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A Combined

Kiribati-English Dictionary

based on the works of

Hiram Bingham, D.D.
Father Ernest Sabatier, M.S.C.
(translated by Sr. M. Oliva)

with additional scientific material from Luomala, Goo & Banner.

B -Bingham, Hiram. 1908, 1953. A Gilbertese-English Dictionary. vii, 179 pp (8vo). American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, Boston.
O -Sabatier, Ernest. 1954. Dictionnaire Gilbertin-Français. xii, 984pp, duplicated. Mission Catholique, GI, Abaiang, Tabwiroa. 1971. Gilbertese-English Dictionary. translated by Sr. M. Oliva. x, 426pp, Sacred Heart Mission, Tarawa. South Pacific Commission Publications Bureau, Sydney.
G -Goo, Fannie C.C. & Albert H. Banner. 1963. A Preliminary Compilation of Gilbertese Animal and Plant Names. 2, 2, 55, 10, 26cm. prepared under contract SA-43-ph-3741, National Institute of Neurological Diseas. UH - Haw. Marine Lab., Honolulu.
L -Luomala, Katharine. 1953. Ethnobotany of the Gilbert Islands. Bishop Museum Bulletin 213, v, 129pp, map, bibl 122-4, index, 26cm. Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu.

compiled by
Stephen Trussel and Gordon W. Groves,
University of Hawaii, 1978

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B ng. int. expressive of dissent or displeasure
O ng. or. nngintj. of displeasure, disagreement. 
B nga. adv. where? in what place.  n. one distant by birth.  ex. ngan tarire
nga. a. thousandsuf. a numeral suffix following the digits in counting fathoms
O nga. adv. (1) e nga? where is it?  ex. a nga? where are they?  n. (2) a fathomex. te ngana, ua nga: 1 fathom, 2 fathoms.  vt. ngaea: (irr.) to measure by fathoms (arm's length).  na. (3) thousand, a thousand.  ex. te ngana, uanga: 1,000, 2,000.  n. (4) portion of pandanus which is chewed.  (5) family of origin, relations.  ex. ngan tarire, an tarire: relations in very wide sense. 
nga n tarire
O nga n tarire. see ngan. branch of family (distant), multiple or extensive relatives. 
B ngábingabi. n. a mat used as a spread or container for foodn. a species of eel, the. 
O ngabingabi. n. (1) a small mat used as plate.  n. dish for food.  n. (2) an eel with black spots. 
O ngabu. and toro ngabu: matoru-ngabun. numerous posterity.  a. having many descendants
B ngæ/e. va. satiated
O ngae. n. (dipth.) satiety.  a. satisfied, satiated, having enough, refusing because satisfied.  fig. to have had enough.  vca. ka-ngae: satiating, filling, irksome, tediousvc. ka-ngaea: to satisfy, to satiate, to glut
B ngáea. n. a fathomvt. to measure by fathoms. 
B ngáeau. a. mussed as the hair not oiled. 
O ngaeau. for. ngeau, kangaeau
B ngáengae. a. frequentative of ngae
B ngaái. pron. plural of ngaia bk. Genesis 30:32. 
ngái. pron. I (often emphatic). 
O ngai. pron. that this (when speaking of several things).  pl. of ngaia
ngai1. pron. Iex. boni ngai: myself
B ngáia. pron. he, she, itex. ngaia : yes, thats it. 
O ngaia. pron. he, she, it, thatex. boni ngaia: himself, herself, itself
ngaia1. pron. they, themex. boni ngaia: themselves
B ngáiangáia. adv. yes, yes, that's he. 
O ngaiangaia. adv. that's it. yes, yes. 
B ngáina. n. daytimea. being light or daytime. 
O ngaina. n. day, daylighta. daytimeex. e ngaina: daybreake a kani ngaina: it is nearly day.  adv. ni ngaina: by day.  ex. ni moani ngaina: very earlyingini ngaina, ewa ni ngaina: day dawn.  vt. ka-ngaina: to wait till day, to stay up all night to ... (play, fish, keep watch). adv.  ex. ni kangaina: until day.  n. te karangaina: dawn, sunriseadv. ni karangaina: at dawn. 
B ngáira. pron. we, us (generally in the nominative and emphatic). 
O ngaira. pron. us, <we>.  ex. boni ngaira: ourselves
B ngáke. n. the spermatic cord. 
O ngake. n. (1) membrane joining two parts.  n. (2) web of feet. ex. crotch of trousers
B ngáko. n. phlegm, mucous matter.  va. having catarrh
O ngako. n. mucus, snot, glair, phlegmva. to have a cold in the head.  v. ongiri ngako: to blow one's nose.  vc. ka-ngakoa: to cause mucus, to soil with ... 
B ngan. va. having side sprouts as babai n. a sucker or side sprout of the babai
O ngan. n. a shoot, a sprout (taro, onions, bulbs). 
B ngaánga. vi. to engage in measuring fathoms. 
O nganga. n. food poisoning (esp. by fish).  va. suffer from poisoning.  vca. ka-nganga: which causes ..., poisonous.  vc. ka-nganga: to poison. 
B ngángae. va. frequentative of ngae
B ngæ/ngarake. n. the roof of the mouthn. suffering occasioned by food entering the nasal passage. 
O ngangarake. n. the passage between nose and throat.  v. to snuffle <sniffle> through this ...  vt. ngangarakeavc. ka-ngangarakea: to make ... 
B ngæ/ngareúke. vi. frequentative of ngareuke
B ngæ/ngau. va. unable to restrain one's desire, eating without waiting for others. 
O ngangau. n. voracity, gluttony, a gluttona. gluttonous.  vt. ngangaua: to cram, to stuffvc. kangangaua: to make ... 
B ngáo. va. in confusion, mixed or piled up without order.  n. a nest
O ngao. n. nest, birds' nest.  ex. aea ngao: to build nest. 
ngao1. na. entanglement, jumbled up, in disordervc. ka-ngaoa: to entangle. 
ngao ni moa
O ngao ni moa. n. hen's nest
B ngáongao. n. wirebranches of bushes cut to be burned in the clearing of landa. covered over with cut brush ready for burning. 
O ngaongao. n. branch, twigs without leaves, sprigs, dry branches, wire, barbed wire, spokes of bicycle wheel. 
B ngáre. n. laughter
O ngare. n. laughter, smilev. to laugh, to smile.  n. ngaren te nao: white foam on waves.  ex. e ngare te nao: there is white foam on the waves.  mate ni ngare: to die of laughter.  a. mata ni ngare, matangare: smiling, smiling face.  va. kangare, kaka-ngare: to cause laughter, to amuse, comicvc. ka-ngarea: to make laugh, to amuse.  n. te kangare: pleasantry, jest, joke, making funte bai ni kangare: something funny, buffoonery, joke.  nv. io ni ngare: burst of laughter. 
ngare banna
O ngare banna. n. the laugh of a sick person (skeleton). 
ngare be
O ngare be. n. a wicked laugh, insolent, untimely.  ex. kangare be, manikangare be: to make laugh, wicked joke, to annoy
ngare iotaua
O ngare iotaua. n. loud laughterv. to laugh loudly. 
ngare ke
O ngare ke. n. a short laugh
ngare n take
O ngare n take. nv. a long, loud roar of laughter
ngare ngenge
O ngare ngenge. n. a forced laugh
ngare roro
O ngare roro. v. to laugh till black and blue. 
ngare uatao
O ngare uatao. n. prolonged laughter
ngare uke
O ngare uke. nv. to laugh till breathless. 
ngare uoua
O ngare uoua. n. false, hypocritical laugh
B ngáreakina. vt. to laugh at. 
O ngareakina. vt. to laugh at ..., to make fun of ..., to ridicule
B ngárebee. vi. to laugh loud and sneeringly, or improperly. 
B ngaréi. n. fish, the. 
O ngarei. n. deep water shark, sort of tababa
B ngárengare. vi. frequentative of ngare, to laugh.  vi. to shake as a sail in the wind.  n. laughter
B ngarentaáke. vi. to laugh coarsely and long. 
ngarentaáke. n. coarse and prolonged laughter
B ngáreuke. vi. to laugh with a wide-open mouth.  n. laughter with a wide-open mouth. 
B ngáro. n. the gum
O ngaro. n. (1) gumsn. (2) a dish made with tou
B ngárob'ata. a. having discolored gums. 
O ngaro-bata. n. dark coloured gums
B ngárongaro. a. toothless. 
O ngarongaro. na. (1) toothless gumsvc. kangarongaro: to make ...  ka-ngarongaroa: idemsyn. (2) blunt-edged
O ngaruru. n. muffled noise of quaking and rolling.  v. to quake, to rolln. noise as of thunder or breakersvc. kangarurua: to make ... 
O ngata. n. ngatangata, nanongatangata: covetousness, cupidityngetangeta, nanongetangeta: cupidity, desire, etc. (Butaritari and Makin) other islands:  nv. kangata, kangeta, kanano kangeta: to excite ..., to give ... 
O ngati. a. clothes or mats covered with dirt or stains, soiled, dirty, disgusting (N.).  and ngatu (S.). 
O ngatingati. a. ngatungatu: very dirty, filthyvc. kangata: to soil, to make dirty. 
O ngau. n. a sort of sea slug
ngau1. n. gluttony, voracitya. gluttonous, voracious, greedy.  sup. ngaungau, ngautata, mangaungau: very gluttonous, voracious.  vc. ka-ngau, ka-ngau, ngau: voracity.kangaua, kangaungaua: to make ... 
B ngáun. a. ten used in counting bong, ririki, ritoro, inaki, atao, wa, and whenever a digit is followed by a numeral suffix, ai, ung, man, nga, kai, kora coconut are counted by bunches of ten.  see tengaun
O ngaun. an. ten, tens. 100 <hundred> coconuts. 
B ngáungau. vi. to eat voraciously. 
O ngaungau. vt. ngaungaua, ri ngaungaua, ngangaua: to ingurgitate, to gulp down, to cram, to devourvc. ka-ngaungaua: to make or treat as glutton.  vt. ngauta: to devour, to cram, to gulp down. 
B ngaáwa. va. having a fish-bone in the throat
O ngawa. n. choking, suffocation from fish bones or other ... throat.  v. to choke oneself, to suffocate from obstruction in throat.  vc. ka-ngawa: to strangle, to put harpoon in throat.  ex. te kai ni kangawa: a spear used to kill sharks. 
O ngawata. n. mucus obstructing throat.  v. to have throat obstructed by ... 
B ngéa. n. a tree, the.  a large fish hook made of ngea.  a. firm, stiff, hard as a wet rope. 
O ngea. n. (1) bush of very hard, gnarled wood.  sn. Pemphis scidulaa. hard, strong like ngea .  ngea ngeangea: hard, strong like ..., abounding in ...  vc. ka-ngea, ka-ngeangea: make hard.  n. (2) large fish hook made formerly of ngea used to catch shark.  n. circular fish hook of iron for shark fishing with hook of ngean. (3) te Ngea: constellation in form of fish hook (Austral Crown).  ex. ngea n arabo: a very old ngea such, the inside of which is beginning to rot.  n. essence got from this inside.  nv. ngeangea
G ngea. sn. Pemphis acidula Forst. (z)
B ngeáiarábo. n. a tree, the. 
B ngéangea. a. very strong and firm.  abounding in ngea trees. 
O ngearuru. sup. superlative of ngeaa. very hard, stiff, rigid
B ngÉnge. vi. to beg for food by one's looks, to be covetous of food.  n. the begging for food by one's looks. 
ngeénge. n. what remains of the kernel of a coconut in a shell after it has been scraped.  a. scraped, without much kernel
O ngenge. orig. sup. ngaron. (1) te ngenge, te maungenge, te nano ngenge: envy, covetousness of food, drink, tobacco, etc.  na. ngengeroroko: irresistible envy of food, inveterate habit of begging.  n. te tia ngenge, te ngengetaia: beggar (always begging).  va. ngenge, maungenge, ngengetaia: to show covetousness for food, tobacco belonging to others, covetous, avidvt. ngengea, maungengea, ngengetaia: to show one's covetousness, to cast envious eyes on ...  vc. kangengea: to cause ..., to provoke ..., to make ..., to treat as ...  n. (2) te kangenge, te kangengewi: emaciation, phthisis, consumptionv. kangengea wina: gnash or show teeth.  ex. e ngenge te ora: the beach is uncovered (low tide). 
ngenge1. n. the remainder of coconut kernel in shell after it has been scraped out. 
ngengen ri
O ngengen ri. n. nothing but skin and bone.  a. very emaciated, a living skeleton.  vc. kangengenria: to make ... 
B ngengen/ri. a. thin in flesh
B ngEngetáia. vi. to beg much for food by one's looks.  n. much begging for food by one's looks. 
O ngengetaia. sup. superlative of ngengen. great covetousness of food.  v. to have ..., to show ...  vc. kangengetaia: to find, to accuse of being ..., to treat as ...  ka-ngengeta: to excite to envy, to entice, to attract
B ngéri. a. curled, frizzled, curlyn. a person with curly hair
O ngeri. a. curly, frizzled, curly-headed.  sup. ngeringeri, ngeringeritauavc. ka-ngera: to curl, to make frizzy.  ka-ngeria: to comb ...  n. te aki ni kangeri: ancient comb of one or two prongs. 
O ngeta. n. concupiscence, immoderate, desire, disorderly envy.  a. envious, immoderate, greedy, passionatesup. ngengeta, nanongetangeta: very...  vc. kangeta
B ngío. a. dizzy
O ngio. n. dizzinessv. to fall into a swoon, to sink down, to grow faint, to fail, to be carried off quickly.  vc. kangiongioa, kangiongionakoa: to make numb, to faint, to carry away, etc.  sup. ngiongo, ngiongio, ngionako, ningioningio: tired, sleep, drowsy
B ngióngio. a. frequentative of ngio
B ngíra. vi. to groan audibly or in spirit.  n. a groan, groaning. 
O ngira. n. a groan, moanv. to groan in abnormal effort so as to overcome pain. <grunt>.  sup. ngirangiravt. ngira marakina, ngiraia: to moan with ..., to control one to keep back one's cries.  vc. ka-ngirangira: to make ... 
B ngiræ/ngira. vi. to groan audibly or in spirit. 
B ngiratáua. vi. to groan as when under a heavy burden. 
O ngirataua. nva. freq. of ngira
B ng/ka. vt. give me (used in the imperative).  n. food to be chewed for the juice (used only with the suffix pronoun). 
O ngka. or. nkaintj. ngka!syn. kamaiintj. give me, pass it!  ex. ngka te mangko! give me the cup. 
ngka1. n. portion of pandanus which is sucked.  ex. ngkau, ngkam, etc. (N.).  or. nga (S.). 
O ngkae. idiom. adv. for ngkai e
B ngkái. adv. now
O ngkai. adv. nowidiom. adv. now that, sinceex. kamai te amarake ngkai I a roko: give me to eat now that I have arrived. 
B ngkáinaba. a. new
O ngkainaba. adv. at once, just nowsup. ngkainabanabaa. recent, fresh, newex. te bai ae ngkainaba: something new. 
B ngkam/. vi. I don't know, I am not supposed to know
O ngkam. or. nkamint. I don't know! I have nothing to say, I can't answer. 
B ngkámi. pron. ye, you, emphatic in the nominative, a plural suffix in the objective after v.t. usually connected by i
O ngkami. pron. youex. boni ngkami: yourselvesnote. used in the objective it is joined to the verb.  ex. e tangiringkami: he loves you. 
B ngkána. adv. when (future) if
O ngkana. adv. when, at the time (for the future), if (fut. cond.). 
B ngkángka. n. a %tou<#+a>">.htm#%tou">%tou or %bunia<#+a>">.htm#%bunia">%bunia set aside for chewing. 
O ngkangka. see ngkan. kaka (S.). 
B ngkan/ne. adv. at the present time, at the time and place spoken of. 
O ngkanne. adv. then, in that case, at that time.  ex. n na aki kawariko ngkanne: in that case I won't go to see you. 
B ngke. adv. when (referring to past time). 
O ngke. adv. when, then (past).  ex. ngke tairiki, ngke e tairiki: yesterday eveningngke e bong: last night. 
B ngkébong. adv. last night
O ngkekei. adv. at that time, then (past).  ex. ao ngkekei a mananga: then they set out. 
B ngkérimoa. adv. formerly
B ngketáiriki. adv. last evening
B ngkóa. adv. before, formerly
O ngkoa. adv. formerly, in the past, in ancient times, a long time agosup. ngkoangkoa: long ago.  ex. ngkoa! ngkoae! ao ngkoa! ao ngkoae!: of course! naturally
B ngkóae. adv. indeed, of course, used in response. 
B ngkóananoa. adv. yesterday
O ngkoananoa. adv. yesterdayex. i main ngkoananoa: before yesterday. 
B ngkóangkoa. adv. long ago, formerly
O ngkoangkoa. sup. superlative of ngkoaadv. long agoex. ten Ngkoangkoa: one of the first beings created with Riki (myth.). 
B ngkóe. pron. thou, you, usually emphatic. 
O ngkoe. pron. you, thouex. boni ngkoe: yourselfko tiku, ngkoe? you're staying? 
B ngo. vi. to murmur or complain in a low voice.  n. subdued complaint, murmuring. 
O ngo. n. talk, speechred. ngongo (more used).  ex. te niba ni ngo: a grumblerte ngo tau: noise made by a crowd or by a medley of things (rain, waves, crowd of people). 
B ngóa. vt. to scratch what itches. 
O ngoa. vt. to scratch oneself, to scratch (rarely used),.  red. ngongoa (more used). 
B ngoé. pron. naka (preceded by nei) (But.). 
B ngoóngo. vi. to talk sub voce.  n. frequentative of ngo
ngòngo. vi. to itchn. the sensation of itching. 
O ngongo. n. itchv. to itch.  vc. kangongo: which causes itchness kangongoa: to cause ...  n. te kai ni ngongo: a back scratcher, a scratcher. 
ngongo1. red. of ngon. speech, noise of voices, murmur of voices, indistinct ... to make one's voice heard, to speak.  ex. ao e ngongo ngkekei: he spoke then.  ko aki ngongo? have you nothing to say?  vc. kangongoa: to make speak, to question
B ngóngoa. vt. to scratch
B ngongóngo. vi. frequentative of ngongo
B ngóre. n. a young infantadj. small in stature and weakly as a sickly child
O ngore. a. feeble, weak, puny, sickly, debilitated (person, plant or fruit of stunted development).  sup. ngorengore, niningore, ningorengore, ngoretaia, ntangore, ntangorengore, ngoretaua, bingore, tingore, mingorengora: very...  vc. kangorea, katingorengorea, ka-ningongorea, ka-binongorea, ka-mingongorea: to debilitate, to weaken. 
B ngunguréngure. vi. to complain, to murmur.  frequentative of ngurengure
B ngúre. vi. to complain, to murmur
O ngure. n. murmur, grumble, grousev. to murmur, to complainex. niba ni ngure: grumble, always complaining.  sup. ngurengure: frequent complaints.  vt. ngurea, ngurengurea: to murmur, to grumble against.  ngureakina ...: to complain of, to murmur about ...  vc. kangurea, kangurengurea: to make ..., to make grumble, complain, etc. 
B nguréngure. i. to complain, to murmur n a murmuring, a complaining, a subdued groaning. 
B nguréngurea. vt. to complain about a borrower or express misgivings concerning something loaned. 
B ngútu. n. a movable sight of a gun
O ngutu. n. Nei te Ngutu: a star
ngutu1. n. Te ngutu a white sea birdsn. Phaeton Lepturus dorotheae
ngutu2. n. skittles made of coconut shell.  ex. kinds: wae, onobua, motu. te kare ngutu: this gamete kai ni kare ngutu: stick for knocking down skittles. 
G ngutu. sn. Phaethon lepturus dorotheaen. <bird> white tailed tropic bird (This bird may be easily distinguished from the red tailed species by its two long central tail streamers, which are pure white and not as narrow as the red ones. The next adjacent feathers are also fairly long and there are eight shorter tail feathers, making twelve in all. There is more black on the wings and flanks with the rest of the plumage mainly white with or without the roseate tinge; The black eyestreaks are not so heavy. The bill is yellowish, base greyish; The legs and bases of the toes are yellowish or flesh color and the rest of the feet black.) (aa). 


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