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A Dictionary of Mangareva (Or Gambier Islands)



  • Na, a sign of the genitive (possessive), used particularly when it is a question of food or of a woman spoken of by her husband. Mate i na hu: Everyone is sick. Cf. no. 2. By; of; by the order of; on account of. It designates the author of an action. 3. Because; seeing that; whereas. 4. Placed before a substantive or personal pronoun, na signifies “It is,” as Na mea: It is the thing.

  • Na (), pronoun in the 3rd person, indeclinable. Him; of him; to him.

  • Naha, a bow; a bow for shooting arrows. 2. A trough made of the stem of the coco-nut.

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  • Akanaha (aka-nàha), curved; bent. To curve; to bend; to warp.

    Akananaha (aka-nanàha), to bend; to draw, as a bow.

  • Nahatua (nahàtùa), to shun; to avoid. To get at the back of a thing in order to shoot or lance therefrom. Nahanahatua (nahànahàtùa), plural of the action; nanahatua (nanahàtùa), plural of the subject.

    Nahatuaraga (nahàtùaràga), the action of nahatua.

  • Naho (nàho), to go to stool here and there, fouling the ground with ordure.

  • Naho, a shoal of fish.

  • Nahu, a remainder, remnant.

  • Nai (or naai), who? whom? for whom?

  • Naku (na-ku), mine; belonging to me. Naku noti: It is my own. 2. To take; seize; appropriate. 3. To carry off. Nakunaku (nàkunàku), plural of the action; nanaku (nanàku), plural of the subject.

    Nakuga (nakùga), the action of taking, &c.

  • Namunamu (nàmunàmu), to eat with the lips; to nibble.

  • Nana (nànà), to look at; to view. 2. To suspect. 3. To spy out; to play the spy.

    Nanaraga (nànàràga), the action of inspecting or regarding.

    Akanana (aka-nànà), to see; to look at; to regard attentively. 2. To view with curiosity. 3. To contemplate.

  • Nana, to pout; to look sour. 2. To be angry; to get into a passion. 3. To be offended. 4. To play a base part. Nananana, plural of the action; nanana, plural of the subject.

    Akanana (aka-nàna), to hate, with the idea of vengeance or doing harm. 2. To hate another so that it does harm to oneself.

    Akanananana (aka-nànanàna), to pout; sulk. 2. To take offence; to feel affronted; to take in bad part. One who takes offence.

    Nanaraga (nanaràga), the action of pouting, &c.

  • Nana-noa, useless; good for nothing. 2. Indifferent; without aim or purpose.

  • Nanao (nanào), to take fish out of a wicker basket.

  • Nanaro, to tighten a cord. 2. A bowstring. 3. To make a plait.

  • Nanati. See under nati.

  • Nane (nàne), to mix, to mingle. Cf. nani.

    Nanenane (nànenàne), to mix up; to mix again. Nanane (nanàne), plural of the subject.

  • Nane (nàne), to besmear, to sully; to harm oneself; to get dirty, to soil oneself involuntarily. 2. To mix, mingle. Cf. nane. 3. To chew. 4. To put on a salve or plaster. Naninani (nàninàni), plural of the action; nanani (nanàni), plural of the subject.

    Naniga (nanìga), the action of nàni.

  • Nanie (nanìe), a paste made from bread-fruit that is bad, unripe, or deteriorated.

    Akananie, to make poor food (maa) from the scrapings of bread-fruit, or with bread-fruits fallen before being ripe.

  • Nanonano (nànonàno), heat; anger. 2. Impatience. 3. To sulk inwardly but making no outward sign of annoyance. Cf. nunununu. Plural, nanano. Cf. toronano.

  • Nanu (nànu), to curse; to imprecate. Nanunanu (nànunànu), plural of the action; nananu (nanànu), plural of the subject.

    Nanuga (nanùga), a curse; a malediction.

  • Nanuga-porotu, a blessing; a benediction.

  • Nanuga-riria, a curse; execration.

  • Nao (nào), a mosquito. Cf. nau.

  • Naonao, the name of a plant.

  • Naore (naòre), to make smaller, to diminish. Plural naoreore (naòreòre).

    Naoreraga (naòreràga), the action of making smaller.

  • Naore, to importune, to beg for a thing.

    Akanaore, to importune; to return to the charge again and again.

  • Nape (nàpe), to put out the tongue; to lick; to take with the tongue into the mouth. 2. Said also of a man who, in a house, burns it.

    Napega (napèga), the action of licking.

  • Nara, high spring-tide. Nara o Vehi, the great tide at new moon.

  • Naro (nàro), yawning; a yawn. To yawn, at the same time pulling the arms back. 2. To straighten or put to rights a stick that has been in the fire. Naronaro (nàronàro), plural of the action; nanaro (nanàro), plural of the subject.

    Naroga (naròga), action of nàro.

  • Nati (nàti), to tie into the form of a running noose. Cf. nati.

    Natinati (nàtinàti), to make many nooses attached together.

    Nanati, to tie with a cord. 2. To strangle, throttle. 3. Plural of the subject of nàti. See natikaha.

  • Nati, to squeeze; to press. 2. To abuse; to curse. 3. To vow to the gods. Cf. nàti.

  • Natikaha, the death of a person by means of a running noose of coco-nut fibre, thrown round his neck by the priest of an idol at the same time as the victim's name was called aloud. Cf. nati and kaha.

  • Nato (nàto), to be empty, to contain no food (maa) or fish. 2. To have strong desire; to be greatly in want of something. Natonato (nàto-nàto), plural of the action; nanato (nanàto), plural of the subject.

  • Natu (nàtu), the colic; violent pains in the bowels. 2. To press wet linen; to squeeze a person, or a sore place. 3. To wash linen; to rub. Natunatu (nàtunàtu), plural of the action; nanatu (nanàtu), plural of the subject.

    Akanatu (aka-nàtu), to defer commencing an action. 2. Not to be in a hurry; one who does not hurry.

  • Nau (nàu), affable; obliging; kind. 2. A mos quito. Cf. nao.

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  • Naue, a present, a gift. 2. Good news. 3. A happy omen; a pleasant prediction.

    Akanaue, to carry a present to a person.

  • Nauki (naùki), the name of a grass.

  • Naumai, Come! To come. Cf. nau and mai.

  • Naunau (nàunàu), the name of a grass.

  • Naupata (naupàta), the name of a plant.

  • Neganega, a pole that props up the end of a hut. Cf. mataneganega.

  • Nehe, childishness; infancy; puerility. Cf. unehe.

    Akanehe, to catch hold of anything to save it from slipping or falling.

  • Nei (nèi), if; in case that; provided that. 2. Is it? Is it so? Really! Do you say so? Cf. akunei; amenei; penei.

  • Neinei (nèinei), to be on the point of.

    Akanei (aka-nèi), to make an appearance of rising from a seat; to commence to stand up and then to sit down again. Akaneinei (aka-nèinèi), plural of the actio: akanenei (aka-nenèi), plural of the subject.

  • Nei-ra (nèi-ra), Is it not so? Cf. nei and ra.

  • Neka (nèka), an injurious expression; a term applied to a hated person.

  • Neke. See akaneke.

  • Neki, to crawl, to creep along. Cf. akaneke. 2. To retreat or draw back to some one at a little distance.

    Akaneki (aka-nèki), to draw back for a moment. 2. To push a thing in drawing near or moving farther off. 3. To draw near; to draw near again. Akanekineki (aka-nèkinèki), plural of the action; akaneneki (aka-nenèki), plural of the subject.

  • Nekoneko (nèkonèko), dirty; abominable; loathsome. 2. Tartar on the teeth.

  • Nenai, yesterday.

  • Nene, to urge any one; to supplicate; to pray with, earnestness.

  • Nenea (nenèa), to abound. 2. To multiply. 3. To augment. Takao nenea, to exaggerate.

    Nenearaga (nenèàraga), multiplication.

    Aka-nenea (aka-nenèa), to augment; to multiply.

  • Nenue (nenùe), the name of a fish.

  • Nepanepa, a handsome dark skin.

  • Niao (niào), to be at one's ease. 2. To have plenty to live on; wealthy.

  • Niganiga, the lungs.

    Akaniganiga, to gather fruit continually from a tree till it is exhausted; to use up or exhaust such tree.

  • Nihi (nìhì), the name of a crustacean. 2. That which goes or runs quickly; agile.

    Nihinihi (nìhinìhi), to gesticulate with hands and feet in a dance.

    Akanihinihi, to dance a native dance. 2. To doubt.

  • Niho (nìho), a tooth. Cf. koniho, taritariniho, tekonio. Niho no te rae, the gums.

    Nihoniho (nìhonìho), teeth. 2. Indented; notched; in the form of teeth.

    Akaniho (aka-nìho), to make a screw. 2. To finish all the food (maa). Plural akanihoniho (akanìhonìho).

  • Nihomamanu (nìho-mamànu) toothache. 2. Bad teeth; spoilt teeth.

  • Nihonihororoa (nìhonìho-roroa), to go and come, said of an orphan who has no proper home. Cf. niho and roa.

  • Nihore (nihòre), laughing; merry; gay.

  • Nihovehi (nìhovèhi), to talk on all sides at an assembly held on account of some person.

  • Nikau, the coco-palm. 2. The ramifications or branchings which sustain the bunches of coco-nuts.

  • Nikika, small, little. Cf. nikoka, niku, and minika.

  • Nikoka, small; very small. Cf. nikika, niku.

  • Nikou, crippled; disabled.

  • Niku (niku), small fishes, newly hatched. Cf. nikoka, nikika.

  • Nikunikuhou (nìkunìkuhou), infants newly born. Cf. niku and hou, and nioniohou.

  • Ninika, very small, like a grain of sand. Cf. nikika, niku, &c.

  • Nininini (nìninìni), to sleep a calm gentle sleep; sweet rest; to slumber. Cf. matanininini.

    Ninininiraga (nìninìniraga, the act of sleeping calmly.

  • Ninita (ninìta), the papaw tree; papaw.

  • Ninoka (ninòka), very small. Cf. ninoke, niku, ninika, &c.

  • Ninoke (ninòke), small. Cf. ninoka, niku, ninika, ninore, &c.

  • Ninore (ninòre), small. Cf. ninoke, nore, &c. Ninorenore (ninòrenòre), very small.

  • Nioi (niòi), the name of a shrub. 2. A species of bread-fruit. 3. Fierce; unsociable; fiery in temper.

  • Nioniohou, small (said of men). Cf. nikunikuhou and hou.

  • Nioonego, of little importance (said of things); a trifle; nonsense.

  • Nioriki, bread-fruit of ten or twelve inches long.

  • Niu (nìu), to turn upon itself; to pirouette. Cf. poniuniu. 2. A top; a spinning-top.

    Niuniu (nìunìu), the noise of the wooden mallet falling on the papyrus in making native cloth.

  • Niumea, the coco-palm; the coco-nut (improperly). 2. Like the coco-palm.

  • No (), the sign of the genitive (possessive) for all things except the names of wife and food (maa): for these na is used. 2. Whence.

  • Noa (nòa), without end; wholly; entirely; to do nothing else. Ex.: moe noa, to do nothing but sleep; always asleep. Cf. nuinuinoa. 2. Although; though. 3. Without others; unique.

  • Noa, the name of a man whose canoe arrived on the summit of the mountain between page 59 Gatavake and Mangareva. [This is in an ancient myth. The Biblical Noah is written Nòe.]

  • Noheanei (nò-hea-nei), whence does this come?

  • Noho (nòho), to remain; to live; to dwell. 2. To sit down. Nohonoho (nòhonòho), plural of the action; nonoho (nonòho), plural of the subject.

    Nohonoho (nòhonòho), said of a stone well laid in place; well set.

    Nohonohonoho (nòhonòhonòho), to make a long stay; to remain a long while.

    Nohoga (nohòga), the action of sitting down. 2. A chair; a seat.

    Akanoho (aka-nòho), to cause to sit down. 2. To enter into possession, as a farmer upon his lands. 3. To place a stone or piece of wood in position. Aka-nohonoho (aka-nòho-nòho), plural of the action; aka-nonoho (aka-nonòho), plural of the subject. Aka-noho joined to the name of a man or woman signifies to be married to, a e ipu aka-noho: when joined to that of a powerful noble it means to hold fast; to stick to.

    Akanohonoga, marriage. 2. Cohabitation.

  • Nohoakuata (nohoakuàta), to be crouched up, opening the knees and depressing the head. Cf. noho.

  • Nohoaro, dear; beloved; privileged.

  • Nohoatu-nohomai, to dwell, to reside in together.

  • Nohoga (nohòa). See under noho.

  • Nohoio (nòho-io), to seat oneself.

  • Nohoionanoti (nòho-io-na-nòti), to be at home. See noho, noti, &c.

  • Nohoiteturi (nòho-i-te-turi), to be seated: said of many persons as at a gallery or assembly. Cf. noho and turi.

  • Nohonoho. See under noho.

  • Nohonohonoho. See under noho.

  • Nohotahaga, idle; sluggish; to do nothing. 2. An unmarried person. Cf. tahaga.

  • Nohotua (nòhotùa), not to be loved; abandoned; forlorn; rejected by parents or guardians.

  • Nohotumu (nòhotùmu), to dwell or reside habitually in a place; domiciled; home. Cf. noho and tumu.

  • Nohu (nòhu), the name of a species of breadfruit tree. 2. The name of a fish with poisonous spines, found in the sand.

    Nohunohu (nòhu-nòhu), bread-fruit of which the skin is rough.

  • Noko (nòku), constant humidity; perpetually damp.

  • Nokunoku (nòkunòku), fat: only said of a baby or child.

  • Noni (nòni), a lame person; a cripple. To be lame; to limp; to hobble. Limpingly. 2. To walk in a vacillating way, in a lingering way. Noninoni (nòninòni), plural of the action; nononi (nonòni), plural of the subject.

    Noniga (nonìga), the condition of being lame, &c.

  • Nono (nòno), the name of a tree and its fruit.

  • Nope (nòpe), without strength or force. 2. Flexible; yielding; bending.

  • Nore (nòre), small of body; thin; pitiful. Cf. tenore, kohunore. 2. Humiliated; contemptible. 3. Small: said of a morsel of food, or of, fruit not come to maturity. Cf. ninore, small.

    Norenore (nòrenòre), the plural of nore, applied to fruit and vegetables.

  • Norunoru (nòrunòru), soft flesh; with relaxed muscles.

  • Noteaha (nò-te-àha), what for? why? (generally in refusal).

  • Notemea (nò-te-mèa), because; forasmuch as; wherefore.

  • Noumati (noumàti), dryness; drought; weather that is oppressive with heat.

  • Nounou, angry; passionate; to be vexed.

  • Nounou (nòunòu), ardently desire; to wish for passionately; to lust after.

    Nounouraga (nòunòuràga), ardent desire; covetousness.

    Akanounou (aka-nòunòu), to covet the property of others.

  • Nuheke (nuhèke), soft: said of fruits.

  • Nuhekeheke (nuhèkehèke), the name of a fish.

  • Nui (nùi), great, large. Cf. ouponui, rimanui. 2. Numerous.

    Nunui (nunùi), very great; very large.

    Akanui, to augment, to add to; to make great or large. 2. To exaggerate. Akanuinui, plural of the action; akanunui, plural of the subject.

    Akanunuf, to augment; to exaggerate account or narrative. 2. To give a large portion or share to some one.

    Nuinuinuinui (nùinùinuinùi), very great; extraordinarily large or grand.

  • Nuinuinoa (nùinùinoa), as large as you please. 2. Very large; exceedingly large. Cf. nui and noa.

  • Nuipu, a portion; a moiety. 2. To cut or divide into portions.

  • Nuku, a land; a country. 2. A place.

  • Numi (nùmi), to press; to squeeze.

    Nunumi (nunùmi), to squeeze strongly; to press. 2. To stamp; to imprint; to impress. 3. To seal; to seal up.

    Nunumiga (nunumìga), pressed, squeezed. 2. Impressed; sealed.

  • Nune (nùne), to sit down hastily, going right down on the heels.

  • Nunoru (nunòru), a kind of crayfish, without armour. 2. Soft. 3. New skin that comas when the ordinary skin is abraded.

    Nunorunoru (nunòrunòru), soft: used in speaking of the muscles or of the skin.

  • Nunui. See under nui.

  • Nunuru, a sprout of the bread-fruit tree in the same skin as the fruit.

  • Nunununu, to hate in one's heart. 2. passion; anger. Cf. nanonano, nounou, akanu, verenunu.