1. grass, lawn, hay

  • Em i gras nating.
    It’s just weeds.
  • gras bilong solwara seaweed
  • kaikai gras to graze
  • Ol skulmanki i katim gras long haus sik.
    The school boys cut the hospital lawns.
  • gras nogut (grass bad) weed

2. hair, fur, feathers

  • gras antap long ai (grass above the eye) eyebrow
  • gras bilong dok (grass of dog) dog’s fur
  • gras bilong fes (grass of the face) beard
  • gras bilong pisin (grass of bird) bird’s feather
  • i gat planti gras to be hairy
  • mausgras (mouth grass) facial hair, moustache
  • wait gras grey headed


1. eye(s)

  • ai gumi or gumi ai (eye rubber) big eyes
  • ai i tu dak (eye (be) too dark) blind
  • ai i hevi sleepy
  • ai pas (eye fastened) imperceptive, literally, one who is blind
  • brukim ai to wink
  • pulim ai make you take notice
  • ai wara tears
  • westim ai (to waste eye) to look without accomplishing anything
  • Ai bilong mi i laik slip.
    I feel sleepy.
  • Mi lukim long ai bilong mi stret.
    I saw it with my own eyes.
  • Ai bilong em i tudak.
    He has poor vision.

2. lid, tip, opening

  • ai bilong sospen saucepan lid
  • ai bilong botol bottle cap (or the opening at the top of the bottle)
  • ai bilong dram the screw cap of a drum (or the opening it screws into)
  • ai bilong kokonas the sprout hole of a coconut
  • ai bilong pensil the point of a pencil
  • ai bilong sua the head of a sore or boil
  • ai bilong taro a taro bud

3. front

  • ai bilong haus front door, the area in front of the door of a house, especially where the house has high cultural significance, e.g. it is a men’s house
  • ai bilong stoa storefront

4. view, opinion

  • long ai bilong yu in your opinion, as you see it

5. in front of

  • Em i wokim long ai bilong klas.
    He did it in front of the class.

6. ai i raun (a) dazed, dizzy, giddy, disorientated; (b) extremely tired

  • Ol manki i smok spak brus, na ai bilong ol i raun.
    The boys smoked marijuana and were spaced out.
  • Skul manki wok long stadi i go biknait, na ai bilong em i raun.
    The school boy studied into the night until he was exhausted.

7. wan ai (1) superficially examine; (2) show bias, a ‘blind eye’

  • Em i lukim long wan ai.
    He looked at it quickly, superficially.
  • ‘wan ai gavman’ ‘Since back to Australian time the National Government is one eye to my people and myself. We Upper Ningerum people were left behind.’ Complaint of letter writer to District Office, Tabubil, July 1990.

8. (Supernatural world) tu ai having the power of second sight, to be a seer or shaman, to be able to see ghosts / witches / spirits, divine omens and read dreams

  • Em i wanpela tu ai man.
    he can see ghosts/witches/spirits, he is a shaman, he can divine omens and read dreams.

9. makim ai (a) to make eyes at, to catch the glance of a woman or man; (b) to signal with the eyes

  • Meri i makim ai long em, na feelings kirap.
    The woman made eyes at him and he was aroused.
  • Em i makim ai long polis, olsem stilman i sanap i stap.
    He motioned with his eyes to the police that the thief was standing there.

10. ai gris to flirt with

  • Ol manki go long maket na ai gris long ol resa meri.
    The boys went to the market and flirted with the fashion girls there.

as (Tok Pisin)

Derived from ‘arse,’ extending its meaning to ‘buttock’, ‘foundation’, ‘origin’, ‘cause’ etc.

1. bottom, base, basis, foundation

  • as bilong diwai base of the tree, tree stump
  • as bilong diwai i bikpela tru a big tree stump
  • Skul i stap long as bilong maunten paia.
    The school is at the base of the volcano.
  • as bilong tok katolik the basis of Catholic teaching

2. buttock, anus

  • paitim as to spank, to whip
  • wokabaut long as to creep (as of a baby)

3. origin, cause, source, reason

  • as bilong tok the origin of a story
  • as tru bilong hevi the clear cause of a worry
  • I no gat as bilong en.
    There’s no reason for it.
  • as bilong em i olsem the reason is as follows

See also: as plesas tingting


Note: bel is often combined with many other words. There are many pairs of compound words (e.g., ol i belhat yet they’re still angry) and idiomatic phrase with i (e.g., bel bilong ol i hat yet they’re still angry), both with the same meaning. There is variation in usage and meaning among different regions.

1. stomach

  • bel i bagarap to have an upset stomach, to need to go urgently to the toilet
  • belpen/bel i pen stomach ache
  • Beltait/bel bilong mi i tait.
    My stomach is full.
  • strongim bel to settle the stomach

2. pregnancy

  • givim bel to make pregnant
  • i gat bel to be pregnant
  • pasim bel (to use a) contraceptive

3. heart (emotions)

  • belhat/bel i hat angry, impatient
  • man bilong belhat a hot-tempered man
  • Mi belhat long wanem PMV i no kam hariap.
    I am angry because the public minibus didn’t come quickly.
  • bel hevi/bel i hevi sad, worried
  • bel isi/bel i isi calm
  • bel kirap/bel i kirap aroused, excited
  • Mi lukim naispela meri na bel i kirap nogut tru.
    I saw the beautiful woman and was really excited.
  • bel kol/bel i kol at ease, reconciled
  • Tupela marit i bin pait moa, tasol nau bel bilong tupela i kol.
    The married couple used to fight a lot, but now they’ve reconciled.
  • bel kros/bel i kros angry
  • bel pas/bel i pas sad
  • bel nogut/bel i nogut sad, depressed
  • bel i sori regret
  • beltru/bel i tru faithful
  • givim bel to love (especially spiritual love)
  • Pikinini bilong Man i save givim bel long yumi olgeta.
    The Son of Man loves us all.
  • kolim bel to put at ease
  • skelim bel to examine one’s conscience
  • skrapim bel to tease, to provoke
  • strongim bel to gird one’s loins, to convince
  • sutim bel to tease, to provoke
  • tanim bel to convert, to change one’s way of thinking
  • Em i tanim bel long nupela lotu.
    She converted to a new religion.

See also bikbel (fat), tubel (doubt), wanbel (agree)


1. string bag, net bag, traditionally slung behind from the head, and thereby capable of carrying loads of considerable weight. The bilum is a standard accessory for rural women in most of Papua New Guinea, and particularly in the Highlands region.

  • Meri tanim rop bilong bilum long lek bilong em.
    The woman is twisting bilum string on her leg.

2. pouch, bag

  • bilum bilong bol scrotum
  • bilum bilong pikinini placenta, uterus
  • bilum bilong pispis bladder
  • bilum bilong win lungs

3. afterbirth, placenta

FYI: String bags (bilums) were made from fibre from the bark of a number of plants, including the tulip tree, a species of Ficus, a Syzygium species and Hibiscus tiliaceus. Nowadays, bilums are mostly made from imported wool or string because these fibres last longer. Nevertheless, bilums made from locally grown plant fibre are still widely used in some parts of Papua New Guinea (PNG), including in the Telefomin and Oksapmin areas of Sandaun Province. A large number of bilums are sold in urban markets each year. They are widely used within PNG by women, men and children, are increasingly used in Solomon Islands, and a small number are exported to Australia.


1. the hand, the wrist, the palm, the arm, a handle, a branch

  • han diwai, han bilong diwai tree branch
  • han bilong dok paw
  • han bilong singlis o siot sleeve
  • han i hevi clumsy
  • I stap long han bilong yumi.
    It is in our hands/it is up to us.
  • Lusim long han bilong mi tasol.
    Leave it up to me.
  • Mipela i kisim bagarap pinis long han bilong ol.
    We had a lot of trouble from these people.
  • paitim han clap
  • Pas i kamap long han bilong em.
    He received a letter.
  • putim han i go antap put up one’s hand
  • singautim long han to beckon

2. the foreleg of animals

  • Mipela i save kaikai han bilong pik.
    We like to eat the shoulder of pork.