Pidgin is generally pronounced phonetically, although:

  • a 's are pronounced like u 's
  • u 's are pronounced like oo in too
  • i 's are generally soft at the beginning or within a word but hard at the end
  • ai 's are pronounced as in eye
  • au 's are pronounced ow as in cow

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abrusim olgeta arapela kuntri
Pidgin for: "surpasses every other country". Back | Top
after laugh thing
When two or more Papua New Guineans (sometimes a whole class, sometimes a whole school) find something amusing, they will go, Whooop. Wooooo very loudly and in unison. Quite eerie. Back | Top
Aibika is one of the few green vegetables that is grown on the coast, and is one of the most delicious green vegetables I have ever tasted. I is perennial (I think) but treated as an annual, growing to about 1.5m high with heart shaped leaves about 100mm across. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "tears"
ai for eye
wara for water. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "afternoon"; used as a greeting almost at any time in the day. Back | Top
Pidgin for: the base, bottom, source or beginning of someone or something. "as bilong diwai" refers to a tree's roots; "asples" refers to the place where you were born. Back | Top
A species of bean which is grown for its edible roots. These roots are about 50mm long and 15mm in diameter; they are sold cooked in the markets, and taste somewhat like a nutty potato.
as means roots
bin for bean. Back | Top
The plants (not necessarily grass) worn at the rear  usually tucked into a belt  covering your bottom. The traditional dress is a laplap worn at the front, and asgras at the rear, see A Pictorial: Mount Hagen Cultural Show and Andy in Full Bilas shows the laplap at the front and the asgras at the rear quite well. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "without pants".
as means bottom,
nating means "with nothing". Back | Top
Pidgin for: "The place where you were born".
as means source.
ples means village. Back | Top
banana boat
The banana boats that are used in Rabaul are a long runabout [see Leaving Pigeon Island ]. I guess they get the name banana from the long curved shape. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "side", and therefore: edge, fence, container. "Banis bilong susu " is a bra; actually a bra can also be called " kalabus bilong susu ": i.e. breast prison. Back | Top
Banz Click to go to the maps page
The closest town to the College, about 5 minutes drive on a sealed road, the Banz Highway was once was the main road across the mountains to the Coast. Once quite a busy centre  I did see some old photos of one of Australia's Prime Ministers at a function in Banz  but now is looking tired and rundown. Back | Top
Banz Club
The Banz Club is a relic from colonial times. I kept expecting to see Humphrey Bogart there leaning on the piano. These days everyone can become a member, although most of the locals go to the Banz Hotel across the road. On Sundays they allow missionaries who are not members to come in and use their facilities, which includes a playable tennis court (although in our second year the tennis court was torn up to add drainage for the whole year!) and a swimming pool (the pool still sports a sign from last years drought: Owing to the shortage of water because of the drought, only lanes 1, 2 and 3 of the pool will be open, see Swimming at the Banz Club. See also The Banz Club Robbed Again. Back | Top
betel nut
Betel nut, or buai, is the fruit of a palm. It is chewed with lime (standard builders lime bought from the hardware store) and daka (which is the bean of a climbing plant). When chewed together the mixture becomes bright red and produces an excess of saliva, which needs to be spat. It is a mild narcotic. It has been a coastal tradition for many centuries; but is relatively new to the highlands and some other areas (such as Port Moresby). See Jesse up a buai palm. Back | Top
Big Man
A big man is a leader or important person. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "big"; When used with a capital, it means God. Back | Top
Bikpela pait i kamap! Olgeta man i throwim ston.
Pidgin for: "A big fight has erupted! All the men are throwing stones. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "decoration". Often used for decoration of the human body, but can also be used for the decoration of anything. The Papua New Guineans are rampant decorators, if they see something decorative, they will put it on (for example: it is not unusual to see people decorating themselves with the ring pulls from soft drink cans, or smearing paint or any other coloured substance on their face); consequently they will gladly decorate waitskins if the opportunity arises (such as Andy ): Our boys sporting some opportunistic bilasing [see also: Bernadette bilas'd, Andrew Mangi bilas'd, The Bikman of Fatima bilas'd and Mount Hagen Show Pictorial ] Back | Top
Bilong wanem
Pidgin for: "Why". Back | Top
A bilim is a knitted or woven bag. In the highlands they use bright coloured wool in simple geometric designs and sometimes use cus cus fur as well. The straps are worn across the forehead with the bag falling over the shoulders and down the back [see The Banz Highway Sketch ]. They are used to carry anything that can be carried: kaukau (up to 30 kg), eskis, babies (these usually have their straps tied so that they can be lain flat). Bilims can be seen in many of the photos, Keren is carrying one in Independence Day at the College, in Mt. Hagen Market the materials for making bilims are laid out for sale on the ground Back | Top
bitter gourd
The bitter gourd plant is a dainty climber in the cucumber/pumpkin family. It has pretty little yellow stellate flowers which produce a cucumber like fruit about 100 mm long and 40 mm diameter, with a ribbed and warty surface. The Indian priests grow it, using it in pickles and chutnies. It is extremely bitter to the taste. It is almost edible when it is fried with copious amounts of salt and oil until it is almost charcoal, but then it must be bad for your health. Back | Top
bokis igat wil
Pidgin for: A box that has wheels Back | Top
The PMVs have two crew members: the driver (who is commonly the owner) and the boskrew, who takes the money and coerces passengers into the vehicle. Back | Top
boskrew speak for " Buai market ". Back | Top
Buai Market
The Buai Market is a market that the city authority does not approve (because the betel nut spit makes such a mess), so it is hosted on private land. It is the most horrid place I have ever seen, mud up to the calfs, stink of rotting vegetables and heaps of people most of whom are throwing darts under the influence. See Betel Nut. Back | Top
Pidgin for: ruin, wreck, break, destroy. Back | Top
bagarupim gaden bilong ol narapela man
Pidgin for: "destroy the garden of someone else". Back | Top
Pidgin for: "meeting or grouping together for a purpose", in many senses of the word: people or roads bung, but a car accident is not a bung, it is a bamp. Back | Top
bush knife
Bush knives are an essential accessory in Papua New Guinea, for both fashion and work (legal or illegal). Bush knives come in a range of sizes, the smaller ones about 450mm (18") long and the longer ones are up to about 800mm (32"). For Nathanael's garden work days at school all the school children had to either bring a bush knife or a spade; all the boys brought bush knives and all the girls brought spades.
One of the funniest stories about bush knives involves raskols in Hagen. You are not allowed to bring your bush knife into the town area of Mt. Hagen, but the serious raskols obviously need their tools of trade, so they often secret them somewhere on their person. Br. Maurice told us that he saw a raskol, who had stolen a bilim from someone, running at full speed down the main street of Mt. Hagen with a long bush knife hidden down one leg of his pants& without cutting off any body parts! Back | Top
Busnaip i kutim mi!
Pidgin for: "I've been cut by a bush knife !" Back | Top
Cargo Cult
This is a religious phenomenon (or maybe a once religious phenomenon) that came from the second world war, where the allied armies would drop supplies to planned camps from planes. This mystified the natives, who began to worship both the big birds who dropped such amazing eggs, and the cargo itself. Today Cargo Cult is more characterised by the nationals thinking, If its western, then its OK and if you are from the west, then you are rich and will give them what they need (and want). Although as late as the 70s human sacrifices were offered by national gold explorers who were not finding what they hoped. Back | Top
chicken coop
The boys and I designed and constructed a portable chicken coop for about 6 chickens. It is based on a series of in-line triangles which define the separate areas: run, roost and egg box. The original can be seen in The Chook House ; We eventually had to build another fence around it as it turned out to be a dog attractor: see the result in The New Chook House, and a photo of our chooks running free in   Our Chooks Back | Top
The Clark Children
The children of our neighbour/landlord in Sydney: Michelle, Alastair, Cherie and Lindsay. They flew in for 4 days on their way home from visiting their father on New Ireland. All the 7 kids get on so well, it was like a 3 day party with one day of mourning at the end [see Swimming at the River, Swimming at the Banz Club, Fishing for a BBQ sausage ]; and then we met up with them at their father's place in Rabaul [see Easter in Rabaul ]. Back | Top
The Fatima Clinic is an aid post (officially called a sub-Health Centre), situated in the village of Fatima (10 minutes walk down the sealed (and very hard on your feet) road ). Sandi does one morning each Monday volunteer work. Nursing basically, but nursing in Papua New Guinea involves diagnosis, prescription and referring (which was something that Sandi found hard to get used to: like the time when she was treating one of the patients with a sore on his mouth that Sandi did not recognise, so she asked Lilian who said, Thats OK. I'll deal with that: its syphillis. Back | Top
Compensation is the default insurance agency in the villages. It is taken for granted that if you cut someone's finger off, kill someone, run over a dog (or worse, a pig) or your dog bites someone: compensation will be paid. Compensation is usually made up of money and pigs, but recently two girls were included in a large pay out  which generated some serious comments from the churches.

If two villages were fighting, and there were 7 dead on one side and 10 on the other, they would keep fighting until the amount of dead people were about equal. Then compensation would be made for each person. Back | Top

cooking bananas
Cooking bananas are slightly longer and thinner than what we are used to in Sydney. The locals usually wrap up the whole bunch while they are still developing on the tree, which means they become pentagonal in section in those cramped conditions. They are extremely hard, almost wood like until you cook them, when they become like soft wood.
I must admit that I did not like them at the beginning, but over time have become quite addicted to them; even in choosing them in preference from a roadside stall! See Fr. Varian Cooking Bananas and the bananas seen in The Village Behind Kudjip are cooking bananas Back | Top
Culture Shock
This is the pressure that comes on the cultural foundation of your personality when you move to a different culture; and after adjusting to the new culture, it comes again when you go back home! See A Short Note Back | Top
Pidgin for: "dry". When it comes to coconuts, dry means the ripe or mature coconut where the meat is hard, and the milk is not usually drunk. Back | Top
emi kamap les
Pidgin for: "they are not happy". Back | Top
Em i no gut yu stap long taim
Pidgin for: "It is not a good idea for you to stay a long time". Back | Top
emi numbawan
Pidgin for: "It is the best".
numbawan is number one, or the first, best. Back | Top
Emi samting nating
Pidgin for: "It is/was nothing", i.e. Dont worry about it Back | Top
emi stap long narapela hap
Pidgin for: "She is somewhere else" Back | Top
This is the pidgin name given to cooked flour, often as pikelets or deep fried balls. Usually plain and unsalted and always without any raising agent. Not too bad with the very sweet village coffee Back | Top
Fr. Peter Secondary School
This is the school Jesse and Keren attended. The year before we arrived it was renamed from Fatima Secondary School to honour Fr. Peter (a Dutch S.V.D.) who has been here for 40 years, and made Fatima what it is today. Back | Top
German volunteers
G.D.S. the German Development Service has 4 volunteers in Fatima. Andy & Iris, and Karl & Peggy who become pregnant with their first child during our first year (I couldt believe how soppy Sandi became!)  Norbert and Elke are with the Lutheran Development Service. Back | Top
Good Shepherd College
Good Shepherd College is a major Diocesan seminary for the Papua New Guinea and Soloman Islands, located in Fatima near the village of Banz. It has a total student population of around 100 students in 3 years (located in ten dormitories of ten students each: see An Aerial Photo ); academic staff numbers tended to fluctuate between 5 and 12 Religious from various parts of the world (this was one of the hardest jobs of my boss the Rector : to fill the academic positions of the College on local wages [when I arrived I paid us all K180 per fortnight ~= AUD$45 per week]); ancillary staff numbers (student cooks Jack & Vitas, staff cooks, security and a gardener ) were around six and one administration worker ( me ).
Most of the students first spend two years in the seminary in Madang, then three years at Good Shepherd, a year spent in retreat and in a parish and finally another three years in Port Moresby. It is a huge programme, which is designed to thoroughly discern the fellow's calling to the Priesthood ( or not )
The College has a standard PNG electrical supply, backed up with a generator for the all too frequent outages; water is pumped up from the Wara Ka [see The Swimming Hole ] for laundry and toilets [see College Water and Pit Toilets ] with rainwater for drinking [see Anyone Want to Buy a Pump ]; the vegetable garden should be more self sufficient (but isn't) [see The College Garden ] Back | Top
Goroka Coffee
Goroka Coffee is a well established coffee packager and exporter (Goroka being the Provincial Capital of the Eastern Highlands Province, see The PNG Map ).
Goroka Coffee's slogan was Goroka Coffee: it keeps you up longer, which really was funny when it was displayed in the hevilift terminal at Hagen Airport Back | Top
A term used to describe anything green and at least partially edible from the garden. Back | Top
Graun i bruk
Pidgin for: "The ground is broken". Back | Top
Pidgin for: "good night", used as a greeting. Often wandering back to the College from Fatima at night you would suddenly hear a disembodied gudnait before you could make out the dark skinned person walking in the opposite direction  there are no street lights in Fatima or Banz! Actually, although the gudnaits were a bit of a surprise in the dark, their mild shock were far more preferable to almost crashing into someone walking the other way: the locals are almost invisible at night Back | Top
Pidgin for anything made of rubber or rubbery. Mostly used though to describe the inner tube of a tyre, and the action of floating down rivers on an inflated gumi. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "shaking". Can be used for shivering, twitching or earthquakes. The guria bird is the largest species of pigeon in the world (I think) and shakes it's tail back and forwards: hence its name. Back | Top
This is an endemic activity in Papua New Guinea: everyone shakes your hand! Sometimes it can take hours to walk the shortest distance because of all stopping and handshaking. And whilst stopped and talking hands are often held during the length of the conversation, which was something that I had to get used to initially but after I did, I grew to really appreciate that common decency. Some provinces used to have finny little things they did with their fingers that went click! (like two people using each others fingers to click with), but now handshaking is almost universal. Sometimes it is reduced to just finger shaking. Back | Top
hansapim managa, stilim blanket, praitim meri na stilim pump
Pidgin for: "holding up the manager, stealing blankets, scaring the women and stealing pumps". Back | Top
hat bilim
The hat bilim is beanie like hat that is made of similar materials and style as the bilim Iris is wearing a great hat bilim in the photo of her farewell and Nathanael has one on in The Baby Boombers Big Band Back | Top
Pidgin for: house, or any building (not necessarily for residential use Back | Top
Haus Guria
Pidgin for "shaking house". The Haus Guria is the earthquake and volcanic observatory in Rabaul.
Guria for earthquake
Haus for museum. Back | Top
haus kakaruk istap inup long pasim olgeta dok
Pidgin for: "Chook house which can stop all dogs"
See also: kakaruk
See us celebrating its completion in The New Chook House and the original coop Back | Top
haus kaukau
Pidgin for: "sweet potato house"
haus is house
kaukau is sweet potato. Back | Top
haus krai
This is the Pidgin for the time of mourning held at the dead person's house. Back | Top
haus kuk
Pidgin for: "outside kitchen"
haus is house
kuk is cook. Back | Top
haus kunai
Pidgin for: "Grass house", i.e. a highlands house made of natural materials. Often one roomed, with a earth floor; thatched and with woven walls made from pitpit or bamboo [see The Village Behind Kudjip ].
haus is house
kunai is a local grass used for thatching. Back | Top
Haus Sekuriti
Pidgin for: Security House, a building for the security men to use. Back | Top
haus sik
Pidgin for: "hospital"
haus is house
sik is sick, or for the sick. Back | Top
haus win
This is a bush material structure ( kunai grass thatch, pitpit woven blinds - walling), an adjunct to ones house where you may cook, sit around the fire and talk the day away. The College has a new one, without walls, but with benches: more of a glorified pergola [read about it in , Security ; see The Staff Haus Win ; these are wonderfully structures and can be used for lots of different activities, see Fishing for a BBQed Sausage. See other traditional bush material houses in Waiting for Wages Back | Top
igat laip yet
Pidgin for: "are still alive". Back | Top
Pidgin for: "inside". When travelling, inside means off the road or track. That is, to go inside the bush, or village, instead of going past (on the outside). Back | Top
i winim olgeta arapela wara kalup !
Pidgin for: "it beats every other waterfall! Back | Top
Jais Aben
Jais Aben is another of the Madang resorts, owned by a German fellow I think, and so, popular with the German missionaries. Back | Top
jam making
Another Get Rich Quick scheme by the Mowbray boys. This one involves plenty of paw paw (we have many paw paw trees at the college), some pineapple, lots of sugar, as many scrounged jars you can find and some professional looking computer generated labels. They had been selling them to expats and some of the local people around here, but after a lot of prompting, pushing and kicking, they took them down to the Fatima Canteen, where they are currently selling like hot cakes! Back | Top
Jisas, em i winman
Pidgin for: "Jesus is Lord" or "Jesus is Victor". Back | Top
Ka i kum
This one was not too hard to learn: ka i kum is Pidgin for "a car is coming", although it may be a truck. When walking along the road, you would hear it constantly as everyone would be looking out for each other. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "eating or food". Kai is food, so in town there are kaibar (where you can buy take-aways), hauskai (places, possibly restaurants, where you can kaikai ) Back | Top
Pidgin for: "chicken". Kakarukman is a rooster, kakarukmeri is a hen. See our wonderful chooks Back | Top
Pidgin for: "prison". Back | Top
kalup kalup
Pidgin for: "jump up and down repeatedly". Used to describe the action used in the vaipa, see The Vaipa. A single kalup would be used for "jump up", as in "kalup long baksait bilong ka" or wara kalup Back | Top
Pidgin for: "metal sheeting" as used in roofing. Permanent Churches which are roofed and clad in kapa are called kapa sios, see Kondapina Catholic Church Back | Top
Sweet potato. A creeper in the Convolvulaceae family with pretty little mauve Morning Glory flowers. It produces a large tumourous root which is roasted and eaten. Apparently there are over 700 varieties of kaukau, but here in the highlands there are two that are commonly grown: an orange and a white variety. Back | Top
A kina is both a shell and the name of the main unit of currency in Papua New Guinea, its symbol being a capital 'K' [see Kina Notes ]; K1.00 = 100t. At one stage the Kina was worth more than the Australian Dollar, but when we were there it dived from about 60˘ to 40˘, which really played havoc with our wages (we were paid a 'local' wage in Kina, which at time was equivalent to about $45/week)!
Kina shells were once used as money, and still are in some areas. When the first white men walked into the Wahgi Valley in the 1930's they carried many kina shells to give to the natives in trade. Maria's father still wears a kina shell given to him by one of the Leahy brothers. Back | Top
kisim skin tasol
Pidgin for: "Took only the skin". Back | Top
Pidgin for: "close to", "you're close". Back | Top
Pidgin for: "coffee". A coffee bush can be seen in the photo A Picnic by the Wahgi Back | Top
Our second puskat. Our first cat was called PK for puskat. Read the story in What is the Feminine of PK? Back | Top
Kudjip is the rot bung (road junction) of the Minj Highway and the road to Banz ( Banz Highway ): about 15 minutes drive from the College. It is where the Kudjip Nazarene Hospital is located. The American Nazarene Missionaries proved to be a real lifesaver to us and our feelings of isolation within the religious community at the College, and so became very good friends. Our initial contact was with Jim via a hospital appointment with Jesse, then basketball and the kids sharing in the Saturday morning "witnessing" to the sick in the wards at the hospital; and through them we got to know many more of the missionaries there: The Duggers, The Potters, The Wards, The McCoys etc. many unfortunately we never took photos of. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "cook"; therefore heat, set fire to, burn or cook. Back | Top
Kulau is the green or immature coconut. The milk is sweet and can sometimes be eaten with the meat (which is still soft) mixed together with a spoon. When the coconut becomes ripe and hard it is called drai Back | Top
A local grass grown throughout most of the highlands. It makes a wonderful thatch that will last for up to 8 years (the sago palm thatch on the coast needs replacing nearly every 3 years, which is why you hardly ever see houses in thatch on the coast these days) [see The Village Behind Kudjip ] Back | Top
Pidgin for: "family", generally extended as in family line. Back | Top
lamb flaps
Lamb flaps is the brisket from a lamb. Because this is a very fatty cut of meat and most of western society have moved away from fatty foods, nearly all of Australia's and New Zealand's lamb flaps must be exported to Papua New Guinea for their consumption; they love it because it is so fatty! This money making scheme of western farmers has led to such an increase in fat consumption amongst Papua New Guineans (because traditionally they could not continually grow so much fat with their pigs), the PNG equivalent of the Heart Foundation is now taking out half page ads in the local papers trying to get the locals not to eat so much lamb flaps! Back | Top
Pidgin for: "a piece of cloth". Usually the cloth worn around the waist by both men and women. Now days the laplaps worn for everyday use are mass produced and screen printed in various designs, traditionally they were woven; see A Pictorial: Mount Hagen Cultural Show. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "old" or "Old person". Back | Top
les tru
Pidgin for: "completely fed up" or "I've absolutely had enough"; see tru tru Back | Top
Mail takes about 10  14 days to reach here from Australia or New Zealand, a month from Thailand& as long as there is no tribal dispute!. Parcels take much longer though: I bumping into Elke in the Banz Post Office shortly after we arrived in Papua New Guinea (about February), she was picking up a Christmas parcel from Germany. We said, "That has arrived in fairly good time", to which she replied, "It was for Christmas two Christmases ago!" Back | Top
Pidgin for: "little". Back | Top
long long
Pidgin for: "crazy" or "insane". Our local long long man was Mathias, who was generally very harmless and looked after by all his relatives in the village Back | Top
Pidgin for: "Church service". Back | Top
Madang Click to go to the maps page
Madang is a beautiful coastal town on the North side of Papua New Guinea, and very popular with expatriates for holidays. We are planning a trip down to Madang to stay in some of the students village there over the Christmas break. See the story in Our Madang Holiday Back | Top
Maket Meri
A woman who sells produce at the market.
Maket is market
Meri is woman. Back | Top
The markets here sell mostly excess garden produce from the local area ( kaukau, sugar cane, bananas, etc.), but the bigger markets can sell almost anything: coconuts from Madang, plastic bags, carvings from the Sepik, etc. They are busy places, full of hustle and bustle and commonly (for westerners), places where pick-pockets reign [See Mt. Hagen Market, Morning at Mount Hagen Market and Mt Hagen Market ] Back | Top
Pidgin for: "ripe" Back | Top
Pidgin for: "Driveway or Main road into a place"
Maus is mouth or beginning;
rot is road or path Back | Top
Pidgin for: "woman" or "women" Back | Top
meri blaus
A simple, loose fitting blouse that goes from neck to knee, usually in a bright patterned cloth. A couple of PNG women tried to teach Sandi how to make one: they would do it with natural native talent without patterns, which made it very difficult for Sandi who had to keep getting them to stop and go over certain bits again.

When a meri blaus is worn with a matching lap lap it is commonly called the uniform amongst Papua New Guinean women. Back | Top
Mi kilim dai tupela raskol i laik pasim mi
Pidgin for: "I killed two raskols who wanted to stop me." Back | Top
Mi kum wantaim pikanini bilong mi.
Pidgin for: "I've come with my child." Back | Top
Mipela i laikem stap liklik taim moa yet!
Pidgin for: "We would like to stay a little more time!" Back | Top
Mi laikem dispela tok belong PNG
Pidgin for: "I like the language of Papua New Guinea" Although Tok Pisin is very similar to English it is amazing how hard it is to understand (which we found when we came back to Australia and no one could understand us)! But it is a lovely descriptive language which is lots of fun to speak, and one which is changing very quickly as more and more locals become more educated. For example, all the books we read before we went called a bicycle a wilwil (as in two wheels [ wil ], but all the locals referred to it simply as a bike. Back | Top
Mipela bai go
Pidgin for: "We will leave". Back | Top
mipela no likem suga
Pidgin for: "We do not want sugar". Back | Top
Mt. Hagen Click to go to the maps page
Mt. Hagen is the capital of Western Highlands Province. It is about a 45-60 minute drive from the College along a road that was only sealed a year or two before we arrived in PNG.

It is a large town, with many two story buildings; but showing the lack of regular maintenance. For photos of Mt Hagen see: Hagen PNGBC, Hagen Best Buy and Main Street: Mt. Hagen. Back | Top
Mt. Wilhelm Click to go to the maps page
The highest mountain in Papua New Guinea. 4508 m above sea level. Read about our climb in I feel on top of the world, looking down on creation, and the only explanation& Back | Top
Pidgin for: "Good Morning", a greeting which can be said at almost any time of the day. Back | Top
A method of cooking in which the food (often pigs, chickens, kaukau, cooking bananas, taro and greens ) are placed into a hole with hot rocks, covered with banana leaves and soil, and left to cook/steam. A soup is often cooked over a fire as well, which will contain cabbage, greens and sometimes meat as well. It often is quite oily. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "beach". Back | Top
When someone is named after you, they become your name-sake. My little nemsek, Smol Peri, was Jack's most recent boy and quite cute (though I never got to play with him). See Jack Ande and Family Jim Radcliffe, the surgeon at Kudjip (and therefore having a great impact on people's lives) had something like 18 name-sakes: ranging from "Jim" to "Radcliffe" and including a few named "Jim Radcliffe" and even one "Dr. Jim" (which is not bad for a Christian name!) Back | Top
Pidgin for: "no", "not" or "empty". Back | Top
Olgeta klos yumi kisim, i klos bilong waitman tasol
Pidgin for: "All the clothes that we buy are only western clothes". Back | Top
All the parishes in Papua New Guinea are built up of smaller communities, called outstations, which have their own church. Mass is said once a fortnight in these outstations, and is very localised, often informal and usually extremely beautiful and spiritually powerful. Read about experiences at the outstations in: Sunday at the local church, Church: Sunday, August 9 1998, What will you miss most about Papua New Guinea when you move back to Australia? and see a sketch of an outstation in Sios Bilong Kondapina. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "father", and means father in the normal sense as well as owner of something (not necessarily physical). Back | Top
payBack | Top
Payback in Papua New Guinea is not in the classical biblical model. The payback will often be much worse than the original offense, possibly years after the original offense and may be executed on a relative only remotely related to the original offender; and may in turn will generate a payback. Back | Top
Pick-Pockets do a roaring trade in Mt. Hagen, or any other crowded place. They can often work in pairs: I remember Br. Jef telling me of an occasion when he was pick-pocketed in the market. First a fellow bumped him on the left side, and as he straightened himself and looked over, a fellow took the K2 from his top shirt pocket from the right side. He quickly realised and the fellow was brought forward with beatings, probably with the hope of a reward.
See Our Weekly Trip to Hagen for a description of one of our experiences at the market. After this Sandi did not want to shop in the market alone anymore.
Another time Sandi was shopping with Francis at the market and saw a fellow with his hand inside Francis' pants pocket, but when she confronted him he said that Francis had dropped it! He was dragged off to the little kalabus for the police to take him away. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "rubbish", in any sense. Sometimes what someone is saying could be described as pipia tok Back | Top
Pidgin for: "bird". Back | Top
Pitpit is a grass which grows to about 3m high and has stems up to 2cm thick. There are two types of pitpit, coastal and highlands. The new shoots of the coastal variety is used as a food source (and is quite tasty, not unlike asparagus), the highlands variety is used in building [see the Village Behind Kudjip ]. Back | Top
Our first cat. PK is short for the Pidgin word for cat: Puskat. PK was killed by local dogs and later found on our back lawn. See: PK, The Adoorable Cat and The Life and Times of PK ; Related Photos: PK on the back lawn and PK in a basket Back | Top
Pidgin for: "place", and by extension: location or village Back | Top
Short for Public Motor Vehicle. Actually a private vehicle used for public transport. Usually vans or small trucks [see A Real Smoke Belcher and A PMV on the road ; The Story Morning at Mount Hagen Market contains a description of how the PMVs operate]. Back | Top
PNG Taim
Pidgin for: "PNG Time". In other Pacific Ocean nations it is called "Island Time". It is the ability of the local people to have no concept for time, as we know it. PNG time is always late or early, and in many cases is an excuse [see PNG Taim ]. Back | Top
Prais i antop tu mus, mipela bai lusem yutupela.
Pidgin for: "The price is too high, we will leave you here. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "cat". Can be shortened to pusi. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "child" or "baby", of any living thing. Back | Top
pikanini puskat
Pidgin for: "kitten".
pikanini means baby or child
puskat means cat. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "crocodile". Back | Top
The Radcliffes are career missionaries from the USA with the Nazarene Church. Jim is the head surgeon at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital. With Kathy his wife, they have 6½ children (at the time of writing): Ben (17), Becka (15), Tim (11), Pricilla (5), Josiah (2) and an unnamed baby inutero (was to be revealed as Lydia) [see The Radcliffe Family, At Suicide Rocks with the Radcliffes and Relaxing at the Highlander ]. We met them once when Jesse was very sick and had to be taken to the hospital after many days of extremely high temperatures that Sandi couldnt get down. Jim looked at Jesse, who was looking like death warmed up, and said to Sandi, Does he play basketball? They have been playing most Tuesdays and Thursdays since, with a few competition games on Saturday [see The Basketball Team ]. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "criminal" in many varying degrees. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "go" or "remove", generally used with plenty of urgency. Back | Top
Pidgin for: road or path; in many senses either literally as the physical path walked upon, or metaphorically as the journey of life or the course of a speech.
Back | Top
rot bung
Pidgin for: "road junction", i.e. where roads meet
rot is road,
bung is junction. Back | Top
Pidgin word for the Sago Palm Back | Top
sekim han bilong olgeta manmeri
Pidgin for: "shake hands with everyone", see handshaking. Back | Top
sing sing
Pidgin for the singing and dancing festivals or celebrations; the cultural shows [eg Mt Hagen Cultural Show ] are now considered sing sings Back | Top
Pidgin for: "fever". Back | Top
Pidgin for: "ocean", i.e. salt water
sol for salt
wara for water. Back | Top
Pidgin for faint, drunk or even fit (with a little guria ) Back | Top
Pidgin for: "a drunk man"
spak for drunk,
man for man (or meri for a woman). Back | Top
Pidgin for: "shop", the noun, not the verb (which in Pidgin would be kisim) Back | Top
A pidgin word used to describe the English concepts of tough, concentrated, hard to break or chew. Back | Top
sugar cane
Sugar cane has been cultivated for just about forever in the Highlands. The locals tie some stalks together, which I presume encourages longer canes [see How to Eat Sugar Cane ]. Back | Top
Sun ino strong ; emi aul rait! Em i no gud yu go long ples bilong yu
Pidgin for: "The sun is not strong. It's all right! You do not have to go home." Back | Top
Pidgin for: "milk", and by extension any milky substance (sap, pus, etc.) and even that which makes milk: breasts. Back | Top
susu nating
Pidgin for: "bare breasted".
susu is breast
nating is nothing, meaning nothing apart from. Back | Top
sweet fruit
A climber in the Passion Flower family. Leaves are large and heart-shaped. Flowers are a typical passion flower, white in colour. Immature fruit is dark purple-black, and ripens to a golden yellow; ovoid in shape, about 70 mm long. Many seeded inside, very sweet and without the tang of passion fruit. Back | Top
swimming in the river
We have quite a good swimming hole in the river opposite the College, about a 5 minute walk down a dirt track. The water is quite clean (most of the village washing happens down river), and happily, for security reasons, not too many locals frequent this spot. Sandi always wears a dress when swimming, and never goes alone [see The Swimming Hole Close to the College ]. Swimming is called waswas (which also means bathing). Back | Top
tais wara
Pidgin for: "muddy water",
tais for muddy
wara for water. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "ancestors". Back | Top
tambuna bilong mi igo raun raun susu nating
Pidgin for: "My ancestors always walked around bare breasted". Back | Top
The taro root is a tuber which is smooth and creamy when cooked. The plant has large basal 'elephant ear' shaped dark green and glossy leaves and grows slowly to a total hight of just over a metre. The tuber is ovoid in shape and can be 150mm in diameter. Because it is slow growing and a coastal plant it is very expensive in the highlands Back | Top
tin pis
Pidgin for: "Tinned Fish" (mostly mackerel). Every Friday Francis, our cook supervisor, cooks a fish curry with the tin pis, that is of course in pidgin: tin pis curi. The boys are not keen on it for some reason, as it is one of the most delicious meals Francis makes. Back | Top
tinned meat
Before white men came to the Highlands 60 years ago, protein deficiency was very common. The oldest men and women now barely reach above 4½ tall. Tinned fish and meat (corned beef and pork mostly) and rice have taken over and almost obliterated the pre-existing culinary traditions. Back | Top
A toea is both a small shell and the minor unit of currency. The toea shells were strung together to form long strings of 'money' and used in trade by the locals [see Toea Coins ]. 100t = K1.00 Back | Top
Pidgin for: language, speech or words Back | Top
Tok Pisin
Pidgin for: "Pidgin English". Back | Top
Pidgin for: "the language of a village".
tok means language,
ples means village. Back | Top
Pidgin for: a "notice", "announcement" or "important message". Back | Top
tru tru
Pidgin for: "absolutely". Tru is true or truly, and tru tru is a reinforcing or doubling of the concept Back | Top
Tubing is an activity all children do up here, using inner tubes of various sizes and the fast flowing local rivers! The children often patch the tubes using tin pis cans, which gives them a porcupine like look [see gumi ]. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "nighttime". Apinun lasts right up through dusk; tudak is used for true night once the sun has gone down. Back | Top
This is the day Sandi and I go driving into Mount Hagen to do the shopping. It is about 50 minutes drive, a very busy day that starts about 8:30 am when we drive out and ends around 5:30 pm when we drive back in the gates [see Our Weekly Trip to Hagen ]. Back | Top
Pidgin for: "two" Back | Top
Tu sort
Pidgin for: "Two short". Back | Top
Up and Down the River
A card game where you spend more time laughing, than trying to win. Back | Top
Vegie garden
A less than successful Get Rich Scheme by the Mowbray boys, although they have sold a few bits to local expats: everyone has a garden up here& so what's the point? The other get rich scheme was Jam Making Back | Top
waitpelaman i spak
Pidgin for: "whiteman who's fainted"
spak for faint Back | Top
waitpelaman pasin
Pidgin for: "western culture" or "traditions". Back | Top
Pidgin for: "a white skinned person". Back | Top
Pidgin for: "a relative"; (i.e. one language [ tok ] the many different languages of Papua New Guinea almost defining family groups). Back | Top
wantok system
The good side of the wantok system is a loose social security system, where your excess can relieve your relatives need. The bad side of it produces people who demand their rights (repayment, special privileges, etc.) over and above what they need or deserve and create corruption. It is virtually impossible for a local Papua New Guinean to find himself in a position of power without having everyone who thinks they owe him something coming for repayment (which is why the politicians have a K50,000 slush fund) Back | Top
Pidgin for: "water". Water is always used for fresh water, the ocean is called solwara (salt water) Back | Top
wara kalup
Pidgin for: "waterfall". This, in pidgin, always seemed back-to-front to me, but it displays the wonderful manner in which Pidgin presents itself to the observer.
wara for water
kalup for get/jump up [see kalup kalup ]. Back | Top
wasim klos
Pidgin for: "clothes washing". Back | Top
Pidgin for personal washing, bathing or swimming. Back | Top
Yu laikim wanem?
Pidgin for: "What do you want?" Back | Top
Yumi bai bihainim wara long warakalup
Pidgin for: "We will follow the river to the waterfall" Back | Top
Yumi bai toktok wantaim Bikpela
Pidgin for: "We better talk with God". Back | Top
yumi mus pinisim olgeta kopi na ti pastaim, behain yumi ken go gen
Pidgin for: "We must finish all the coffee and tea first, then we can get going again" Back | Top
Yutripela wokim wanim?
Pidgin for: "What are you three doing?" Back | Top