Nauruan-English Vocabulary

from Solange Petit-Skinner's "The Nauruans"

1981. MacDuff Press, 110 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94104
Petit-Skinner's "The Nauruans" contains many examples of Nauruan vocabulary throughout the text, and in the appendices on fish names and reef channels. I have extracted these and arranged them into a Nauruan-English list. (It was not necessarily Dr. Petit-Skinner's intention to present these words as a source for linguistic reference. Throughout her text they appear in all-caps, with no vowel diacritics. The definitions are from my analysis of the context. The list is rich in names - districts, people, channels, fish... I list them here for comparative purposes only.)
1. abab (to) kill
2. Abanokwe warrior killed in Ganaba
3. abio loop, sling for catching frigate birds
4. adad catch, as ball
5. adad darar catching noddies with net
6. adad emorr catching flying fish with net
7. Agar grandfather in legend
8. Aiwo district: major, civic center, harbor (& Boe) (S.)
9. amen ranga ekwan string figure
10. amenangame largest part of tribe
11. ameong perspiration, sweat
12. amoye leaf and branch cure nwirara
13. Amweb legend
14. amwemwiten call a person
15. Anabar district: remember most ancient things (N.)
16. Anatan district: remembers most ancient things (N.)
17. angam Angam Day, 'hope', day Eidaruwo born
18. Anibare district (N.) (relatively empty)
19. animion sense, feel, know
20. anor reef
21. aonanak I make noise
22. aoyoyin I feed them
23. apwe fish: speckled jack (Caranx elacate)
24. ara blood
25. areureu dry sand of beach
26. arew young tame frigate bird used as lure (cf. eap)
27. arowong meet, embrace
28. Arowong whirl in channel Gadu
29. atsi place for frigate bird game
30. atsied see, know
31. atsinoegaga elf of the bush
32. Awiyeda chief of Boe, died in Gabab
33. Bagawer son of Baguewa in legend
34. bagu-bagu game
35. Baguewa legend
36. Baitsi district: Catholic Mission founded 1903 (N.)
37. betyake small spear of coconut wood
38. bewow diver, breath
39. Biogorengwe warrior killed in Ganaba
40. Boe district: major (with Aiwo) (S.)
41. borogue anything smelling of fish, fishy
42. Buada family name?
43. Buada village at lagoon
44. Dabague legend
45. dabu diarrhea
46. dabwike coconut wood stick
47. dabwimiem I catch it with a loop
48. dagogonun lizard (cf. croc, iguana)
49. daguia bird: grey-brown, long neck,beak: omen in itsibweb
50. daguiduba bird with good voice game
51. daguiga octopus
52. daguiguiya bird: small, singing
53. darar bird: black noddy, tern, grey crest
54. darar caught (one to be caught)
55. debagommaroa fish: stingray (Himantura sp.)
56. deboe fish: white tail lancet (Acanthuruus mata)
57. Deboe tribe: 2nd in prestige, 'small black reef fish'
58. debonara kind of etangat, multiple hook fishing
59. debu hook and coconut shell float
60. dedagadaga small fuit, heart shaped, drift to shore
61. dedangang coconut and hibiscus dry cake
62. dedemaro adolescent
63. dedouwaye first step towards edongo (Gilbertese tuae)
64. degomatotu fish: blue spotted boxfish (Ostracion cubicus)
65. degoriria fish: nurse shark (Gynclimostoma ferrugineum)
66. Degoya owner of Gatoe channel (deriv name?)
67. deguerara fish: red, bait for eokwong
68. Demagomogum bad boy in legend, 'rash'
69. demagomogum constellation (includes 3 stars)
70. demangi fermented toddy
71. demangimangi drunkenness
72. demen to fly
73. demeriru bird: small darar
74. demodourou pudding
75. deneno kind of plant, roots good for hair, fruit to cure tuga
76. Denigomodu district: foreigners (S.)
77. Denigomody village
78. dereba red spotted surgeon fish (Acanthurus Achilles)
79. dereba yellow spotted surgeon fish (Acanthurus aliala)
80. derebu sand ball game
81. detora hook, boy's name in legend
82. Dogonun son of Dabague in legend
83. Domaneb village: Nibok dist, center of local gov. (S.)
84. domo bird: chicken
85. dorangarang bait goatfish (Mulloidichthys Samoensis)
86. Dwaetji Detudamo's ancestor
87. eadi coconut shell scoop
88. eadowarere pandanus roots for making ikwin rea fishtrap
89. eadu gift
90. eadum fish: small crab near beach
91. eae bonito (Katsuwomus Pelamis)
92. eae little tuna (Euthynnus Affinis)
93. Eaeo name: strong
94. eaeo striped jack (Carangoides Gilberti)
95. eaeokwor castor oil fish (Ruvettus Pretiosus) (never cooked)
96. Eamwidimwit tribe
97. eamwit fish: small white eel
98. Eamwit tribe: most important, largest 'eel'
99. eamwit emeong 2nd rank of highest class
100. eanepe blood sea bass (Cephalopolis Coatesi)
101. eanepe fish: red, perch, loach
102. eanepe orange rock cod (Epinephelus Truncatus)
103. eani spirit
104. eanit fish: (not eaten raw) (cf ianit)
105. eap young tame frigate bird used as lure (cf. arew)
106. earamai moon parrot fish (Scarus Cyanognathus)
107. earata blue-lined sea perch (Lutjanus Kasmira) (yellow fish)
108. earen manners
109. earoara fish: brown eel, deep sea
110. eatar silvery mullet (Neomyxus Chaptallii)
111. ebawo fish: shark
112. ebawo kumu lagoon white-tipped shark (Triaenodon Obesus)
113. ebereber fish
114. eberiniwiw basket for edena (& iwiw)
115. eberr in betoioi basket of treasures
116. ebibogi happy
117. ebo white-tailed squirrelfish (Adioryx Caudimaculatus)
118. eboko long net
119. ebwebwe ball game (little itsibweb)
120. ebweretsir basket for fish salting
121. ebwiyeye echo, stone of dead
122. edagowe fish: whale
123. edena kind of woven coconut leaf belt
124. Ederaene child's name?
125. ederegaka singing voice of daguiduba (?)
126. Edibanono legend with medicinal plants and perfumes
127. edokwae bird: large darar
128. edongo dry pandanus cake (pregnancy food)
129. ega channel
130. egabwiter balance/hopping game
131. egarokoa red and silver squirrelfish (Adioryx Microstomus)
132. egatow gun, rifle
133. egodu fishing by diving
134. egokwor pandanus belt worn after delivery
135. egop hammerhead shark (Sphyrna Lewini)
136. egow banded barracuda (Sphyraena Picuda)
137. egow wahoo (Acanthocybium Solandri)
138. Eguigu young girl in legend
139. eiaebongo kind of etangat, multiple hook fishing
140. eibawo rudderfish (Kyphosus Cinerascens)
141. Eidaruwo 1500th Nauruan, girl, born 10-26-32
142. Eigamoiya queen of Nauru, head of Eamwit (c. 1888) (& Egamoya)
143. ekabararo game with pandanus fruit hitting
144. ekabarere wrestling game (like sumo)
145. ekamadu food for itsibweb players before game
146. ekangang bucket of sea water with fish pieces for itsi food
147. ekaraiu call a fish
148. ekateba "Chinese stick" game
149. ekeng frigate bird with good voice for lure
150. ekerenoy dragon fly game
151. eketa jacks, knuckle bones game
152. ekey multiple hook, kind of etangat?
153. ekow mother of pearl bonito hook
154. ekwan string figure: sun
155. ekwo canoe
156. Ema constellation: dim stars (ema = death)
157. ema coronet fish (Fistularia Petimba)
158. ema death
159. Emangum tribe
160. emanokwo stick dividing 2 parts of itsibweb field
161. emarr Oceanic white-tipped shark (Carcharhinus Longimanus) (dangerous)
162. Emea tribe
163. emeden look to see fish
164. emeri shellfish, periwinkle
165. emet kind of plant or tree with fruit & flower
166. emorr flying fish (Cypselurus Simus)
167. emorr string figure: emorr fish
168. emwan big-eye soldierfish (Myripristis Amaenus)
169. emwan soldier fish (Holotrachys Lima)
170. emwan violet soldierfish (Myripristis Violaceus)
171. Enogog string figure: woman who "lives on air, floats"
172. Enomo name: good girl
173. enongairis long stick for ekeng (frigate lure)
174. Eoaaru tribe
175. eoe fish hook
176. eoenaru large tamano fishhook for big fish
177. eokong spotted rabbitfish (Teuthis Rostratus) (poisonous)
178. eokwong fish: yellowtail (cf eokong)
179. eokwoy rainbow runner (Elegatis Bipinnulatus)
180. eom small white sandcrab, hermit crab, food for daguiduba bird
181. eongepo skin of pandanus fruit
182. eongo plant: leaf used to cure headache
183. eoning children
184. eoror enclosure for frigate bird taming
185. eouwowag feast given by losers of game
186. epaba feast for child's first birthday
187. epe stones (land)
188. epe-iareu stone and line tool for eokwong fishing
189. epo pandanus fruit
190. erarata figured leatherjacket (Alutera Scripta) (poisonous)
191. erarr kind of etangat, multiple hook fishing
192. erebeniu glue from tamano tree for canoe building
193. erei coconut net container
194. erenai chameleon sea bass (Variola Louti)
195. erepa leprosy (<Gilberts)
196. eriran noise for calling egow
197. eroken little better bait
198. error crayfish
199. eruteb fish: small starfish
200. etam kind of fruit (tree?)
201. etangat multiple fish hooks for deep sea fishing
202. etaro great barracuda (Sphyraena Barracuda)
203. etarr frame for luring darar birds
204. etea roost for frigate birds
205. etegerer me etogarit string figure
206. eteweyeyo kind of tree
207. eteweyo tree used for eel trap sticks
208. etoko little hut for pubescent girl
209. etom blue-spotted grouper (Cephalopolis Argus)
210. etororr bird: female frigate
211. etowong single frigate bird perch
212. etoyap central rib of coconut frond
213. Ewa district (N.)
214. Ewe name: woman who owned 'cantilever' channel
215. eweayo kind of fruit (tree?)
216. eweo convict tang (Acanthurus Triostegus)
217. ewewin bem hide hands
218. eyongco zebrafish / butterfly cod (Pterois Antennata)
219. eyouwit constellation: Seven Sisters (Pleiades)
220. Eyouwit girl in legend
221. Eyouwout legend
222. Gabab channel: which kills
223. Gadu channel: at Denigomody
224. Gago, gato channel (narrow)
225. Gagori channel: at Waboe
226. Gamodogodug legend
227. Gamodogug legend: husband...
228. Ganaba channel: 'the killer'
229. Ganabereber channel 'kind of fish'
230. Ganama channel: at Ewa
231. Ganara channel 'blood'
232. Ganeno channel 'not very deep'
233. Ganiamwe channel 'eel'
234. Ganibawo channel: Boe 'shark'
235. Ganiwuro channel
236. Ganokwang channel 'abundance'
237. gapi float of eboko, 'anything floating'
238. Gatoe channel
239. gerigeri tickle
240. Gonge channel: Ewa (& Onge)
241. Gonokwoy channel 'fish'
242. ianen scarlet sea bass (Epinephelus Fasciatus)
243. ianit sea bass (Serranidae)
244. iareu fish line
245. ibbon competition
246. ibbon itsi frigate bird competition
247. iberr boil
248. ibi placenta
249. ibiwunwun birthing mat
250. ibiya milkfish (Chanos Chanos)
251. ibiya string figure: ibiya fish
252. ibu shallow water close to shore
253. ibu thin wet sand at shore
254. ibwur fish: marlin
255. ibwur shortbill spearfish (Tetrapturus Brevirostris)
256. idij coconut leaf torch used for deep sea fishing
257. idorodoro food given to poor people
258. idow wrestling game for children, like ekabarere
259. iebo praline soldierfish (Myripristis Pralinius)
260. ierangue black-tipped shark (Carcharhinus Melanopterus)
261. Ieru legend of disaster through dirtiness
262. ieru snake mackerel (Promethichthys)
263. ijin net of coconut web
264. Ijuw district (N.) (relatively empty)
265. ikapinaro skipping stones game
266. ikiriri old feast, sexual
267. ikuo... ekuo... itsia child's chant in ekabararo game
268. ikuri mackerel scad (Decapterus Pinnulatus)
269. ikwin eamwit eel trap
270. ikwin ipo net for ipo
271. ikwin rea fish trap, deep sea
272. im itsibweb supporters of ball team
273. imago sea side, seaward
274. imarerr bird: male frigate
275. imiem looped rope for catching egow
276. imwem fish drying 'roof' (in legends?)
277. imwit row of sticks, boundary, between teams
278. inenanabumen fish: red, caught at night
279. inga ibuna where are my grandchildren?
280. ini coconut
281. ini string figure: coconut
282. iniame black spot snapper (Lutjanus Monostignus)
283. iniame tebo paddle tail snapper (Lutjanus Gibbus)
284. inikiwi coconut flesh
285. inugir feast after itsibweb game, offered to visitors et al
286. ipo string figure: ipo fish
287. ipwibwi word to beg for fish from catch (Gilbertese bubuti?)
288. ipwo grey filefish (Cantherhines Dumerili)
289. irer hit
290. irerobo game (knocking down coconut shells)
291. irin tree: grows on beach
292. irin eamwit 'backbone of the tribe' (temonibe)
293. iriname sailfish (Istiophorus Gladius)
294. iritonganga coconut branches for crayfish trap
295. irum red snapper (Lutjanus Bohar)
296. Iruti tribe: extinct
297. Iruwa tribe: foreigners, ancestors from Banaba/Gilberts
298. itema loop (ordinary, not imiem)
299. iteu container of wood or triton shell
300. itibab big-eyed tuna (Thunnus Obesus)
301. itibwer pandanus pulp after chewing
302. itobwa fishing rod from eteweyo branch
303. itsi bird: frigate bird
304. itsi demen training game for frigate bird game
305. itsibemin magician
306. itsibweb ball game
307. itsini coconut husk, coconut bud gauze
308. itsio lowest rank of tribe, servants
309. itsiora lowest class of itsio
310. itsirir bird: kind of finch, passaris
311. ituga fathom (Nauruan measure, 6 feet)
312. iubur black marlin (Istiompax Indicus)
313. iubwiya bristle-toothed surgeon fish (Ctenochaetus Striatus)
314. iud aromatic plant
315. iudud hand-fish (Cirrhites Pinnulatus)
316. iuiuj crocodile needlefish (Tylosurus Crocodilus)
317. iwange stones (ocean)
318. iwi fruit of iwi...
319. iwi tail, small end of tamano spear
320. Iwi tribe: extinct
321. iwiji zebra surgeon fish (Acanthurus Lineatus)
322. iwiw basket for edena (& eberiniwiw)
323. iwur coconut shell
324. iwuro honeycomb sea bass (Epinephelus Merra)
325. iwuro orange sea bass (Epinephelus Hexagonatus)
326. iwuro sea bass (Epinephelus Melanostigma)
327. iwuro spotted sea bass (Epinephelus Tauvina)
328. iyubukon areow pool by sea for certain cure (one place)
329. kabanini coconut leaf toy
330. kabayeri earth oven for steam
331. kabibita blow gun game with emet stick
332. kabriyeye spell or magic word for ball game
333. kadowawo small mat, to cover pregnant belly long ago
334. kaibaba drill for canoe board sewing
335. kakadomo cock fight game (hopping)
336. kake fight
337. kake kimago fish: small reef fish (in children's game)
338. kake kimago game in legend
339. kamadu place for men to wait before games
340. kamwerara toddy syrup
341. kanom steam from kabayeri oven
342. karawa game
343. karedega aiming game
344. karereber pandanus fruit hitting game
345. karewe toddy
346. karieba drink from edongo powder
347. karimama swing game
348. kariyida kind of fishing with net
349. kawada best itsibweb players
350. kaweudo marbled sea bass (Epinephelus Microdon)
351. kawudo coral trout (Plectropomus Leopardus)
352. kewa presage, ESP, foresee
353. kewen bird: cry said to announce death
354. kewen gone, dead
355. keyeb attic of house
356. kibiyong hand net
357. kimago king (royal) angelfish (Pyglopites Diacanthus) (reef: small, yellow, striped)
358. kiyiyou bad words, arguments
359. kiyoyo long-horned unicornfish (Naso Herrei)
360. konobo marble game (using nuts)
361. kumododo rat
362. kumum multi-colored triggerfish (Pseudobalistes Flavomarginatus)
363. kwidada blue jack (Caranx Melampygus)
364. kwodot man who removes birds from net...
365. maramen moon
366. marenga drunk from too much shark meat
367. mayayo healer, doctor
368. meg stay (v.)
369. megopoe puberty, menstruation
370. Mekua cave in channel Gabab
371. Meneng district: major, president's house, hotel (S.)
372. Meneng Meneng Hotel
373. mimika go to sleep
374. nanatdamo chicken feet, kind of etangat
375. neno not deep
376. ngope stingfish (Scorpaenopsis Cirrhosus)(poisonous)
377. ngope stonefish (Synanceja Verrucosa) (poisonous)
378. Nibok district (S.)
379. nwirara filariasis
380. obo dry coconut
381. okwe throw
382. okwetuberini game
383. Omon undersea place where people live
384. Onge channel: Ewa (& Gonge)
385. oreiy throw
386. pareo kind of clothes?
387. piam cry in eketa game
388. poe land side, inland
389. ram torch used on reef
390. Ramanmada boy in legend
391. ramanmada constellation: Antares
392. raminada string figure: hero
393. rebenokwa fish: deep sea crab
394. Reneback tribe
395. retsini coconut leaf
396. ridi grass skirt
397. rodu ani coming back from fire (end of 2 weeks after birth)
398. tabuerik standing stone, family gods, god of war...
399. tame raw, not cooked
400. tame said of 'out' player in bagu-bagu game
401. tawenibiter guessing game
402. temonibe highest tribal rank, social class (deciders)
403. tomano tree: calophyllum (canoe building, candles...)
404. toruwa big-headed jack (Caranx Ignobilis)
405. tuba diabetes
406. tuberini small coconut, size of orange
407. tubwin head, large end of tamano spear
408. tuwin eanepe fishing for eanepe or earata
409. tuwin edet technique for eokwong fishing
410. tuwin ekarog fishing for octopus and eels
411. tuwin emederer techinique for ipo fishing (?)
412. tuwin eram reef torch fishing
413. tuwin eram eom hermit crab fishing
414. tuwin eram eorr crayfish fishing
415. tuwin etao fishing with hook
416. tuwin ibwij technique for catching egow or frigate birds
417. tuwin idij torch fishing for flying fish
418. tuwin iwange reef fishing technique
419. tuwin iyo rod fishing
420. tuwin kibiyong eram fish with net and torch (reef)
421. tuwin ten trap fishing
422. Uaboe district (S.)
423. Ubenide election district: Uaboe, Nibok, Baitsi
424. Waboe village
425. yab ereber spotted surgeon fish (Acanthurus Guttatus)
426. yako deep water between reef and sea
427. Yamidara tribe
428. yangiž darar home tree
429. Yaren district: major (S.), village
430. yer coconut oil
431. yet ibuiya here, there
432. yom earth oven
433. yoni mat for pubescent girl in etoko