Friday, March 23, 2018


Someone needs a haircut!

When I lived in Saipan for three years, I found out that they don't use the word kotchi', a word used on Guam to describe when someone's hair is too long and in need of a haircut.

I don't find the word kotchi' in Ibáñez's dictionary of 1865, nor in von Preissig's 1918 dictionary. But it appears in Påle' Román's 1932 dictionary.

There he says that kotchi' means "long hair."

But, does that apply to women as well as men, or even animals?

But the only times I've heard kotchi' used in conversation is when people imply that a man's hair is too long (when is a woman's hair ever too long?) and that he needs to go to a barber. So, it could be that the meaning has changed over time. Perhaps its meaning has gotten more specific. Not just long hair, but hair long enough that it needs to be cut.

Whatever the case, everyone I know from Saipan says they don't use the word. I suppose the same is true for Tinian and Luta, but let me know if that's not the case.


There is another word, very close in sound to kotchi', but means something completely different. Koche. It comes from the Spanish word coche, and it means a "coach" as in the passenger's seating on a wagon. Since the invention of the automobile the word also means "a car."

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