Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies ipngs at GLOBAL.NET.PG
Thu Sep 7 00:52:20 UTC 2006

In the Tok Pisin list we (Ross Clark, Craig Volker, and I) discussed the
possible origins of maski 'forget it, nevermind' a while ago. Among Pacific
pidgins/creoles, it is apparently only found in Tok Pisin, Rabaul Creole
German (Unserdeutsch), and Chinese Pidgin English. In the latter, it is
doucmented as early as 1769, and its origins are usually said to be from
Portuguese mas que, meaning the same as in present-day Tok Pisin.
Clark cited examples from Papia Kristang (Malacca Creole Portuguese) of
maski 'although' and Malay meski(pun) 'although; in spite of (the fact
that)', and there is also apparently a Bengali term with a similar form and
meaning. He concluded that as Portuguese was the first European language
widely used in South and East Asia, it is not surpirsing that it widely
diffused (Malay and Begali would be within that area of influence), and
suggested the Tok Pisin form is ultimately from Portuguese but via some form
of Malay. The relation to German es macht nichts (the etymology suggested in
the standard Tok Pisin dictionary) is at best a "fortuitous convergence".
(Apologies to Ross if I have misrepresented his thoughts.)
The discussion here of Spanish and Tagalog would certainly seem to support
Don Niles
Acting Director & Senior Ethnomusicologist
Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies
Box 1432
Boroko 111
tel.: +675 325-4644
fax: +675 325-0531
email: ipngs at

From: an-lang-bounces at [mailto:an-lang-bounces at] On
Behalf Of Paz B. Naylor
Sent: Thursday, 7 September 2006 5:44
To: 'Paul Kroeger'; 'Christopher Sundita'
Cc: an-lang at
Subject: RE: [An-lang] lia-makalero

The native Tagalog synonym of maski is kahi’t – both generally meaning
‘(not) even/even if

(The Panganiban dictionary lists miski/miski na as variants of maski and
kahiman/kahimat/kahit na as synonyms of maski.)


For example:

(a)    maski/kahit na ilang subo man lamang, hindi makakain si Luis dahil sa
sakit ng ngipin ‘not even just a few bites could Luis eat because of his

(b)     maski/kahit na maglamay ka magdamag, hindi mo matatapos ang
ipinangako mo ‘even if you stay up all night, you won’t be able to finish
what you promised’.


Chris is right:  maski is supposed to have been derived from Spanish mas que
(which is attested in Panganiban).


-- Paz


-----Original Message-----
From: an-lang-bounces at [mailto:an-lang-bounces at] On
Behalf Of Paul Kroeger
Sent: Wednesday, September 06, 2006 10:00 AM
To: Christopher Sundita
Cc: an-lang at
Subject: Re: [An-lang] lia-makalero




"Maski" is used in Tok Pisin (PNG) to mean 'never mind; forget it'.  I was

told it came from German "es macht nichts".  How is it used in Tagalog?


-- Paul Kroeger


----- Original Message ----- 

From: "Christopher Sundita" <csundita at>

To: <an-lang at>

Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 11:00 AM

Subject: Re: [An-lang] lia-makalero



> This is Tetum, correct?


> Could you tell me what the "maski" means?  I am curious, because it's in

> Tagalog.  The etymology is supposedly from Spanish "más que." If a phrase

> existed in Portuguese, I would have expected "mais que" maybe.


> --Chris


> --- Juliette Huber <schuelietet at> wrote:


> > Karu belun sira hotu,

> >

> >   ha'u hakarak husu Ita-nia ajuda kona-ba ema matenek lia-makalero i


> > fatin iha Europa (di'ak liu se iha rai Olanda ka Portugal).

> >   Nia razaun katak ha'u hakarak halo peskiza ba lia-makalero. Maski ha'u

> > rasik sei la'o ba Timor-Leste, di'ak tebe-tebes se iha ema iha Europa


> > ne'ebe prontu ajuda ha'u. Se Ita-Boot sira hatene ema ne'ebe hakarak


> > ha'u, favór ida haruka lai mensajen ne'e ka fó-hatene nia naran ba ha'u.

> >   Nune'e de'it.

> >   Ha'u hato'o ha'u-nia obrigadu ba Ita-nia atensaun no he'in hela


> > lia-hatán.

> >

> >   Juliette Huber

> >   Leiden, Olanda

> >

> >

> > ---------------------------------

> > Stay in the know. Pulse on the new  Check it out. >

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> > An-lang mailing list

> > An-lang at

> >

> >



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