A dictionary of Mwotlap (Banks Is., Vanuatu)
This dictionary has no finderlist yet. To look up French or English words, open this link (entire dictionary on one page)
or this Pdf version of the dictionary, and search for a string of text [Ctrl+F/Cmd+F].






mwotlap dictionary
Index i
ige bē-vēnangēn
in lō
itōk vēlēs
iyē geh
i1   ~ mi  ptc. Durat
i-2   pf. Pred
i-3   art.
ige   [iɣɛ] sb. <Gram> Human plural, referring to an indefinite group of people (opp. kēy ‘them’, referring to a definite group).



(1) people or some people, one, others.

Nitog etet ige!
Stop looking at others!

Nēk me-mtewot en, ige aē?
When you hurt yourself, was there anyone around?

Ige tateh.
Nobody's here.

Tog vavasem hiy ige!
Don't tell anyone! [lit. don't tell people]

Iyē ma-vap tō hiy nēk? – Ige.
Who told you? – Some people.

Nēk so taq bat, ige tiple ekas nēk.
Hide yourself, someone might see you.

(2) represents the head of noun phrases of human referent, in plural.

ige qagqag wa ige mēlēmlēg
The Whites and the Blacks

ige susu wa ige lililwo
[the little ones and the big ones] children and adults

ige ta-Franis
[the people of France] the French

ige to-M̄otlap
the inhabitants of Motalava, the Motalavians

ige be-wha
[the people for music] musicians

ige bi-kikbol

ige bul son̄wul
the group of ten

ige del
[lit. 'all people'] everyone

ige geh gōh
[lit. 'people everyone here'] everyone here

ige mino
[lit. 'people mine'] my family

ige tegha

ige hip
a lot of people

ige yatkelgi
a few, some people

ige mey a mal van en
those who've already left
ige   art. plural article for human referent names (opp. na- ou zero for the singular).

ige welan

ige yathithi-k
my brothers

ige lōqōvēn

ige mōmō
⟨animal, anthropomorphic in a story⟩ the Fish
ige bē-vēnangēn  sb.


Syn: ige kastom

ige bē-vēnek

[  <°na ˌβanuˈa-gu. ]

igni~  [iɣni] sop. spouse
ili  (n-ili) [nili] noun. <Mer> seaweed

ili~  (n-ili~) [nili] -. <Anat>

(1) hair.

N-ēlēn na-lawlaw.
She's blond.

N-ēlēn na-sam̄sam̄.
She has soft hair (non-frizzy).

N-ēlēn na-damdam.
She has long hair (like White women).

(2) hair, coat.

il ‘poil humain’

(3) feather.


n-ili tutu
cock's feather

[ PNCV *vuluhair, feather’. POc *pulu. ]

ilil   [ilil] transitive verb. <Art>

(1) paint ‹› meticulously and carefully (opp. suw), draw patterns, esp. in the art of sacred masks (na-tmat).

Syn: lem̄eh

Syn: benem

(2) paint ‹one's body›, ex. before dancing the striped costume dance (ne-m̄e).

ilil   (n-ilil) noun.

(1) painting: material, colour or aspect of a painted object.

(2) colour, even natural.

Woqse ilil!
There are plenty of colours!
il-qōn̄  (n-ilqōn̄) [nilk​͡pʷʊŋ] noun. <Zool> lit. “black hair” : small dark bat. Cf. lōslōs “bat”.

lōslōs ‘chauve-souris’

N-ilqōn̄, qe so ni-nti qeyet susu.
The n-ilqōn̄, is what you might call a baby dogfish.

N-ilqōn̄ vitwag ma-gap me hiy no: wun na-matmat mino ē-gēn, yēhē yantintik !
I've just seen a bat fly towards me: it probably means I'm going to die soon, my dear children!
imam   [imam] sb. <Parenté> father.

(1) Dad: term of address.

(2) father: term of reference.

higher register: itme~

imam   transitive verb. call someone Dad, consider someone as one's father.

Nok imam nēk, veg nēk me-lep vasgēt tō no l-ēm̄ nōnōm en.
I consider you as my father [as:lit. I "dad" you], because you offered me hospitality in your house.

[ Mota mama. PNCV *mamafather (term of address)’. ]

in1   (n-in) [nin] noun. <Mer> sea worm, greenish sea ringworm, eaten in October and November when they appear on the surface of the water. Annelides spp.

[ Mota un. ]

in2   [in] transitive verb. drink.

higher register: dolm̄eg

in nē-bē
drink water

in nō-wōh
drink coconut milk

in mah
[drink-dry]bottoms-up, drink to the last drop

in tokosm̄eg
drink too much

Dō so van in na-ga?
Are we going to drink kava?

Iyah, nēk so in te me?
Here, do you want a drink?

Itōk gēn in!
[lit. let's drink well!] Good health!

[ POc *inum. ]

in lō  [in lʊ] transitive verb.

(1) be the first guest to drink ‹›, inaugurate ‹kava+›.

Toy goy nen en, tō kē ni-in lō na-ga.
At the end of his speech, he drinks the first bowl of kava.

(2) celebrate, inaugurate ‹› by raising one's glass.

Gēn in lō ne-meskēt gayaq mi na-ga.
We'll inaugurate our new harpoon with some kava (i.e. drink kava to 'mark the event').
inin  (n-inin) [ninin] noun.

(1) drink. Name derived from in ‘drink'.

Kē ni-yon̄teg na-matheg bē ni-ak kē, kē ni-lep n-inin na-man e tō ni-in.

(2) strong alohol, whisky, eau-de-vie.

Syn: nē-bē maymay

inm̄eg  [inŋ​͡mʷɛɣ] transitive verb. harass ‹s.o›, harmlessly (e.g. tickle) or harmfully (e.g. harass an enemy).
inti~  [inti] sop. pikinini
ip1   (n-ip) [nip] noun. <Bot> Island teak or ironwood, bsl. Natora. Intsia bijuga.

[ PMP *qipilAfzelia bijuga’. ]

ip2   [ip] intransitive verb.
iplu~  [iplu] sop. friend, comrade, companion.

[ Mota valu-imatch, fellow, mate’. Cf vulu . ]

itan  [itan] sb.

(1) the other (of two).

Syn: vitwag

Ikē te, mey itan.
It's not him, it's the other one.

(2) next.

li-wik itan
next week

lō-wōl itan
next month

l-ēte itan, si so l-ēte mey van hiy
next year, or the year after


Nēk ukēg itan, tō itan ni-boel lok se aē!
You stop arguing with one, and the other one gets angry.

[ Mota <°í tuána.  tuafellow, companion, assistant’. ]

itat   [itat] sb. maternal uncle.
itat   transitive verb. call s.o uncle, consider s.o as one's uncle.

itbu~  [itᵐbu] ~ itqu~  sop. ancestor
ithi~  [ithi] sop. brother or sister : same-sex sibling ; includes cousins, whether parallel or cross-cousins.

Ant: tēte~

itme~  [itmɛ] sop.
itōk  [itʊk] préd. good, well.

higher register: m̄isi

Ant: het ‘mauvais’

(1) be good.

Na-haphap del itōk.
[all things are good] All's well.

Itōk anen.
That's good, it's perfect.

Itōk vēlēs.
It's OK, no problem.

Itōk gēn in!
[lit. let's drink well!] Good health! Cheers!

(2) it would be good if, it would be better if.

Nēk rin̄ lok me la-yavēg itōk.
It would be good/better if you phoned on Saturday

Nēk ta-vap ēgē tō me, togtō itōk.
You would have done better to tell me earlier.

(3) OK, I agree; yes; very well, too bad, if you like.

Dō ak-vayge bah tusu! – Itōk.
Supposing we had our meal first. – OK.

No et-eksas te kē. – Itōk.
I can't find it. – Oh well, never mind.

Inti may qelen̄. – De? Itōk.
Your son has disappeared. – Really? OK.

(4) to be in good health, feel good.

Nēk itōk, si ne-het? – Ino itōk vēlēs, ba inēk?
Do you feel alright [or not]? – I'm OK, how about you?

(5) looking nice, pretty; (man, woman) well presented.

Na-m̄alm̄al itōktōk a itōktōk lēs!
A terrific girl, really terrific!

itōk vēlēs  expr.

vēlēs [1A]

higher register: nēwē vēlēs

Kemem itōk vēlēs.

Itōk vēlēs, tog dēmdēm van aē.

Ikē itōk vēlēs; ba ēthēn en, kē na-waksē meh.

Nok so wos mi nu-busmayaw, si so lēg mi na-gayga? – Itōk vēlēs.

Dō so van ave? Ino itōk vēlēs.
ivē~  [iβɪ] sop.
iyē  [ijɪ] -. : who. Tonic form of , spec. depending on the predicate.

Imam nōnōm iyē?
Who's your father?

Na-he iyē?
[your name is who?] What's your name?

Iyē mē-wēl van na-mtehal nōnōm?
Who paid for your journey?

Iyē nen?
Who is it?

i- + yē.

iyē geh  -. question 'Who?' referring to several people simultaneously, but considered individually (opp. iyē ‘who?’ referring either to a single person or to several people seen as a group).


geh ‘Distributif’

Iyē geh nen?
Who is it? Who are these people? (what are their names, all of them?)

Iyē geh ni-haghaghiy bō-yōstiwag nan?
Who sits on this council? (what are the names of these people?)
▲ Back to top ▲