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žena, ženský, samice; manželka

see also

mije, tonsi

semantic space · lipamanka

The semantic space of mije contains men and masculinity. The semantic space of meli contains women and femininity. These words are as well defined as the concepts they represent, so it's left intentionally broad without specifying further. This means that for beings that can talk to you, they decide if they fit within the semantic space of either of these words.

A common question is "can mije and meli be used to refer to biological sex?" The answer is extremely complicated. First, it's worth unpacking the concept of biological sex, which I'm not going to do here. (If you want to learn more about that, research "intersex.") That can inform the ethics of using mije and meli to talk about biological sex. As for trans people, they usually identify their bodies with their gender and not their biological sex at birth. That doesn't mean that no trans person has ever said something along the lines of "my body is mije, but I am meli" to explain their transness. It's up to the individual to decide how they want to identify. It is incredibly disrespectful to use mije to describe the body or any attribute of someone who does not identify under that word if you haven't cleared it with them first, and even asking them if it's okay is, at the very least, a little weird. There are quite a few trans members of the toki pona community, so this matters a lot.

ku translations

female100, lady79, woman77, girl50, wife40, cisgender woman31, transgender woman29, ma’am27

pu verbatim

NOUN woman, female, feminine person; wife


common · 82% usage

found in pu

coined pre-pu


Tok Pisin · meri ‘woman, wife, feminine’

Tolai · mari ‘pretty’

English · Mary

coined by jan Sonja

sitelen pona

meli meli2

head radical with long hair

sitelen sitelen

meli sitelen sitelen

sitelen jelo


sitelen Emosi





kala Asi

jan Lakuse

luka pona

gif · mp4