Meta:Use of Appropriated Words in BIONICLE

From BIONICLEsector01

Throughout BIONICLE's run, many words from other languages have been used for the names of characters and other story elements. While the most famous examples are of the Māori language (Te Reo Māori), there are also words from other languages including Rotuman and Latin.

List of Polynesian Words used by LEGO

During BIONICLE's development, The LEGO Group used several words from Māori in naming the characters and locations in the story. In May 2001, before the official North American launch of BIONICLE, The LEGO Company received a legal challenge from representatives of several Māori iwi (tribes), alleging that their use of certain words were disrespectful to Māori culture.[1] LEGO ultimately acknowledged that they had utilized words and terms from the Māori and agreed to change several of them in future usage, as well as begin developing a code of conduct that would avoid similar mistakes in the future.[2][3] This resulted in many names being changed, both from Māori and from other Polynesian languages. The lawsuit was ultimately settled outside of court.

Multiple in-universe explanations were created to explain the changes, though they have since lost most applicability. At the time of the change, The LEGO Group initially stated that the Tohunga changed their species name after realizing they were all one people.[4] However, this explanation was only relevant at the time, and has been completely dropped from continuity, along with the name itself. The characters who had to be given new names were done so under the explanation of Naming Day, wherein characters receive new names for acts of valor; while the concept of Naming Day still exists in the story, any materials set in a time period prior to the change still refer to the characters by their new names. Despite this, most Māori words continued to be used.

Character Names

  • Ahi[note 1] - "fire" in Māori
  • Akamai - "smart" in Māori. Also means "smart," "clever," expert," "smartness," "skill," "wit" in Hawaiian
  • Gali - "water" in Gamilaraay and Indonesian
  • Hafu - "stone," "rock," "brick," "iron," "jewel," or "rocky cape" in Rotuman
  • Hahli[note 2] - may derive from hali meaning "to carry," "to fetch," "bear" in Hawaiian. "Hali" is also a Greek female given name meaning "the sea", per baby name sources. Also "hug" in Finnish[note 3]
  • Huki[note 4] - can mean "pull" or "to strike" in Māori. Derived from "huke" meaning "to dig up," "expose by removing the earth," "excavate," and "mine". Also means "digging stick" in Rapa Nui
  • Huma[note 1] - may come from Hawaiian where it is the name of the star Aquila, or a bird from Persian mythology which symbolizes good luck and happiness.
  • Inu[note 1] - "to drink" in Māori
  • Io[note 5] - named for the supreme creator deity in Polynesian mythology
  • Jala[note 4] - "to burn" (especially grass), "to set fire," to flare up" in Rotuman
  • Kāpura - "fire" in northern Māori dialects
  • Kōpaka - "ice," "frost," "hail," or "glacier" in Māori
  • Kōpeke - "cold", "coldness", or "to be cold" in Māori
  • Kongu - "cloud," "to be cloudy," "overcast" in Māori
  • Lewa - means "sky," "atmosphere," "space," "air," "upper heavens," "aerial" in Hawaiian (ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi)
  • Lhii - may come from Lhi in Tahitian which means "skill," "wisdom," "dexterity". May also be from Cebuano lihi or "to charm", "to invite", or "to bring good luck"
  • Kotu - from koutu meaning "to dip," in Māori
  • Maku[note 4] - "wet," "moist," "damp," "soggy," "dampness," "wetness," "moisture," "rainy" in Māori
  • Makuta - similar to mākutu, meaning "witchcraft", "magic", "sorcery" or "spell" in Māori. Makutu also means "to inflict physical and psychological harm and even death through spiritual powers," and Alastair Swinnerton recalls taking this from Hawaiian. Makuta also means "crown" in Javanese
  • Marō[note 1] - means "stiff," "hard," "solid" or "unyielding" in Māori; also means "victory" in Rotuman
  • Matoro - "to investigate" in Māori
  • Nokama - may derive from Noka or Nokata or "to tie up," "make fast," "a boat from going adrift" in Fijian. May also come from noka or "river" in Sotho
  • Mātau - "know", "knowledge", "fishhook", the Uncinia genus of sedge, and can also mean the direction "right" in Māori. Also means "axe" in Fijian
  • Nuparu[note 2] - may derive from paru meaning "dirt," "mud," "earth" in Māori
  • Nuju - may come from Rotuman where the word means "spokesman," or "mouthpiece" (person). Also resembles nujuta in Finnish meaning "to play"
  • Onepū - "sand," "sandy" in Māori
  • Onewa - can mean "basalt" or a stone adze in Māori
  • Onua - possibly derived from honua in Hawaiian meaning land, earth, world. Also "earth and strength" in an African language
  • Papu[note 6] - taken from papa, meaning "world"
  • Podu[note 7] - "bridge" in Romanian; "clearing forest by burning to provide cropland" in Telugu
  • Pōhatu - "stone" or "rocky" in Māori
  • Rangi[note 6] - "sky" in Māori
  • Tahu - "burn" in Māori. Also means "to set on fire," "light," "set alight," "burn," "ignite," "combust"
  • Taipu - "dune," "sand hill," "sand dune" in Māori
  • Takua - may come from Tongan where it means "to call by, "to designate." Also is a kind of goatfish, a good bait for dropline fishing in Māori. Kua means "the back of a person in Hawaiian. Also "ship" in Maori and possibly "piety" or "devotion" in Swahili. Taka is also "sense of revolution" in Māori
  • Tamariki[note 8] - "young," "youthful," "immature" in Māori
  • Tamaru - "to shade," "cloud," "cloudy," "overshadow," "overcast," "gloom" in Māori
  • Tio[note 1] - "ice" or "freezing cold" in Māori
  • Toka[note 1] - means "rock," "large stone," or "boulder" in Māori
  • Vākamā - "to set fire," "burn" in Fijian
  • Wairuha - similar to wairua, which roughly means "spirit" or "soul" in Māori
  • Whenua - "land" or "ground" in Māori

Rahi Names

  • Brakas[note 7] - may derive from bråka in Swedish which means "to argue," "to fight," "to brawl," or "to make trouble"
  • Daikau - from dai (an animal or fish trap) and kau (plant) in Fijian
  • Fikou - "hermit crab" in Rotuman
  • Fusa - may derive from Swahili for "soften by gentle beating," "attack"
  • Hikaki - from hika or "to rub violently," "kindle a fire by friction" in Māori
  • Hoi - from hoi a or "turtle" in Rotuman
  • Hoto - may derive from Māori for "barbed stinger," "barb," "spike" (of a stingray" in Māori
  • Husi - from husila or "woodpecker" in Rotuman
  • Jaga - from reumajaga or "scorpion" in Rotuman
  • Kahu[note 9] - "swamp harrier," "harrier hawk," "Australasian harrier" in Māori
  • Kane - may derive from kanakana or "cow pasture" in Fijian
  • Kewa[note 9] - from kea in Māori, the New Zealand mountain parrot
  • Ko - may derive from a Fijian indicator of a proper name, person, or place
  • Kofo - "smoke," "to emit" (of fire) in Rotuman
  • Kopen - "hornet," "wasp" in Hawaiian
  • Kuma - "baby rat" in Rotuman
  • Kuna - a Hawaiian word for a variety of fresh-water eel
  • Maha[note 10][note 4] - may derive from the Māori word for "many," "abundance," "number," or "majority"
  • Makika - may derive from makikithe Hawaiian word for monstrous lizards or dragons who could leap and spring like a grasshopper
  • Manas - "mud lobster" in Fijian
  • Moa - a Māori word for an extinct flightless bird of New Zealand
  • Muaka - May derive from mu'aki or "to grind teeth" in Rotuman
  • Puku[note 4] - can mean "drive," "stomach," "belly," "swelling," "bubble," and "affection" in Māori. Also means "rock," "boulder" in Rapa Nui
  • Ra - a Fijian title - in stories for children, as in Fijian or European fables, animals may be referred to as Ra Vonu (Sir Turtle), Ra Qio (Sir Shark), and so on, for other animals
  • Rahi - "size," "greatness" in Māori
  • Rama - may derive from ramu or "mosquito" in Tahitian
  • Ruki - a type of fish in Rotuman
  • Takea - a king of sharks in Polynesian folklore, alternatively spelled Tekea
  • Taku - "duck" or "goose" in Rotuman
  • Tarakava - from tara, or "to catch" (usually fish, crustacea), and kava, which is a type of fish
  • Tori[note 1] - "cat" in Māori
  • Thali-Whali - may derive from waliwali in Hawaiian which means "gentle," "easygoing," "good-natured," and "smooth"
  • Ussal[note 7] - may be derived from mussel, an English word for a creature that shares the beach with crabs
  • Vako - from ivako, a Fijian word for "cow horn" or "goat horn"
  • Vatuka - from vatu (stone, rock) and ka (thing)

In 2001, LEGO employee Daniel Lipkowitz designed several creatures as personal projects on his website, taking Māori words to name them. In 2002, some of these creatures were given new, original names and formally published by the LEGO Club.

  • Pikari - "to prance about" in Māori
  • Kapakapa - a migratory locust in Māori
  • Pepekewaro - from pepeke (frog) and waro (coal) in Māori

Mask Names

  • Akaku - "vision," trance," "mirrored reflection," "hallucination," "to see a vision" in Māori
  • Hau - can mean "hit" in Māori. Can also mean "vital essence," "vitality - of a person," "place or object"
  • Huna - "conceal," "hide" Māori
  • Kakama - can mean "efficiency," "be quick," "nimble," "alert," "active," "capable" in Māori
  • Kanohi - can mean "face" or "mask" in Māori
  • Kaukau - "swim" or "bathe" in Māori; kau also means "to wade" in Rotuman
  • Komau - may come from ko (to dig) and mau (for you - used in this way when the possessor will have control of the relationship or is dominant, active or superior to what will be possessed.)
  • Mahiki - may come from Hawaiian where it means "to cast out spirits," "exorcise"
  • Matatu - from matataau in Māori. Older sources define this as meaning "to move aside"
  • Miru - "alveolus" (air sacs of the lungs) in Māori
  • Pakari - "strong" in Māori. Can also mean "to be mature," "ripe," "hard," "strapping," "muscular," "well-built," "sturdy," "robust"
  • Rau - "to read," "recite," "enumerate" in Rotuman
  • Ruru - "owl," "morepork," "Ninox novaeseelandiae" in Māori
  • Vahi - "to be past" (of events, time) in Rotuman

Location Names

The usage of several words in the landscape of the island of Mata Nui serve as early hints to the true nature of the island covering the face of the Great Spirit Robot.[11]

  • Fau - "cheek," "side of the face" in Rotuman
  • Hura - means "begin to flow" in Māori and "to shed tears" in Rotuman[note 11]
  • Ihu - "nose" in Māori and Rapa Nui
  • Kauae - "jaw," "chin" in Māori
  • Koro - "village" in Fijian
  • Krom - may derive from Danish for "chrome." Also means "crooked" in Dutch[note 7]
  • Kūmū - "promontory" or "headland" in Māori; it is also similar to kumkumu, meaning "beard" or "chin" in Rotuman
  • Leva - means "hair" in Rotuman
  • Mafa - means "eyes" in Rotuman[note 11]
  • Mata - "face," "countenance" in Māori
  • Mangai/Mangaia - "mouth" in Māori. Mangaia may also mean "temporal power" in Mangaian
  • Motara - "forehead" in Rotuman
  • Nui - "big," "large," or "great" in Māori
  • Naho - "eye sockets" in Hawaiian[note 11]
  • Niho[note 12] - can mean "edge" or "tooth" in Māori
  • Pala - may come from Hawaiian for "seaweeds" or "scum"
  • Pakohu[note 13] - "chasm," "gully," cavity" in Māori
  • Papu Niho - "row of teeth," "set of teeth," in Hawaiian. Papa can also mean "reef"
  • Tiro - "inspection," "view," "look," "survey," or "gaze" in Māori
  • Tren - may derive from Danish for "trench"[note 7]
  • Wahi - can mean "place" or "area" in Māori. Also means "to divide," "to split"

Societal Names

  • Amaja - from A'maja or "to develop a story/theme" in Rotuman
  • Amana - from whakamana or "to give prestige to," "confirm," "enable," "authorise," "legitimise," "empower," "validate" in Māori
  • Bula - "to live," "life," "live" in Fijian
  • Cabolo - "to make a sudden loud noise" in Fijian
  • Haka - named after a ceremonial Māori dance
  • Huai - "to dig up something covered in the ground" in Hawaiian
  • Ignalu - from Latin ignis (fire); Hawaiian nalu (surf, waves)
  • Kahuna[note 1] - "priest," "sorcerer," "magician," "wizard," "minister," "expert" (in any profession) in Hawaiian
  • Kaita - "be large," "big," "major" in Māori
  • Kini - possibly derived from luakini, meaning "temple" in Hawaiian
  • Koli[note 4] - "meteor" in Hawaiian
  • Lutu - "to fall" in Fijian
  • Maca - "to be empty," "to make dry," "to dry out" in Fijian
  • Madu - from Niu Madu, a mature coconut in Fijian
  • Makoki - possibly from makakii in Hawaiian, meaning "mask"[note 14]
  • Toa - can mean "hero", "warrior", or "champion" in Māori. Also means "courage," "bravery," "champion," "winner," "expert," "warrior," "brave man"
  • Tohunga - "spiritual advisor" in Māori. "Skilled person," "chosen expert," "priest," "healer"[note 15]
  • Nga Rara[note 1] - from ngā, meaning "the", and rārā, over there, yonder. or from ngārara, insect, creepy-crawly, monster, computer virus.
  • Ngalawa - "traditional," "double-outrigger canoe" in Swahili
  • Turaga - "chief" in Fijian
  • Suva - "mound or pile of stones used to mark a place" in Fijian
  • Volo - "ball" in Fijian
  • Vuata - "fruit" or from Kauvuata which is a fruit tree in Fijian

Words Derived from the Original Polynesian Terms

As the BIONICLE story progressed, many of the original terms and words taken from Polynesian languages in 2000 and 2001 continued to be derived to form new words.

Words derived from "Tahu" included anything with the "Ta-" prefix (eg Ta-Koro, Ta-Wahi, Ta-Matoran, Ta-Metru, Ta-Suva, Ta-Kini, etc), Tahnok/Tahnok-Kal/Tahnok Va, Turahk, and Tahkon (prototype name for Norik). The Visorak breed Vohtarak places the "Ta-" prefix in the middle of the name. The term "Kraahu" also appears to have been derived from combining the elemental prefix for shadow, "Kra-" with the second half of Tahu's name.

Words derived from "Gali" included anything with the "Ga-" prefix (eg Ga-Koro, Ga-Wahi, Ga-Matoran, Ga-Metru, Ga-Suva, Ga-Kini, etc), Gahlok/Gahlok-Kal/Gahlok Va, Guurahk, and Gaaki. The Visorak breed Boggarak places the "Ga-" prefix in the middle of the name. The term "Kralhi" also appears to have been derived from combining the elemental prefix for shadow, "Kra-" with the second half of Gali's name.

Words derived from "Onua" included anything with the "Onu-" prefix (eg Onu-Koro, Onu-Wahi, Onu-Matoran, Onu-Metru, Onu-Suva, Onu-Kini, etc), and Nuhvok/Nuhvok-Kal/Nuhvok Va, and Nuukor (prototype name for Bomonga). (The Rahkshi breed, Vorahk does not derive from Onua's name.) The Visorak breed Oohnorak modifies the "Onu-" prefix for its name. The term "Kranua" also appears to have been derived from combining the elemental prefix for shadow, "Kra-" with the second half of Onua's name.

Words derived from "Kopaka" included anything with the "Ko-" prefix (eg Ko-Koro, Ko-Wahi, Ko-Matoran, Ko-Metru, Ko-Suva, Ko-Kini, etc), and Kohrak/Kohrak-Kal/Kohrak Va, Kurahk, and Kuuls (prototype name for Kualus). The Visorak breed Suukorak places the "Ko-" prefix in the middle of the name. The term "Krahka" also appears to have been derived from combining the elemental prefix for shadow, "Kra-" with the second half of Kopaka's name.

Words derived from "Pohatu" included anything with the "Po-" prefix (eg Po-Koro, Po-Wahi, Po-Matoran, Po-Metru, Po-Suva, Po-Kini, etc), and Pahrak/Pahrak-Kal/Pahrak Va, Panrahk, and Puks (prototype name for Pouks). The Visorak breed Roporak places the "Po-" prefix in the middle of the name. The term "Kraatu" also appears to have been derived from combining the elemental prefix for shadow, "Kra-" with the second half of Pohatu's name.

Words derived from "Lewa" included anything with the "Le-" prefix (eg Le-Koro, Le-Wahi, Le-Matoran, Le-Metru, Le-Suva, Le-Kini, etc), and Lehvak/Lehvak-Kal/Lehvak Va, Lerahk, and Lahka (prototype name for Iruini). The Visorak breed Keelerak places the "Le-" prefix in the middle of the name. The term "Kraawa" also appears to have been derived from combining the elemental prefix for shadow, "Kra-" with the second half of Lewa's name.

Like the other six words introduced in the Metru Nui era featuring the "Kra-" prefix, which was later chosen as the elemental prefix of shadows by deriving it from "Kraahkan", Krakua also appears derived from combining "Kra-" with the name "Takua." Other words derived from the original BIONICLE lexicon include Aki (derived from Akamai, the kaita entity who wears the Aki), the Rua (derived from Wairuha, the kaita entity who wears the Rua), Ussalry (derived from "Ussal" and "cavalry), Ussanui (derived from "Ussal" and "Nui"), Takanuva (derived from "Takua" and "Nuva"), Takutanuva (derived from "Takanuva" and "Makuta"), Lhikan (derived from Lhii; see also "Lhikan"), Kanoka (derived from "Kanohi"), Rahaga (derived from "Rahkshi" or "Rahi" and "Turaga"), Hagah (derived from Rahaga), and Matoran (derived from "Mata Nui," representing the villagers of Mata Nui.)[12][note 15] Uniquely among clone antagonist terms introduced in the first half of BIONICLE, the six standard Vahki models do not appear to be derived from the six primary elemental prefixes.

In 2008, the elemental prefix of light, the "Av-" was derived from "Avohkii," and the prefix was also used in Avohkah.

The names Jaller, Hewkii, Macku, Pewku, Kolhii, and Mahi are derived from "Jala", "Huki", "Maku", "Puku", "Koli", and "Maha" respectively.[note 4] The Kahu and Kewa were also temporarily replaced by Gukko - a name derived from "Goko-Kahu", the original name for the "Kewa".[note 9]

List of Words used by Templar

In 2003 Templar needed names for the Matoran characters it would feature in Mata Nui Online 2: The Final Chronicle. Drawing on words from real languages around the world that represented the six elements, they compiled a list of names and submitted it to LEGO with the designs for the characters in the game. LEGO later independently drew on some of the names from the list, modified them with variations they could legally use, and applied them to the characters from the Matoran wave the following year in 2004.[13] Several Matoran from MNOG II reappeared in the Toa Metru Mini Promo CDs and in the fan story Tentacles that was accepted into canon, although because most of the Templar list of names were not approved or reworked by LEGO's legal team, they are ambiguously canon.


Ta-Koro Names

  • Aft - "Warmth from a fire" in Albanian
  • Agni - Agni, "fire" and the god of fire in Sanskrit, Hindi
  • Aodhan - "fire" or "little fire" in Celtic. Also an Irish saint, diminutive of Aodh/Aed, "fire", a Celtic sun god
  • Brander - "Burner" in Dutch. Also denotes a person who brands something, or marks it with a branding iron
  • Kalama - Given name. "Torch" in Hawaiian
  • Keahi - Given name. "The fire" or "flames" in Hawaiian
  • Maglya - "Pyre" or "Bonfire" in Hungarian
  • Nuri[note 17] - "My fire" in Aramaic or Hebrew
  • Tiribomba - "Firecracker" in Romanian
  • Vohon - "Fire" in Ukrainian

Le-Koro Names

  • Afa[note 16] - "Cyclone" or "hurricane" in Samoan
  • Boreas - "North wind" or the god of the north wind in Latin or Greek
  • Kumo - "Cloud" in Japanese
  • Makani - "Wind" in Hawaiian
  • Orkan[note 17] - "Hurricane" or "whirlwind" in Swedish, Croatian, Danish, German, Norwegian, Polish, Slovak, Hungarian, Papiamentu, Serbian, and Spanish
  • Sanso - "Oxygen" in Japanese, Korean
  • Shu - Shu, Egyptian god of air, and wind, peace, and lions. Can also mean "tree" in a Chinese language
  • Taiki - Japanese male given name meaning "Atmosphere". Also "wicker basket" or "atmosphere" in Māori
  • Tuuli - "Wind" in Finnish, Vod
  • Vira - "To wind" (as in, wrap) in Swedish

Ga-Koro Names

  • Amaya - Arabic female given name. "Night rain", per baby name books. Also "night rain" in Japanese
  • Kai - "Sea" in Hawaiian and "ocean" in Japanese. "Pier" in Estonian or Basque
  • Kailani - Hawaiian female given name. "Heavenly sea," or "the sea and the sky"
  • Marka - "Wet" in Finnish. Also "steady rain" in an African language
  • Nireta - Greek female given name. "From the sea", per baby name books.
  • Nixie - A female "nix", a nymph or water sprite in English and German
  • Okoth - Hindu male given name. "Born during the rains", per baby name books. Also "born when it was raining" in a west African language (possibly Luo)
  • Pelagia - Greek female given name meaning "seafaring" or "of the sea", which in turn comes from Greek (pélagos, "sea"). Also "seafaring; of the sea" in Latin
  • Shasa - Kalaharian female given name. "Precious water", per baby name books. Also "precious water" in an African language
  • Visola[note 18] - Kanyan female given name. "Longings after waterfalls" or "longings are waterfalls", per baby name books.

Onu-Koro Names

  • Aiyetoro - Nigerian male given name. "Peace on earth", per baby name books
  • Akamu - Variant of Adam in Hawaiian, which in turn comes from Hebrew (adamah, "red earth, ground"). Also a surname in Hawaiian
  • Azibo - Egyptian male given name. "Earth", per baby name books. Also "Earth" in Malawi
  • Bardo[note 16] - Scandinavian male given name. "Son of the earth", per baby name books.
  • Damek - Variant of Adam in Czech, which in turn comes from Hebrew (adamah, "red earth, ground"). Also "earth" in Slavic
  • Dosne - Celtic male given name. "From the sand hill"
  • Kaj - Danish male given name. "Earth", per baby name books. Originates from Latin name Caius/Gaius which in turn derives from Gaia, the Greek personification of the Earth. Also "quay" in Swedish
  • Mamoru[note 17] - Japanese male given name. "Earth" or "of the earth", per baby name books. Also means "protect"
  • Marn - from marl or marlstone, a lime-rich or mudstone made of clay and silt in Turkish
  • Tehuti[note 17] - alternate name for Thoth, Egyptian god of earth, sea, air, and sky
  • Zemya - "Earth" in Bulgarian and "Earth" (the planet) in Serbo-Croatian

Ko-Koro Names

  • Arktinen - "Arctic" in Finnish
  • Eiry[note 18] - Welsh female given name. "Snow" or "bright as snow". Also spelled eira
  • Jaa - "Ice" in Finnish, Estonian
  • Jaatikko - "Glacier" in Finnish
  • Kantai - Frigid zone or belt in Japanese
  • Kokkan - "Severe cold" in Japanese
  • Kylma - "Cold," "chilly," "bleak," "chill," "coldness" in Finnish
  • Lumi - "Snow" in Finnish, Estonian, Ludian, and Vod
  • Pakastaa - "To freeze" in Finnish
  • Talvi - "Winter" in Finnish, Karelian, Komi, Vod
  • Toudo - "Frozen Soil" in Japanese

Po-Koro Names

  • Akmuo[note 17] - "Stone" in Lithuanian
  • Ally - Celtic male given name. "Stone", per baby name books
  • Bour - Ghanan male given name. "A rock", per baby name books
  • Epena - Hawaiian male given name. "Stone", per baby name books
  • Gadjati - "Stone" in Serbian. Also "stone," "to shoot," or "to aim for" in Croatian
  • Golyo - "Sphere" or "ball" (mistranslated as stone) in Hungarian
  • Kamen - "Stone," "block," "brick," "flint," "rock," etc in Slovene, old Slovak
  • Kivi - "Stone" in Finnish. Also "rock" in Estonian
  • Pekka - Finnish variant of Peter, which in turn comes from Greek (pétra, "rock")
  • Piatra - "Stone" in Romanian

The names Nuhrii, Orkahm, Tehutti, Ahkmou, and Mamru are derived from "Nuri", "Orkan", "Tehuti", "Akmuo", and "Mamoru" respectively.[note 17] The names Vhisola and Ehrye appear to be derived from "Visola", and "Eiry" respectively.[note 18]

List of Other Words used

The following names were added post-2003 and were approved by the legal team.

  • Agori - derived from the Latin noun ager, agri m., meaning "farm"[15][16]
  • Antroz - derived from Antrozous, a genus of bat
  • Aqua - Latin for "water"
  • Bohrok - possibly derived from borac, Serbo-Croatian for "fighter"
  • Cendox - Latin for "one hundred"
  • Certavus - Latin for "competitive"
  • Chirox - derived from Chiroptera, the scientific name for bats
  • Dume - possibly from Lithuanian dūmas meaning "smoke", or perhaps Polish duma meaning "pride"; may also be a play on English "doom"
  • Dekar - possibly derived from drekar, a Viking longship
  • Fe - derived from the chemical symbol "Fe" for the real element iron[17]
  • Fero - Latin for "bring," "carry," or "bear"
  • Gar - a type of fish
  • Gelu - Latin for "frost" or "cold"
  • Herēmus - a Latin adjective derived from ancient Greek meaning "desert"[note 19]
  • Jerbraz - derived from the name "Jeremy Brazeal"
  • Johmak - derived from the name "John McCormack"
  • Kaxium - Latin for "box"
  • Kiina - derived from the first name of Greg's then wife, "Jackina"[18]
  • Kirop - derived from Chiroptera, the scientific name for bats[disputed; see discussion]
  • Lein - in both Latin and Welsh, it means "line"
  • Lesovikk - from Lesovik, a name for the Slavic tutelary deity Leshy
  • Magna - Latin for "big"
  • Lhikan - Possibly derived from læcan, Old English for "whip, flicker (as a flame)"
  • Malum - Latin for "evil" or "disaster"
  • Metus - Latin for "fear"
  • Mizuni - "to boil in water" in Japanese
  • Perditus - Latin for "lost" or "ruined"
  • Rahkshi - possibly derived from rākha, Arabic for "ashes" or "destroyed remains"
  • Scodonius - Latin for "scepter"
  • Spherus - Latin for "sphere"
  • Skopio - similar to scorpio, which is Latin for "scorpion"
  • Solis - translates to "of the sun" in Latin
  • Surel - Latin for "brother"
  • Tarix - in both Latin and Azerbaijani, it means "history"
  • Telluris - translates to "of the earth" in Latin
  • Tobduk - derived from the name "Toby Dutkiewicz"
  • Thornatus - Latin for "thorny"
  • Umbra - in both Latin and English, it means "shadow"
  • Vahki - possibly derived from väki, Finnish for "power," "strength," "force"
  • Vastus - Latin for "vast" or "huge;" can also mean "waste." Finnish for "opposition"
  • Velika - in Latin and Croatian, as well as other Slavic languages, it means "big" or "great"
  • Vulcanus - derived from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire

List of Words Derived from English

  • Amphibax - likely from "amphibious"
  • Antidermis - derived from the prefix "anti-" and "epidermis"
  • Axalara - possibly from "accelerate"
  • Axonn - likely from "axe", or possibly the Greek word axon or "axis"
  • Bara - possibly from "barren"
  • Bio - likely from "biological"
  • BIONICLE - derived from "biological" and "chronicle"[19]
  • Biodermis - derived from "biological" and "epidermis"
  • Ba - derived from the English prefix baro-,[20] which in turn comes from the Greek baros, meaning "weight".
  • Bo - derived from Botany.[21]
  • Bota - likely from "botany" or "botanical"
  • Boxor - likely from "boxer"
  • Brutaka - possibly from "brute" or "brutal"[note 20]
  • Ce - derived from the English and Latin anatomical word "cerebrum", meaning "brain"[22]
  • Carapar - likely from "carapace"
  • De - derived from "decibel", a sound pressure unit[23]
  • Destral - possibly from "destroy"
  • Dormus - likely from "dormant"
  • Ehlek - likely from "electric eel"
  • Fa - derived from the surname of Michael Faraday, an English scientist who contributed to the field of electromagnetism.[24]
  • Firedracax - likely from "firedrake"
  • Fireflyer - likely from "firefly"
  • Frostelus - likely from "frost"
  • Nocturn - likely from "nocturnal"
  • Noxis - likely from "noxious"[note 20]
  • Nuva - possibly from "new"
  • Piraka - possibly from "pirate" [29]
  • Photok - likely from "photon" or the prefix "photo-"
  • Pridak - possibly from "pride"
  • Protodermis - from the prefix "proto-" and "dermis"
  • Radiak - likely from "radiation"
  • Reidak - possibly from "raid"
  • Sentrakh - partially derived from "sentry"[30] with the Vahki suffix "-rakh" added
  • Shelek - possibly from "shell"
  • Solek - likely from "solar"
  • Spinax - likely from "spine"
  • Su - derived the word "superheated," as plasma can be created by superheating gas.[citation needed]
  • Teridax - possibly from "terrify" or "terror"
  • Thornax - likely from "thorn"
  • Trakka - likely from "tracker"[note 20]
  • Vamprah - likely from "vampire"
  • Vo - derived from "volt," a unit used for measuring electric potential difference which in turn was named after Alessandro Volta, credited as creator of the first electrochemical cell.[31]
  • Vorahk - possibly from "voracious"
  • Voya - derived from "voyage"
  • Wracko - likely from "wacko" or "wrack"[note 20]


  • The Māori words used within the BIONICLE universe are often pronounced vastly differently than their real-world counterparts. For example, Whenua's name is pronounced wen-NOO-ah in BIONICLE,[32][33][34] while the word it is derived from is actually pronounced fen-OO-ah. Aside from the combination of "WH" making the same sound the letter "F" makes in English, the rest of the differences in pronunciation come from the vowel and vowel combination sounds, which are similar to that of many Asian languages, such as Japanese.
  • Although the name Miserix sounds like it was derived from "misery" or "miserable," Greg Farshtey has confirmed that this is not the case.[35][36]


  4. BIONICLE Matoran. Bios. (archived 22 June 2003 on Wayback Machine.)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Bionicle_2000_Story_Bible_-_The_Legends_of_Mata_Nui.pdf". Mask of Destiny.
  6. "Naming Day." Wall of History.
  7. LEGENDA MATA NUI (archived 21 August 2001 on Wayback Machine.)
  8. legocine1.wav, 4 May 2001
  9. "Official Greg Discussion", post 3778. BZPower Forums. (archived on
  10. "Official Greg Dialogue", post 42. BZPower Forums. (archived on
  11. "The Eljay Johnsen Show | Discussing Max Tovey and BIONICLE with Alastair Swinnerton." YouTube, 23 June 2018.
  12. "Official Greg Discussion", post 5972. BZPower Forums. (archived on
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 "8/10/23 – M&L Interviews PETER MACK and CATHY HAPKA". Mask of Destiny.
  14. "Official Greg Discussion", post 5521. BZPower Forums. (archived on
  15. "Farshtey Feed, 2008-12-12". BZPower Blogs. (archived on
  16. ăger. Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short. A Latin Dictionary.
  17. "Official Greg Dialogue", post 3550. BZPower Forums. (archived on
  18. "Official Greg Dialogue", post 7163. BZPower Forums. (archived on
  19. "Official Greg Discussion", post 5922. BZPower Forums. (archived on
  20. "Official Greg Dialogue", post 10007. BZPower Forums. (archived on
  21. "New Elemental Prefix - Magnetism + Plant Life". BZPower Forums. (archived on
  22. "Psionics", page 1, post 14. BZPower.
  23. "Official Greg Dialogue", post 6464. BZPower Forums. (archived on
  24. "New Elemental Prefix - Magnetism + Plant Life." BZPower, 27 February 2013.
  25. "Christian Guldberg Faber". Instagram.
  26. "Official Greg Dialogue", post 793. BZPower Forums. (archived on
  27. 27.0 27.1 "Official Greg Discussion", post 4531. BZPower Forums. (archived on
  28. "Official Greg Discussion", post 10805. BZPower Forums. (archived on
  29. "Official Greg Discussion", post 6191. BZPower Forums. (archived on
  30. "Official Greg Discussion", post 4088. BZPower Forums. (archived on
  31. Elert, Glenn. "International System of Units." The Physics Hypertextbook. Accessed 16 Aug. 2019.
  32. "Turaga Whenua." The Official Guide to BIONICLE.
  33. "Whenua." Encyclopedia, pp. 116-118.
  34. "Whenua." Encyclopedia Updated, pp. 156-157.
  35. "Official Greg Dialogue", post 779. BZPower Forums. (archived on
  36. "Official Greg Dialogue", post 167. BZPower Forums. (archived on


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 This name was used in the story bible as of August 2000, but did not appear in later canon.[5]
  2. 2.0 2.1 Some names like Nuparu and Hahli were introduced in 2002 and may not follow the same naming scheme as the early entries to the canon.
  3. The spelling "Hali" appears in an image in the explorer gallery, although it is unclear if this is a lone typo or a relic from an original spelling for her name.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Jaller, Macku, Hewkii, and the Ussal Crab Pewku were originally called "Jala", "Maku", "Huki", and "Puku", respectively, in the 2001 and 2002 storylines. Their names were changed following the Māori lawsuit and explained in-universe with the "Naming Day" holiday where the new spellings of their names were presented to them as rewards celebrating their heroism. Other terms that were renamed included "Koli" (renamed "Kohlii" corresponding to its new prominence in canon and the sport's new rules) and "Maha" (renamed "Mahi").[6]
  5. A being mentioned on the Polish version of the 2001 BIONICLE website.[7] Io is referred to as the "Great Creator" who gave the six heroes the name "Toa" and placed them in the world to guard it and maintain the balance of the elements. The name does not appear in any other BIONICLE media.
  6. 6.0 6.1 One of two beings mentioned in the Mata Nui Online Game. Their names were derived from Rangi and Papa, figures in the Māori creation myth. The Papa Nihu Reef was also called "Papu Nihu Reef" in early media. Rangi's name does not appear in any other BIONICLE media. According to the August 2000 story bible, Rangi and Papa are short for Ranginui (the "sky father") and Papatuanuku (the "earth mother"). [5]
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Although this term was introduced with the other early Polynesian terms, no polynesian origin has been identified for it yet. Here is a possible alternative origin for the term.
  8. Nobua is a non-canonical character from the alpha v0.006 build of BIONICLE: The Legend of Mata Nui. In an unused audio file, Nobua's dialogue seems to refer to himself as "Tamariki" instead of Nobua, suggesting that this name was used earlier in development.[8]
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Soon after its introduction, this Rahi was dropped from the official BIONICLE canon, having been completely replaced by the Gukko.[9] It has since been reapproved by Greg Farshtey not only as a canon Rahi, but also a subspecies of the regular Gukko.[10]
  10. In the Mata Nui Online Game II: The Final Chronicle, Maha were referred to as "Mahi", which can mean "work" in Māori. It is unclear if this was an intentional use of a Māori word or a coincidence. The English translation is potentially relevant, since Matoran sometimes use Mahi as beasts of burden.[citation needed] However, if the former is true, it marks a rare or unique instance a Māori word was introduced into the BIONICLE canon in years following the lawsuit.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 The Hura-Mafa River connects with Lake Naho, which means "eye" in Māori, foreshadowing the hidden Great Spirit Robot.
  12. The Papa Nihu Reef was called "Papu Niho" or "Papa Niho" in most early media.
  13. This name was used in the story bible as of August 2000, referring to "the canyons of the mind of the Mata Nui", but did not appear in later canon.[5]
  14. In the August 2000 story bible, the Makoki were gold and silver masks that were to be found by the Toa Kaita.[5] In later canon, the term Makoki instead referred to a stone that was used to unlock the passageway to Mangaia.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Villagers of Mata Nui were frequently also referenced by their villages with their elemental prefix followed by "Koran" as derived from "Koro" (eg Ta-Koran, Ga-Koran, etc). This word was quickly replaced with "Koronan," likely owing in part due to the meaning of the real religious text spelled "Koran" in English. This word was again replaced by "Matoran" as derived from "Mata." "Matoran" ultimately also replaced "Tohunga" as the name of the villagers' species.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 This name was cut during the development of Mata Nui Online Game II: The Final Chronicle.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 Nuhrii, Orkahm, and Tehutti were originally called "Nuri", "Orkan", and "Tehuti", respectively, in the Mata Nui Online Game II: The Final Chronicle, but LEGO changed their names for legal use in when they decided to use them for the line of Matoran sets in 2004. Ahkmou was also originally named "Akmuo" during development, but the name was changed prior to the release of the chapter in which he appeared. Similarly, Mamoru was later intended to be changed to Mamru to not be too close to the original name, although this change was not uniformly reflected in the game's files.[13] These changes were not a result of the challenge from the Māori peoples, but rather because their original names were never legally approved. Those names are considered non-canon.[14]
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 This name does not appear in Mata Nui Online Game II: The Final Chronicle. However, Peter Mack stated that Matoran for each Koro were designed and named by Templar Studios.[13] Since Vhisola and Ehrye's names appear to be consistent with other 2004 Matoran (Nuhrii, Tehutti, etc.) who have alternative spellings of relevant names in other languages, it is possible that they also originated from this game's design document and were unused in-game, similar to Afa and Bardo.
  19. The name Heremus is also possibly derived from haereō/hereō - Latin for "I am stuck," "I cling to," "I am stranded." Another possible origin is herēmīta, a Lanin noun derived from Ancient Greek meaning "hermit."
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 20.4 20.5 Like the other villains of the Ignition Trilogy, the original names of the Piraka appear to represent the characteristics they embody or the roles they fill on the team. Many of these names also appear to correspond to their nicknames in the promotional material: Vezok the brute (following his split from Vezon) being "Grraka" or "The Beast"; Avak the weaponsmith being "Mekrani" or "The Trigger"; Zaktan being "Noxis" or "The Snake"; Reidak the tracker being "Trakka" or "The Tracer"; and Thok being "Wracko" or "The Drifter". Hakann's development name "Brutaka" was recycled for a different character, but it corresponds to his characteristic cruelty, mercilessness, and brutality as well as to his nickname "The Bully".
  21. Preliminary name for Vezok.[25]
  22. This name is used in BIONICLE: Schoolbook and is believed to be an early name for the Bohrok Va.
  23. The Mata Nui Cow was originally called "Mukau" on Daniel Lipkowitz's website. Unlike his other Rahi MOCs, this name is a pun on English words and not taken from the Māori language. It did officially use this name when featured in LEGO Mania Magazine, before being excised from canon. The change was reportedly at the request of Bob Thompson, who felt the pun was too silly.[27]