How do you say "cinnamon" in Chamorro?
We ought to have a word for it, as we use it in latiya, for example.
Pale' Roman's 1932 Chamorro dictionary uses the Spanish word canela, spelled kanela in Chamorro. This would indicate that at least some Chamorros used cinnamon and called it by its Spanish name. I suspect that very few Chamorros used it, since cinnamon isn't grown here and had to be imported. Just those who could afford it.
Today, almost everyone I know just uses the English word "cinnamon." "Nå'ye cinnamon!" they will say. "Put some cinnamon!"
Then I came across the Indonesia word for "cinnamon." Kayu manis.
That translates into "sweet wood."
Kayu = wood
Manis = sweet
Now doesn't that remind you of two Chamorro words? Håyu and mames?
Kayu = håyu = wood
Manis = mames = sweet
You see, we really are related to the Indonesians, Malaysians, Filipinos and to some degree with everyone in the Austronesian family. Incidentally, kayo is "wood" in Ilocano.
We have an Indonesian friar living with us. Next time, I'm going to make him chuckle when I make coffee and offer to put some håyu mames in his coffee. He will probably know exactly what I'm talking about.