o kama sona e toki pona!
Lesson 15: The Body


ko semi-solid substance (glue, powder, etc.) oko eye
kute to hear palisa rod, stick, pointy thing
linja line, hair selo skin, external surface of something
luka arm, hand sijelo body
lupa hole, orifice, door, window sike circle, ball
nena bump, hill, extrusion sinpin wall, chest
noka leg, foot uta mouth

Also remember from lesson 5 that lawa as a noun means head, and from lesson 7 that monsi means rear, back, etc.


All of the vocabulary words in this lesson are used to describe various body parts or bodily fluids, but most of the words have other uses, too. Below we'll look at each word in turn.


ko is any type of semi-solid substance, but despite that open-ended definition, ko is seldom used in Toki Pona. When you do see it, it's usually in a compound phrase.

Toki Ponans have generally accepted ko jaki as the standard phrase for feces, and pana e ko jaki for defecate.


As a verb, kute means to hear or to listen to.
mi kute e sina. I hear you.
mi kute e kalama musi. I'm listening to music.

Although the official dictionary also defines kute as ear, you'll more often see the phrase nena kute. (As explained below, nena refers to any type of lump, mound, or other extrusion. The human ear, of course, protrudes from the side of the head.)


linja means a line or any long, flexible thing like a rope, cord, or sewing thread.

linja lawa (literally, head line) is the generally accepted phrase for hair.


luka means both hand and arm. There's no way to specify between the two.

You may recall from lesson 5 that len means clothing. Therefore, len luka mittens, gloves, etc. (literally, hand clothing).

luka is also used for Toki Pona's numbering system, but that will be taught in the next lesson.


lupa is any kind of hole or opening. Door and window are both lupa.
o open e lupa! Open the door!

lupa may also be used to describe the vagina and the anus. If context isn't sufficient to clarify what you're describing with just lupa alone, you may add other descriptors, viz: lupa meli for vagina, and lupa monsi for anus.


nena is basically any type of protrusion, from the very small (e.g., a button on a shirt, or small bump or mole on your skin) to the very large (a mountain).

nena may describe the nose. nena sike or nena sike meli is often used to describe a woman's breasts. (sike will be discussed a little more below.)


noka means both leg and foot. Similar to luka, you can combine noka with len: len noka is generally used to mean shoe, but it can also mean pants, socks, or any other covering for the leg or foot.


As previously noted in lesson 4, the official dictionary lists oko and lukin as being interchangeable. Traditionally, though, these two words had different connotations and uses, and most Toki Ponans seem to use these two words according to their traditional definitions, so this course teaches them that way.

Traditionally, oko was basically a noun that meant eye (or as an adjective, ocular), while lukin was basically a verb that meant look at, see, etc.


palisa is any type of stick, rod, pole, or any similar object. A tree limb would be palisa, for example.

palisa mije is the generally accepted phrase for penis.


selo is any type of covering or outer form. Tree bark would be one example of selo. If you're discussing a human, selo would refer to his or her skin.


sike means ball or any other spherical or semi-spherical object. As an adjective, it means circular or round.

As noted above, a woman's breasts may be nena sike meli. A man's testicles may be sike mije.


sinpin is basically any vertical surface. A wall is the best example of a sinpin.

sinpin may also be used to describe the front side of one's body, especially the chest and/or face.

Side note: Remember that monsi means the back or the back side.


uta means mouth or (as an adjective) oral.

kiwen uta walo (literally, white mouth stonesteeth.

Body Fluids

You learned above that ko jaki means feces and that pana e ko jaki means defecate.

Other useful phrases include:
telo walo mije semen (literally, man's white fluid). If the context is already clear, you may omit walo and/or mije.
telo sijelo loje blood (literally, red body fluid)
telo jelo urine (literally, yellow fluid)

You may also use pana e with these phrases, too. For example, pana e telo sijelo loje means bleed.


Try translating these sentences from English to Toki Pona.
Kiss me.
Hint: Toki Ponans usually translate, Kiss me, using the structure, Touch my mouth using your mouth. Some instead simplify this just to, Mouth me, using mouth as a verb.
I need to pee.
My hair is wet.
Something is in my eye.
I can't hear your talking.
I need to poop.
That hole is big.

And now try changing these sentences from Toki Pona into English:
ike! telo sijelo loje li kama tan nena kute mi!
selo mi li wile e ni: mi pilin e ona.
This sentence is somewhat idiomatic. Don't feel bad if you can't figure it out; just look at the answer.
o pilin e nena.
o moli e pipi kepeken palisa anu len noka sina.
luka mi li jaki. mi wile telo e ona.
o pana e sike tawa mi.
mi pilin e seli sijelo sina.
to lesson 16 →