M - m
maeto n. mole, a small mark on the skin.
maevo 1 • n. young girl, about 12-18 years. Nia maevo manihi. She's just a young girl.
2 • vi. reach puberty. Mo maevo. She's developing /reaching adolescence. Usage: Used only of females.
mahambui- n. grandson (son of son, female speaker), father's sister's son.
mahanuhanu vi. 1 • be ashamed, embarrassed. Nate mahanuhanu hinia. They weren't ashamed about it.
2 • be shy, demure.
mahariri vi. cold, in reference to weather, water, objects. See: haorahi.
mahasuhasu vi. be sweaty.
mahere vi. be straight, correct. Nia mo loli hinau mo mahere. He does things correctly.
mahivehive vi. bent over like a flexible stick or branch of tree.
mahoho vi. be bent out of shape like a tin, bent over like a tree branch.
mai1 vi. come towards.
mai2 prep. together with, and (before names or kin terms). tamaku mai tinaku my father and mother.
maimai1 vi. come in quantity. Tamalohi na maimai. Lots of people were coming.
maimai2 n. wild cane, often used as an early stake for yam vines.
maka n. mud, as in mangrove swamp area.
makaha vi. be muddy. See: hewaha.
makamaka vi. be always muddy, as in a mangrove swamp area.
makamue vi. be snapped or broken.
makavikavi vi. be soft to the touch, as with laplap, baby's skin. Variant: makavkav.
makila n. a kind of soft yam.
makira vi. be unripe, used about fruit. Ote hani na moli makira. Don't eat the unripe oranges.
makoni vi. Usage: East dialect See: mangisi.
mala1 n. hawk.
mala2 adv. possibly, unintentionally. Kambo mala jivo. We'll possibly go (but not sure). Ombo mala soari Sera tene atete? Are you likely to see Sarah or not?
malai vt. pay a fine, make a payment to someone. Vavine atea mo mai mo malai sohotina. A girl came and paid a fine to her brother.
malaivuoke n. a kind of strong yam. Variant: malaiwoke.
malalasi vi. be smooth.
malamala vi. be silly, lazy. O te malamala! Don't be silly! See: lengalenga.
malamalaia n. fine, payment in return, restitution. Nia malamalaia teleiho. It is a return payment to you.
malandalu n. old garden, after the yams have been dug out (either strong yams or soft yams).
malanga vi. 1 • split open, with one part coming off from the other.
2 • open out, slide open. Matesiai wamba mo malanga. The door of the cave slid open.
malangalanga vi. comes away very easily from other part, especially with coconut flesh coming away from shell.
malangandua n. wind from south-west, brings changeable bad weather.
malanjele vi. cry for nothing, be a 'crybaby'. Uranji mole malanjele. The child is crying for nothing.
malanji n. food leftover from previous day.
malanjiviru n. lunar wrasse, a kind of bright-coloured fish.
malao n. Incubator Bird, a kind of large blackish-brown, big-bellied ground bird, with thick yellow legs and a small reddish head. Usage: Same in East dialect Megapodius freycinet layardi.
malarani vi. shine through something, as with light through slits in a wall.
malatambuea n. 'good-for-nothing' man, useless man, such as one who won't work, knows nothing. Variant: malatambwea.
male adv. just, as in just happened this very moment, very recently, short time ago. Ku male mai ulurani nian. I just came this morning. See: mandi.
malehi vt. 1 • leave off doing something.
2 • leave someone, especially when married. Tamanatuna mo malehia. Her husband left her.
malekau n. hook.
malele n. scar, permanent markings on skin. Ka lolia mana malelena limanda. We did it with the toil of our hands. (i.e. the scarring of our hands from the hard work).
malmalung n. clam about 8cm long. See: vako.
maloko n. large stone/s which are found on the edge of the reed.
malokoiwae n. edge of the reef, where the deep water begins.
malondo vi. be broken, as with leg. See: londo.
malulum vi. be soft, tender, easy. Tawaina, nona sahasahae mo malulum. As for his brother, he has an easy job.
malumalu 1 • n. shade. Nale eno ana malumalui vumbaka. They are lying in the shade of the banyan tree.
2 • vi. be shady. No mai, mo malumalu aien. Come over, it's shady here. Variant: malmalu.
mama n. dad. Usage: Traditional familiar term, used to/of father by either male or female speaker, also to father's brother or to mother's sister's husband. Now often replaced with Bislama papa.
mamasa vi. be dry, such as the ground without rain, clothes on the washing line.
mamavo vi. be cooled down, as with a drink.
mambila vi. be shattered, broken, such as a shell, glass. See: bila.
mambu vi. 1 • breathe.
2 • have a rest.
mambu sosori vi. breathe heavily, as when nose blocked.
mambu tehi vi. gasp, take last gasp of breath. Tamalohi mo mambu tehi moiso mo mate. The man gave a last gasp and then he died.
mambua n. rest. bongi mambua holiday time.
mambue1 n. liver. Variant: mambwe.
mambue2 n. chestnut. Variant: mambwe. See: vumambue.
mambue leho n. surgeon fish.
mambue turu n. wall pattern where bamboo strips are interwoven in an upright criss-cross shape. See: aseikala.
mambue walasa n. wall pattern where bamboo strips are interwoven in a diamond shape.
mambuei bamba n. bamboo fence.
mambui soi n. ring of penis.
mambui vumbue n. circular rings around the stalk/s of bamboo.
mana1 vi. laugh.
mana2 prep. with, and. Mama mana tamalohi atea na mai. Dad and one man came. Usage: Used before nouns other than names and kin terms. See: mai.
manae n. fun, laughter.
manahi vt. laugh at someone or something, mock someone. Kule manahiho. I was laughing at you. Variant: manamanahi.
manamana vi. friendly. Votahisaku mo manamana asena. My girlfriend is very friendly.
manamanae n. friendliness.
manatu vi. go somewhere, usually closeby, where place is known to both speaker and listener. Ku sahe manatu. I'm going up over there.
mandare vi. be cracked open, like cement.
mandi adv. just, simply, merely, without any explanation. Mo mandi avutehi Natamambo. It just simply appeared on Malo. Hinau tamaute mo suiha, ku mandi hania tovona. White people's stuff (food) is plentiful, so I just eat it now.
mandi- n. fleshy part of calf of leg.
mandoa n. air.
mandohi vi. thirsty.
mandundun vi. be immersed, be soaked or soaking. Mo mandundun mo jivo ana tarusa. He was immersed in the saltwater. Variant: mandundunu.
manduru vi. broken. See: duru.
mangamanga- n. chest. Mo karu mo sahe mo tau ana mangamangana. He waded in up to his chest.
mangimangisi vi. very happy, jumping around with joy. Variant: mangmangisi.
mangisi vi. 1 • happy.
2 • proud, thinks too much of oneself.
manihi limiter. only, just. Iau manihi. It's only me/ just me.
manioko n. cassava. Manihot esculenta.
manja1 n. traditional fighting stick/s.
manja2 n. a full circle pig tusk hanging in a rombu. See: maranda.
manjao n. a kind of strong yam.
manji n. animal (general term); also used for fish, bird/s.
manji avuavu n. bird/s.
manji bulani Sakia (Sacier) n. Indian Mynah, a kind of bird with black head and body, about 24-25cm., wide white tip on undertail with a bright yellow beak & legs. Named after Frenchman thought to have introduced it to Vanuatu. Aeridotheres tristis.
manji malulum n. all kinds of fish that live in the reef.
manji matan dengandenga n. anemone fish.
manji tarusa n. ocean fish and shellfish (general term).
manjihi n. colour. Bulaku vuria rindi, manjihina mo lulu. As for my dog, his colour was white.
manjine vi. kind, generous. O manjine. You are kind. Usage: Used as an equivalent to 'thank you'.
manjinea n. kindness, generosity.
manjinehi vt. be kind to someone, show kindness. Kamim noisonduhu no manjinehiau. You all were kind to me.
manjinga vi. agree, be willing.
manjingae n. agreement, will. Manjingae noni tamaku ku lahi tamalohi rindi. It is my father's will that I marry that man.
manjingahi vt. agree with someone about something, give permission for something. Tamana mo manjingahi vonatuna mo sombue na tavonavu. Her father gave permission for his daughter to marry the Malakula man.
manjione henja n. Bluefin trevally, an ocean fish that grows to about 50cm. Caranx melampygus.
manjuri vi. come back down.
manu n. kind of flying fox (karai), with a thick blond strip of fur on its back. Na mangisi matan na lai na manu. They were happy because they'd caught the flying fox. This kind of flying fox is especially favoured for food.
manuaru n. a kind of flying fox of the manu type, with longer wings.
manuhi n. sweet smell, attraction, as when birds and flying fox are attracted to a tree for its fruit. Manuhina mo suiha. Its attraction is strong.
manusowa n. a kind of flying fox of the manu type, fat and with short wings.
maololo vi. bent over with respect. Tovon ravavine nale vanovano ana skul, na maololo. When the women are walking in the church, they are bent over with respect.
maomao vi. be tame, as with a pet dog. Bulam vuria vorivori mo maomao? Is your little dog tame? Usage: Same in East dialect
maovaova vi. pant like a dog. Usage: Usually used with reference to animals.
mara1 n. man, person belonging to a particular place or group.
mara2 n. kind of preserved food: breadfruit scooped out, put in coconut shell in salt water with stone on top for one week+, then dried in sun. Usage: Old word.
mara aimo n. See: maraimo.
maraha1 vi. make a big entrance, enter in an important way. Tamalohi mo sumbue, mo lakolako moiso mo maraha. The man became a sumbue chief, decorated himself and then made a big entrance.
maraha2 vi. cackle, make the sound a hen does after laying egg/s. O rongo na toa le maraha ulurani nian? Did you hear the hen cackling after laying this morning?
marahai n. wind from south-east to south; strong, but usually brings clear weather.
marahai tohoalau n. wind from north-east, strong, but not usually cyclone weather.
marahamba n. long white grass, as on Tanna island.
marai n. eel, white-greyish colour about one metre in length, not for eating.
marai boe n. kind of eel, with 'ears', wide black stripe on sides.
maraibalamanji n. fisherman.
maraimanja n. man who can change into an animal. See: hambalevua.
maraimo n. man of the bush, someone who lives according to traditional custom, does not go to church. Nia maraimo, nia le ovi ana Kastom. He's a man of the bush, he lives in the traditional custom way. See: marai aimo.
marairohai n. magic man.
maraiunua n. hunter.
maraivavine n. man who prefers company just of women, regarded as a sissy.
maraivitiviti n. preacher, now often used for teacher. Nia mo mai maraivitvit. S/he became a teacher. Variant: maraivitvit.
marambeliru n. kind of large 'soft' yam, white inside.
marambuelumbu n. maternal uncles, mother's brothers. Usage: Respectful term used when talking about these relatives. See: taura-.
maranda n. 1 • curved tusk/s of a male pig, highly prized when full circle.
2 • pig with a full circle re-entrant tusk.
maranjea n. mature or old man.
marasai n. stranger, outsider.
marasa- n. traditional place of family ancestors. Tandono niani tandono ni marasaku, Avunavae. This legend is a legend of my traditional place, Avunavae.
marau- n. left hand. Mole ate ana maraura. S/he's sitting on their left.
maravitu adv. nearby, close, almost, next to. Mole ovi maravitu. He lives closeby. Hanhan maravit a noha. The food's almost ready. Ku ate maravitu telei pilot. I sat next to the pilot.
mareterete vi. carry with difficulty, struggling to carry. Mo mareterete hina uranji. He's struggling with carrying the child.
marimarinjihi vi. get warm in the sun.
maringo n. west.
marinju vi. get warm by the fire.
maromaro vi. be gasping, be very weak.
maromaro busohi vi. be short of breath, as when too fat.
maromaro- n. breath, breathing. Maromarona levai aiso. His breathing is almost finished.
marongi vt. lift something very heavy.
marosahi vt. shout in a loud voice at someone, such as at children. Usage: Same in East dialect
maroto vi. be hungry all the time, always on the lookout to scrounge for food, especially without asking.
marou n. a kind of strong yam, a 'master' yam often used for ceremonies. Master yams of this type include marou bambaravu, marou daeha, marou hanjaviri, marou waitalaua.
marua vi. be hungry. See: hani maruahi.
maruae n. famine. Moiso maruae nia ana jara rindi. There was a famine in the land.
masanga1 n. fork of tree.
masanga2 n. a kind of taro (bweta).
masangasanga vi. part into different directions, to fork as with a river. Moruae rindi mo masangasanga aie. The river forked there.
masava n. horizon out to sea. Usage: Same in East dialect
masavisavi vi. soft from being overcooked, as with taro, yam or any root crop. Bueta mo masavisavi. The taro is too soft. Variant: masavsav.
masere vi. full (stomach). Kute boi kuta hanhan, ku masere. I don't want to eat any more, I'm full.
maso n. Usage: East dialect See: alo.
maso mo hiju v.phr. Usage: East dialect See: alo mo suvu.
masongisongi vi. pushed back in. Variant: masongsong.
masoru vi. hiccup.
masoso vi. happen. Nona sorae mo masoso sohen le vitia. His words happened like he had said.
masova vi. out of breath, breathless, as with after running, 'puffed'. Usage: Used about people, not animals.
masua1 n. harvest. See: bongi masua ‘harvest time’.
masua2 vi. be plentiful, not short of anything in the garden. Used with reference to food, when weather conditions are good.
matahai n. shell decoration for hair, small, made from iwewe shell; worn by men only for custom decoration.
matahi vt. look after someone or something. Usage: Same in East dialect.
matahoso vi. handsome. See: vomatahoso.
matahu vi. be scared, be frightened.
matai prep. for, about.
matai sava interr. why? O vano mataisa? Why are you going? Variant: mataisa.
matamata n. signs/s, memories.
matamatavosai vi. clever.
matamatavosai vt. understand one another. Kambo matamatavosainda. We will all understand one another.
matamatavosaia n. knowledge, understanding.
matana mo maturuturu v.phr. sleepy. Ku rongo mataku mo maturuturu. I feel sleepy.
matandengandenga n. anemone fish.
matani1 conj. because.
matani2 prep. about, for.
matasuri vi. be jealous.
matasuria n. jealousy.
matatauhi vt. choose something.
matatauhia n. choice, wish.
matateri vt. follow s.o. or s.t. closely with the eyes.
matatitisi vi. find the biggest and best for oneself, be opportunistic.
matauhi vt. fear something or someone, be scared of something or someone. Tovona uranji waririhi nate matauhi na vavine tamaute. Now the little kids aren't scared of the white woman.
matavosai vi. can, know how to, be able to. Kute matavosai ku lolia sohena. I can't do it like that.
matavuetehi vt. sing for a special or secret reason. Variant: matawetehi.
matavuotu n. an ocean fish known as Thumbprint emperor, grows to about 35-42cm. Lethrinus harak. Variant: matawotu.
matavuotu jingo vorivori n. a large ocean fish known as Longnose emperor, grows to about 70cm. Lethrinus miniatus.
matavuresi n. top part of a tree. Mo hao mo sahe ana matavuresi vumambue. He climbed up into the very top of the chestnut tree.
matawanjuhi1 vt. take care of something or someone. Ku dam mama ambo matawanjuhi kamim. I asked dad to take care of you both.
matawanjuhi2 vt. 1 • watch something carefully.
2 • spy on someone.
mata- n. eye.
mate vi. die, be dead.
matea n. death.
materetere vi. shiver, shake, as from fright or cold. Mo haorahi mo materetere. S/he's very cold and shivering.
materiteri vi. be loose, like a rope.
materitiu vi. be set free. Mo mate mue ka materitiu. He died in order that we are set free.
matesia n. door.
mati 1 • n. low tide, falling tide.
2 • vi. tide going down, low tide. Mo mati. It's low tide.
matikoru vi. be very low tide.
matua vi. firm, strong. Nora store le mauru matua. Their stories live on strongly. See: tamalohi matua.
matua- n. right hand. Mole ate ana matuaku. S/he's sitting on my right.
matumaturu soari vi. dream. Tamalohi mo matumaturu soari matan votambaluhina mo vano moiso. The man dreamt that his wife was already gone.
matumaturusoaria n. dream. Mo mai hina matumaturusoaria atea teleia. S/he came to him in a dream.
maturu vi. sleep, be asleep.
maturua n. the process of sleeping. Mo loli na maturua buhoni mo mai telei na tamalohi. He made a deep sleep come upon the man.
maturutu vi. go without food, fast.
mauliuli vi. frayed, as with edges of mat coming undone.
mauru vi. live, be alive.
mauru- n. life, lifetime. ana mauruku in my lifetime.
mauso vt. give food to someone in payment for work. Mo mausoa hina dam. He paid him with yams (for his work).
mautu vi. cancelled, stopped. Bongi welua mo mautu. The time of the dance was cancelled.
maututu vi. broken into pieces.
maviruviru vi. thinned, shrunken, as when all the fat has gone from one's body. Embena mo maviruviru. His body is shrunken.
mavo vi. heal up, as with a sore, recovered as with sickness. Embemim a mavo, nombo ta vano. When your strength (lit. your body) is recovered, you will go on your way again.
mavoka vi. open. Matesiana mo mavoka. Its door was open.
mavuni vt. make up the difference to something incomplete, as with putting in money for a wedding. O mavunia! Put in the difference!
ma- gramm.part. possessive classifier, denoting something drinkable. maku reu; mam ti my water (to drink); your tea.
mekomeko 1 • n. dust.
2 • vi. be dusty.
melao n. fishnet.
melo n. special necklace made from maranda tusks of a dead sumbwe chief, made the 3rd day after his death; worn by male relations, or others of same eating-hearth level, as part of the death ceremonies. Usage: Old word.
melomelo vi. colourless, dull, as with clothes.
memerango vi. feel disgusted.
meme- n. tongue.
mera1 n. Quoy's parrotfish, a kind of ocean fish. Scarus blochi.
mera2 vi. be a red sunset. Alo mo mera. The sun is making the clouds red (at dusk).
meremere vi. urinate.
mesu n. bush.
mo pron. he, she, it (3SG subject pronoun).
mo tete v.phr. 1 • No. Mole mai? Motete. Is he coming? No.
2 • to no avail. Mo losua mo tete. He struck out at her to no avail.
mohi n. mosquito.
moiso conj. then, afterwards. Vauranji na mule moiso na hanhan. The children came home and then they ate.
molehi vt. roll something.
molemole vi. roll over on the ground.
moli vi. become a chief, specially in the sumbwe system.
moli1 n. chief, leader.
moli2 n. orange (citrus fruit).
molimoli vi. roll something into a ball shape.
momo n. open sea. Usage: Same in East dialect
momori vt. crumble something, such as earth.
momosi v. wipe hand/s.
momovono n. open sea with no land in sight. Ku soari na momovono manihi. I see only open sea.
moru n. valley.
moruae n. flood, big river. Moruae tawera mo mai. A big flood came. Usage: Same in East dialect.
mosva interj. what! whatever happened! Tamalohi rindi mo mate. Mosva! The man died. Whatever happened!
mosvan conj. then, after that. Mosvan Herod mo mai. Then Herod came. Usage: Used frequently in old Bible, little used nowadays; moiso used instead.
mote tuai v.phr. soon afterwards, not a long time. See: ate tuai.
muala vi. naked. Variant: mwala.
muani1 n. tendon.
muani2 vi. foresee, have 'second sight'. Variant: mwani.
muania n. prophecy, foretelling future or 'seeing' the past. Variant: mwania.
muanimuanihi vt. delay something. Ku mwanmwanihia. I delayed it. Variant: muanmuanihi; mwanimwanihi.
muanjoui n. morning star (the planet Venus). Variant: mwanjoui.
muata n. snake. Variant: mwata.
muatamanjo n. a kind of soft yam. Variant: mwatamanjo.
muatamuata n. kind of laplap, cooked in snake shape in bahuru (long bamboo cylinders) over fire. Variant: mwatamwata.
mue1 n. the one. Usage: Old word, now usually replaced by muende.
mue2 dem. the one obliged to, the one who should. Nia mue a vano. He should go.
mue3 conj. so that, in order to. Usage: Old word, used in hymns and Bible, but now replaced in conversation by matan. Variant: mwe.
muele n. cycas, from vamuele cycas palm tree. Leaves (ramuele) can be used as a kind of taboo or prohibition; 'don't touch' something where the leaves are placed. Variant: mwele.
muende n. the particular one/s.
muende dem. that, those, those particular. Variant: mwende.
muera n. boy, male person. Pl: vaimuera.
muhi vt. close up something or snap something shut.
mui n. earthquake.
muiha vi. shake, ground-shaking, like an earthquake.
mule vi. return home, head for home.
? membu v.intr. die by drowning.
-m pron. your, 2SG possessive pronoun. Tamam ambea? Where's your father?
-mam pron. our, 1PL exclusive possessive pronoun. asamam our place (but not yours).
-mbo gramm.part. future marker. Ambo mai barindi? Will he come today?
-mim pron. your (2PL possessive pronoun). Asamim ambea? Where is your place (belonging to you all)?
?moru tawera n. valley, sometimes with water.
?morumoru n. dip then a rise in ground.