Understanding the Samoan Word 'Polo'

When it comes to the Samoan language, there are numerous fascinating words to explore, each with its own unique meaning. Today, we will delve into the word 'polo,' a term that may not have a positive connotation in the English language but carries an entirely different meaning in Samoan.

Definitions of 'Polo'

In Samoan, 'polo' is a versatile word that can be used to describe different ideas and concepts. Here are some of the most common definitions of 'polo' in the Samoan language:

  • Noun: Polo can refer to a coconut tree, which is an important and widely abundant plant in Samoa. The coconut tree holds significant cultural and economic value, providing various resources such as food, shelter, and materials for traditional crafts.
  • Verb: 'Polo' can also be used as a verb, meaning to climb. Samoan people are known for their exceptional climbing skills, and 'polo' perfectly captures the action of ascending trees or other high structures.
  • Adjective: Additionally, 'polo' can be an adjective describing something that is tall or high. This usage highlights the connection with climbing and emphasizes the prominence of the object or person being described.

Related Words

Within the Samoan language, there are numerous words related to 'polo' that can help expand our understanding of its usage:

  • Polo'a: This word is derived from 'polo' and means 'to be tall' or 'to be high.' It is often used to describe structures, mountains, or anything with significant height.
  • Poloaiga: This term refers to a specific type of climbing technique. 'Poloaiga' showcases the expertise and agility that Samoan climbers possess when ascending trees or structures.
  • Pologa: 'Pologa' is another related word that means 'coconut plantation.' It signifies an area where coconut trees are intentionally cultivated, highlighting their importance in Samoan culture and economy.

Usage in a Sentence

To provide a more concrete example, here is how 'polo' could be used in a sentence:

"Ou te polo i le fau o leulu ma lefulu, ua maua ai se tinovaleni fai fa'atamaloa lea." (Translation: "I am climbing the tall coconut tree to retrieve a ripe coconut for a refreshing drink.")

In this context, 'polo' is used as a verb to describe the action of climbing a tall coconut tree. It showcases the practicality of the word and highlights the importance of coconut trees in daily Samoan life.


'Polo' may have negative connotations in some languages, but in Samoan, it is a versatile and important word. Whether referring to coconut trees, climbing, or something tall, 'polo' is deeply ingrained in the Samoan culture and reflects the resourcefulness and strength of its people.

Swear phrases with Polo

Swearing in Samoan