Solomon Pijin Sotkats SMS/ Net Chat Slang Words and Abbreviations 1

By Michael Pennay

Sotkat pijin 4 txt. OK stori flw km na!

While English is the official language of the Solomon Islands, Pijin is clearly the ‘unofficial’ national language. It is the common language of  the Solomons, spoken and understood by almost everyone in the country. It is the language of gossip, jokes, the market, the bus stop, the bar.

bra u lo we?

bra u lo we?

Until recently Pijin has almost entirely been a spoken language. Sometimes home made signs and advertising billboards written for the public are in Pijin e.g  “No torowe rabis lo hia” (don’t litter here) or “No kaon” (no loans/credit), but national newspapers, official paperwork, road signs, and public notices are all usually written in English.  The lack of ‘official’ status has allowed Pijin to evolve free from the constraints and rules of perceived ‘correct’ use (including spelling!) and allowed it to develop into a vibrant, expressive and rapidly changing spoken language.

Mobile phones are hugely popular in the Solomon Islands, it was estimated in 2014 that 93% of households owned at least one mobile phone (up from 49% in 2007). Mobile phones are revolutionising many things in the Solomons like banking, communication, elections and the spread of information into remote areas. Mobile phones have even been blamed for the rise of  ’02-ism’ (02 is Pijin slang for the sneaky extra girlfriend/boyfriend ‘on the side’, especially dual sim phones – sim 1 for ‘misus’ and sim 2 for ’02’ so the story goes).

Using social media forums such as Facebook is popular but sending SMS texts is the most popular, mainly because text messages are cheaper than making calls.  This popularity has seen an interesting evolution in the Pijin language because perhaps for the first time Pijin is being widely used by speakers as a genuine written language.  It could even be argued that SMS and internet Pijin is the first “real” version of written pijin!

So, just like the abbreviated language that has developed around English SMS and chat forums such as omg, lol, wtf, brb, Solomon pijin has and is developing its own abbreviations or “sotkats” (short cuts). For example the word “nomoa” (originally from the English ‘no more’ but meaning ‘no’, ‘just’, ‘only’, or ‘thats all’ in Pijin) is simply written as ‘nma’ , or “olsem” (originally from the English ‘all the same’ but meaning, ‘similar’, ‘like this/ that’ in Pijin), is written as “osm”.  The interesting result is that many SMS and chat messages in written pijin are almost entirely unrecognisable from their English origins but still clear to Pijin speakers.

An example of a Pijin sentence using sotkats “hm bara ngd spos ota beliga ba spoelm ples dstm” is not recognisable from the Engilsh translation “it’d be really bad if the ruffians ruined the place this time”  but the un-abbreviated ‘correct’ Pijin#  “hem barava nogud sapos olgeta beliga bae spoelem ples distaem” is maybe a little more recognisable? Anyway, without the constraints of any official correct spelling or pronunciation it is interesting to see how the internet and mobile phones are both bringing Pijin closer to English and taking it away in its own special way fitim fo Solomons.

I have tried to compile below a rough ‘dictionary’ of common pijin SMS / chat sotkats.  If you’re trying to learn Pijin this might help you understand Pijin used in SMS and chat forums, if you already know Pijin the meanings of these abbreviations are obvious, and if you don’t know any Pijin you’ll see how far Pijin really is from the maligned broken English… and maybe what a cool, living, growing and free language it really is.

Hm nma stori fns naya.


# In practice there is no ‘correct’ pijin, however a number of dictionaries and guides have been published in the past to encourage standardised use and spelling.

chkm gf fstm

A brief dictionary of Solomon Pijin sotkats SMS/ net chat slang words and abbreviations*

*of course there are many, many other words used in messages, including whole pijin and English words and slang if you have suggestions or corrections I’d love to hear them.
SMS Pijin sotkat Pijin English
10xs, tenx tangiu thanks
2de tude today
2fa tufala two
2geda tugeda, tugeta together, with
2ms, 2mas, 2masi, 2massss! tumas very, too much, excessive, stop it..
4gud fogud really, truly, very
4rm from from
aftrm aftarem follow, pursue
atin, atng ating I think
b4 bifoa before
ba ba (question /exclamation marker)
ba bae will/ future marker
bara barava really, truly
bcos, kos, cos bekos because
barata, barada
steal, act like a thief
brother, as in ‘bro’
bt bat but
dasta y dastawe that’s why, therefore
dn den then
dskyn, dskaen diskaen this sort of…
dstm, dstym distaem now, presently
eni1 eniwan anyone
findm faendim find
flw flo flowing conversation
fns, fnsh, (o fns!) finis finish , over, end, stop, (enough!, stop it!).
folm folom, falom follow, after
fstm, fstme, fstym fastaem before, before hand
gd gud good
gd1 gud wan a good thing action or person
hm hem he, she, it,
holm holem hold, have, carry
hw hao how?
jks jokes joking
joinm joenem join, go along with
km, cm kam come, send/bring/take to me
knmn, cnmn kon man con man, scammer, fraudster
kosm kosem to cause
kpm kipim keep
ksm, ksem kasem reach,arrive, visit, until
kyn kaen kind,  sort
kyn typ kaen taep sort of person/behavior
lelbt, lbt lelebet a little
lolm lol-ing, laughing/joking
lyk laek like, want
lykm laekem like, want
lyr laeia liar, fake, not real
mahn man ohhh man!
mdl midol middle, in between
mita, mitala mi tufala the two of us
mkm mekim do, cause, make
mn, ia mn, mahn man man (exclamation as in ‘yeah man’)
mnm minim mean, understand
mssm, missm missim miss
naba nau ba now
nafu naf enough,
naya nao ia (emphasis/ exclamation)
nd nid need
ndm nidim need
ngd nogud bad, it would be bad if…
nma, nmoa nomoa no, just, only
no9, nrh namba naen National Referral Hospital
nw nau now
ny1 eniwan anyone
nyt naet night
o ma ae! (exclamation)
osm wnm olsem wanem like what? how?
osm, osem olsem like this/that
ot, ota, keta olgeta they, them, all
pipl pipol people
putm putim put
sa, sve, sae save know, understand, usually do
samfa samfala some one, some people, some things
SB Solbrew Solbrew SB (beer)
se sei say
shwm soem show
slen selen money
slp slip sleep
slva seleva him/herself, only, alone
sm1 samwan some one
sosom sosoem show
sotm sotem sort out
statm statim begin, start
stdy, stedi stedi take it easy, relax, chill
stilm stilim steal
strt stret correct, true
sty stei stay, live at
taf 1 tough one
talm talem tell, told
tkm, tkem tekem take, carry, bring
tme taem time
tting, titing ting ting think
ufal iu fala you
umi iu mi us
unm iu an mi you and I
utal, utala iu tufala you two
wdf! wtf!
wht wat what
wnt wande want
wtm wetim with
yap ies yup
yh yeah
yt iet still, ongoing

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