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clay, clinging form, dough, semi-solid, paste, powder

semantic space · lipamanka

ko is a fantastic word. It has an enormous semantic space and offers some interesting perspective about moisture. ko refers to semisolids. What's a semisolid? Often toki ponists forget that most English speakers don't use this descriptor. A semisolid is something that has solid elements to it, but isn't hard and doesn't resist a change in shape. Some examples are toothpaste, salt, sponges, jello, paint, clay, soil, flour, and sand. The throughline here is that ko ignores moisture completely. If you take any of these examples that are dry and add water, they become wet. Some dissolve into the water and supersaturate it, becoming something very similar and yet very distinct from a liquid. Some, such as flour and soil, become moldable and retain their shape (for example, a dough or some sort of clay). A sponge becomes easier to reform and manipulate when it gets wet. A good thought experiment to get to know ko better is to choose any ko and think about what happens to it when the amount of water changes. Watch my youtube video on ko for more info.

Something to consider for yourself: is a pillow ko? It feels similar to some types of clay or soil. You can kind of mold it.

ku translations

goo88, semisolid86, paste73, powder73, clay60, sand38, dust36, cream33, substance33, dough30, mud28

pu verbatim

NOUN clay, clinging form, dough, semi-solid, paste, powder


core · 99% usage

found in pu

coined pre-pu


Cantonese · 膏 gou ‘cream, paste’

coined by jan Sonja


The "clinging form" definition was elaborated to mean "a shape or mass that sticks or clings; a clot, a thick or viscous lump, a clump that can be reshaped".

sitelen pona


pictogram of splashed goo

sitelen sitelen

ko sitelen sitelen

sitelen jelo


sitelen Emosi





kala Asi

jan Lakuse

luka pona

gif · mp4