New Vocabulary: Clothing

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New Vocabulary: Clothing
Release date August 3, 2011
Source Naviteri
Link: 1

Today's vocabulary centers around clothing—items of apparel, some specific to Pandora and some more general, plus ways of talking about putting on, wearing, and taking off. As usual, thanks go to the vocabulary committee for some of these ideas and examples.


Items of apparel are divided into two main groups: pxen ‘functional clothing' and ioi ‘adornments.' Although there are some gray areas where the categories overlap or are unclear, the distinction is usually apparent. It's an important one, because the way you talk about putting on and wearing something depends on which group it belongs to.

  • pxen (n.) ‘(item of) functional clothing'

This category includes clothing items that serve the purpose of protecting, hiding, or directly assisting in some activity. Examples:

  • tewng (n.) ‘loincloth'
  • raspu' (n., ra.SPU') ‘leggings (used in war)'
  • hawnven (n., hawn.VEN) ‘shoe' [From hawnu ‘protect' + venu ‘foot']
  • hawre' (n., haw.RE') ‘hat' [Originally *hawnre'o, from hawnu ‘protect' + re'o ‘head']

Note: The hawn- words take the expected non-singular forms: mehawnven, pxehawnven, ayhawnven, etc., and that's how they're always written. However, in all but very careful or ceremonial conversation, they're usually pronounced mawnven, pxawnven, ayawnven.

  • ioi (n., i.O.i) ‘(item of) adornment or ceremonial apparel'
1 Navi:New Vocabulary: Clothing/1 Of course the ceremonial wardrobes of the leaders are the most beautiful. 1

Nìlun ayioi a'eoio ayeyktanä lu lor frato. ‘Of course the ceremonial wardrobes of the leaders are the most beautiful.'

(I love the sound of ayioi a'eoio ayeyktanä! It's a nice phrase to practice. Note that ayioi is usually pronounced ay.O.i.)

  • nìlun (adv., nì.LUN) ‘of course, logically, following common sense'

Examples of ioi:

  • 'ali'ä (n., 'a.LI.'ä) ‘collar/choker'
  • 'are (n., ' ‘poncho, cape, shawl'
  • fkxile (n., FKXI.le) ‘bib necklace'
  • masat (n., MA.sat) ‘breastplate (armor)'
  • nikroi (n., nik.RO.i) ‘hair ornament' [From nikre ‘hair' + ioi ‘adornment']

Note this tongue-twister for practicing your p-ejectives:

2 Navi:New Vocabulary: Clothing/2 Around his arm is an armband. 2

Pori pxunpxaw lu pxawpxun. ‘Around his arm is an armband.'

(Note: Pxunpxaw is pronounced pxumpxaw in casual conversation.)

  • renten (n., REN.ten) ‘goggles (made from insect wings, carved wood (?) . . .)'
  • tsamopin (n., ‘warpaint' [From tsam ‘war' + 'opin ‘color']
  • tsang (n.) ‘a piercing'
  • ontsang (n., ON.tsang) ‘nose ring'


Putting on[edit]

To put on pxen, use the transitive verb yemstokx:

  • yemstokx (vtr., YEM.stokx — inf. 1,1) ‘put on (clothing), don'

This word originated as yem + sìn + tokx, ‘put on the body.'


3 Navi:New Vocabulary: Clothing/3 Why didn't you put on a hat this morning? 3
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Fìrewon ngal lumpe kea hawre'it ke yolemstokx? ‘Why didn't you put on a hat this morning?'

Penit yemstokx! ‘Get dressed!'

To put on ioi, use the si-verb ioi säpi ‘adorn oneself' with fa ‘with, by means of.' This is the reflexive form of the verb ioi si:

5 Navi:New Vocabulary: Clothing/5 Help:New Vocabulary: Clothing/5 5
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Sevina tsa'everu ahì'i mesa'sem ioi soli fa miktsang. ‘The parents adorned that pretty little girl with earrings.' OR ‘The parents put earrings on that pretty little girl.'

Fori mawkrra fa renten ioi säpoli holum. ‘After they put on their goggles, they left.'

(Note: In casual conversation, säpoli is often pronounced spoli.)


There's no separate verb ‘wear' in Na'vi. To express that X is wearing Y, you simply say that X has put Y on. In other words, you focus not on the state that X is in but rather on the action that has created that state. Specifically:

Wears –> puts on
Is/are wearing –> has put on
Was wearing –> had put on


7 Navi:New Vocabulary: Clothing/7 Help:New Vocabulary: Clothing/7 7
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Mo'at alu Tsahìk lu Omatikayaä le'awa hapxìtu a ioi säpi fa 'are. ‘Mo'at, the Tsahik, is the only member of the Omatikaya who wears a poncho.'

Sunu oer hawre' a ngal yolemstokx. ‘I like the hat you're wearing.'

Fkxilet a tsawfa poe ioi säpalmi ngolop Va'rul. ‘Va'ru is the one who created the necklace she was wearing.'

(Note: As with säpoli, in casual conversation säpalmi is often pronounced spalmi.)

Taking off[edit]

For both pxen and ioi, use the verb 'aku:

  • 'aku (vtr., 'A.ku — inf. 1,2) ‘remove, take away, take off'
10 Navi:New Vocabulary: Clothing/10 Help:New Vocabulary: Clothing/10 10

Rutxe mehawnvenit 'ivaku. ‘Please take off your shoes.'

'Aku is used more widely than just for clothing. For example:

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Pot 'aku fìtsengta!

‘Get him out of here!'

Ulte oeri fìtsengta 'äpaku nìteng. Hayalovay!