Entries explained

How to Read an Entry in this Dictionary


When you look in the dictionary, you will see many lines of words.  Some look similar to the example below:


        kaal  /-kkä  n  fence  kalkä


Here’s what the words mean:


  • The word kaal in bold is called the ‘entry’.  All the words after it give information about this word.  All entries are listed according to the order of the Jumjum alphabet letters.  See the Jumjum Aphlabet Order below for the list of letters in order.  Entries that are nouns are in the singular form (only one of the noun). Entries that are verbs are in the Object-Verb-Subject, past normal form (such as tiiŋi ‘heard’ in Tiinok gin tiiŋi men.  ‘Yesterday, the person heard a thing.’).
  • Next, /-kkä shows which suffix is used for the plural form. See Singular and Plural Nouns below for a list of the most common suffixes of singular and plural nouns.
  • Next, the letter n in italics  shows the word category (type of word) is a noun.  See the Word Category Abbreviations below for a list of all possible word category abbreviations.
  • Next, the word fence is the definition of the entry and shows its meaning in English.
  • The word kalkä in bold is the plural of the entry. It is how to say more than one of the noun. Only entries that are nouns, adjectives or demonstratives have a plural form. Some nouns do not have a plural form. These are marked with the word category n.sg. Some plural nouns do not have a singular form and are marked with the word category n.pl.


Now look at another example entry.


 tïïjï  v.tr  care for, look after


  • The word tïïjï in bold is the entry.
  • The v.tr  shows the word is a transitive verb. It is an action word that can have an object. Entries that are verbs are in the Object-Verb-Subject, past normal form. This means it can come in the sentence in place of tiiŋi ‘heard’ in Tiinok gin tiiŋi men.  ‘Yesterday, the person heard a thing.’). For more explanation on verbs, see Verb Forms below.
  • The words care for, look after show the meaning in English.


Here is another entry.


kurkon  -kkon/-kkäŋgä  n  1) fingernail   2) claw   3) hoof  kurkuŋgu


  • kurkon is the entry and singular form of the noun.
  • -kkon/-kkäŋgä shows the singular and plural suffixes of the noun.
  • n shows the entry is a noun.
  • Next, we read 1) fingernail 2) claw 3) hoof .  These are three definitions (meanings) of the entry in English, where the definitions are related (similar) in some way.  1) fingernail is the most common meaning.  2) claw is the next most common meaning.
  • kurkuŋgu is the plural form of the entry.


Here are two other entries.


ṭoŋ1  /-gä  n  spear  ṭoŋgu

ṭoŋ2  n.sg  crowd 


  • There is a small number 1 after the entry ṭoŋ1.  This means there is another word ṭoŋ2 that has the same letters but a completely different meaning.  The word ṭoŋ1 means ‘spear’ and ṭoŋ2 means ‘crowd’.  The two words are not related, and just happen to have the same spelling.
  • n shows the word category of the first word is a noun, and n.sg shows the word category of the second word is a singular noun.
  • spear and crowd are the definitions in English.
  • ṭoŋgu is the plural form of ṭoŋ ‘spear’.
  • There is no plural form for ṭoŋ ‘crowd’.


Now look at these entries.


jaan gitke  (jaan tree, git ear) n  leaf  geŋä gitken

git  /-kkä  n  ear {jaan gitke}  gitkä


  • jaan gitke is the first entry
  • The words (jaan tree, git ear) shows that jaan gitke ‘leaf’ is made from the words jaan ‘tree’ and git ‘ear’ and has a different meaning. The bold words between parentheses are also listed as separate entries.
  • When you go to the entry git, the word {jaan gitke} is listed as a subentry between braces { }.  We donꞌt know the meaning of {jaan gitke} by looking at the entry git. To learn this, we must go to the entry jaan gitke.


Here is one final entry.


nagar  Bw (Arabic)  /-ni  n  drum  nagarri


  • The words Bw (Arabic) show this entry nagar is borrowed from Arabic.