TLC Sitters

What does Pikinini mean?

Most of us will view the concept of language through the prism of our own language or the other languages that we speak.

Language and words can be tricky, and can hold different emotions, meanings, beliefs and pre programming in them. Would you believe, even the word love can be seen as problematic. Love is strongly linked to the feelings of liking and wanting in Indo-European languages. But in Austronesian languages including Javanese, the concept of love is associated with pity.

What’s the intention used behind a word, the emotion that you place alongside the word? Let’s look at Pikinini, our business name.

Pikinini – a racial slur, is this what you see and hear? Or do you see and hear the Pidgin meaning?

Even the word slur has several meanings. An insulting or disparaging remark or innuendo : aspersion, a shaming or degrading effect, a blurred spot in printed matter, slurred; slurring speech, to cast aspersions on : disparage slurred his reputation, to make indistinct : obscure, to slip so as to cause a slur, to slide or slip over without due mention, consideration, or emphasis slurred over certain facts, to perform hurriedly : skimp – let him not slur his lesson, a curved line connecting notes to be sung to the same syllable or performed without a break, the combination of two or more slurred tones.

Phew, words & language can be so complicated. No wonder English is a really challenging language to learn and to interpret!

So how did we come up with the business name Pikinini? The word Pikinini was first introduced to me through someone who grew up in Papua New Guinea. The word Pikinini means “Children” in Pidgin, Papua New Guinea. Tok Pisin, often referred to by English speakers as “New Guinea Pidgin” or simply Pidgin, is a creole language spoken throughout Papua New Guinea. It is an official language of Papua New Guinea and the most widely used language in the country.

When my friend first mentioned it to me, and after speaking with another Mama from Papua New Guinea. The word Pikinini, felt perfect, it felt beautiful and I wanted to use the word in respect of it’s meaning. I use the name for our business in it’s original Pidgin context – Child/Children, and I love it!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *