Home   A   B   E   I   K   M   N   NG   O   R   T   U   W  


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

Home   A   B   E   I   K   M   N   NG   O   R   T   U   W  
compact display



B ng 
  int expressive of dissent or displeasure
O ng 
  or nng
  intj of displeasure, disagreement


B nga 
  adv where? in what place
  n one distant by birth
  ex ngan tarire
B nga 
  a thousand
  suf 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 fathom
  ex 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.
  n (5) family of origin, relations
  ex ngan tarire, an tarire: relations in very wide sense

nga n tarire

O nga n tarire 
  see nga
  n branch of family (distant), multiple or extensive relatives


B ngábingabi 
  n a mat used as a spread or container for food
  n 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-ngabu
  n 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, tedious.
  vc ka-ngaea: to satisfy, to satiate, to glut


B ngáea 
  n a fathom
  vt 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
B ngái 
  pron I (often emphatic)
O ngai 
  pron that this (when speaking of several things).
  pl of ngaia
O ngai1 
  pron I
  ex boni ngai: myself


B ngáia 
  pron he, she, it
  ex ngaia : yes, thats it
O ngaia 
  pron he, she, it, that
  ex boni ngaia: himself, herself, itself
O ngaia1 
  pron they, them
  ex boni ngaia: themselves


B ngáiangáia 
  adv yes, yes, that's he
O ngaiangaia 
  adv that's it. yes, yes


B ngáina 
  n daytime
  a being light or daytime
O ngaina 
  n day, daylight.
  a daytime
  ex e ngaina: daybreak
  ex e a kani ngaina: it is nearly day.
  adv ni ngaina: by day
  ex ni moani ngaina: very early
  ex ingini 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, sunrise.
  adv 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, phlegm.
  va 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 mouth
  n suffering occasioned by food entering the nasal passage
O ngangarake 
  n the passage between nose and throat.
  v to snuffle <sniffle> through this ...
  vt ngangarakea.
  vc 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 glutton.
  a gluttonous.
  vt ngangaua: to cram, to stuff.
  vc 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
O ngao1 
  na entanglement, jumbled up, in disorder.
  vc ka-ngaoa: to entangle

ngao ni moa

O ngao ni moa 
  n hen's nest


B ngáongao 
  n wire
  n branches of bushes cut to be burned in the clearing of land
  a 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, smile.
  v to laugh, to smile.
  n ngaren te nao: white foam on waves
  ex e ngare te nao: there is white foam on the waves
  ex mate ni ngare: to die of laughter.
  a mata ni ngare, matangare: smiling, smiling face.
  va kangare, kaka-ngare: to cause laughter, to amuse, comic
  vc ka-ngarea: to make laugh, to amuse.
  n te kangare: pleasantry, jest, joke, making fun.
  n te 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 laughter.
  v 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
B 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) gums.
  n (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 gums.
  vc kangarongaro: to make ...
  vc ka-ngarongaroa: idem.
  syn (2) blunt-edged


O ngaruru 
  n muffled noise of quaking and rolling.
  v to quake, to roll.
  n noise as of thunder or breakers.
  vc kangarurua: to make ...


O ngata 
  n ngatangata, nanongatangata: covetousness, cupidity.
  n ngetangeta, 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, filthy.
  vc kangata: to soil, to make dirty


O ngau 
  n a sort of sea slug
O ngau1 
  n gluttony, voracity.
  a 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 devour.
  vc 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
  n 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 scidula
  a hard, strong like ngea
  a 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 ngea.
  n (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
  a abounding in ngea trees


O ngearuru 
  sup superlative of ngea
  a 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
B 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. ngaro
  n (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, avid.
  vt 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, consumption.
  v kangengea wina: gnash or show teeth.
  ex e ngenge te ora: the beach is uncovered (low tide)
O 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 ngenge
  n great covetousness of food.
  v to have ..., to show ...
  vc kangengetaia: to find, to accuse of being ..., to treat as ...
  vc ka-ngengeta: to excite to envy, to entice, to attract


B ngéri 
  a curled, frizzled, curly
  n a person with curly hair
O ngeri 
  a curly, frizzled, curly-headed.
  sup ngeringeri, ngeringeritaua
  vc ka-ngera: to curl, to make frizzy.
  vc 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, passionate.
  sup ngengeta, nanongetangeta: very...
  vc kangeta


B ngío 
  a dizzy
O ngio 
  n dizziness.
  v 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, moan.
  v to groan in abnormal effort so as to overcome pain. <grunt>.
  sup ngirangira
  vt 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 nka
  intj ngka!
  syn kamai
  intj give me, pass it!
  ex ngka te mangko! give me the cup
O 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 now.
  idiom adv. now that, since.
  ex 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 now.
  sup ngkainabanaba
  a recent, fresh, new
  ex te bai ae ngkainaba: something new


B ngkam/ 
  vi I don't know, I am not supposed to know
O ngkam 
  or nkam
  int 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 you.
  ex boni ngkami: yourselves.
  note 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 ngka
  n 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 evening
  ex ngke 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 ago.
  sup 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 yesterday
  ex i main ngkoananoa: before yesterday


B ngkóangkoa 
  adv long ago, formerly
O ngkoangkoa 
  sup superlative of ngkoa
  adv long ago
  ex ten Ngkoangkoa: one of the first beings created with Riki (myth.)


B ngkóe 
  pron thou, you, usually emphatic
O ngkoe 
  pron you, thou
  ex boni ngkoe: yourself
  ex ko tiku, ngkoe? you're staying?


B ngo 
  vi to murmur or complain in a low voice
  n subdued complaint, murmuring
O ngo 
  n talk, speech.
  red ngongo (more used)
  ex te niba ni ngo: a grumbler
  ex te 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
B ngòngo 
  vi to itch
  n the sensation of itching
O ngongo 
  n itch.
  v to itch.
  vc kangongo: which causes itchness kangongoa: to cause ...
  n te kai ni ngongo: a back scratcher, a scratcher
O ngongo1 
  red of ngo
  n speech, noise of voices, murmur of voices, indistinct ... to make one's voice heard, to speak
  ex ao e ngongo ngkekei: he spoke then
  ex 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 infant
  adj 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
  vi frequentative of ngurengure


B ngúre 
  vi to complain, to murmur
O ngure 
  n murmur, grumble, grouse.
  v to murmur, to complain
  ex niba ni ngure: grumble, always complaining.
  sup ngurengure: frequent complaints.
  vt ngurea, ngurengurea: to murmur, to grumble against.
  vt 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
O ngutu1 
  n Te ngutu a white sea bird
  sn Phaeton Lepturus dorotheae
O ngutu2 
  n skittles made of coconut shell.
  ex kinds: wae, onobua, motu.
  ex te kare ngutu: this game
  ex te kai ni kare ngutu: stick for knocking down skittles
G ngutu 
  sn Phaethon lepturus dorotheae
  n <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)


Home   A   B   E   I   K   M   N   NG   O   R   T   U   W  

Kiribati page