka-viri), to cause to roll or to turn over from a high place to a lower one. 2. To be round. 3. To put water to the porridge (popoi) to dilute it.

    Akaviriviri (aka-viriviri), to roll, to cause to roll. 2. To cause to turn over and over quickly and often.

    Viviri (viviri), to fall to the ground again and again in a fight. 2. To fight for a long time.

    Akaviviri (aka-viviri), a duel. 2. To box, to fight with the fists. 3. To rub a piece of wood lightly with another piece to produce fire.

  • Viriga (Virìga), the name of an evil deity. See under viri.

  • Viripogi (viripògi), to have the eyes heavy with sleep. Viriviripogi (viriviripògi), plural of the action; viviripogi (viviripògi), plural of the subject.

  • Viritahi, to approach.

  • Viritoto, to attach, to fasten; to fasten the toto to the rau. See toto (2).

  • Viti. See kavitiviti.

  • Viviki. See under viki.

  • Viviri. See under viri.

  • Vovi (vòvi), to chew as though the lips were gummed together.

  • Vovo (vòvo), the noise of words, or wind, or rain, or water, or sea. Cf. mavovo. 2. A dry and useless coco-nut. 3. To struggle, to writhe; to make a noise in writhing about.

    Vovovovo, noisy; a great noise.

  • Vuho (vùho), the noise made by a man or fish that escapes. 2. Not to be well pronounced; to speak in a choking voice. Vuhovuho (vùhovùho), plural of the action; vuvuho (vuvùho), plural of the subject. 3. To eat with avidity, and without paying attention to the food.

  • Vuho, the name of a fish.