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Māori influence on New Zealand English

A kiwi on an 1898 New Zealand stamp. The bird, which is a national icon of New Zealand, takes its name from the Māori language.

During the 19th century, New Zealand English gained many loanwords from the Māori language. The use of Māori words in New Zealand English has increased since the 1990s.[1][2]

Contents

Plants and animalsEdit

Large numbers of native plants and animals retain their Māori names in New Zealand English. Examples include:

Other termsEdit

"Kia ora" (literally "be healthy") is a Māori term of greeting, meaning "hello" or "welcome". It can also mean "thank you", or signify agreement with a speaker at a meeting. The Māori greetings "tēnā koe" (to one person), "tēnā kōrua" (to two people) or "tēnā koutou" (to three or more people) are also widely used, as are farewells such as "haere rā".

The Māori phrase "kia kaha", "be strong", is frequently encountered as an indication of moral support for someone starting a stressful undertaking or otherwise in a difficult situation. Although previously in common usage it became an iconic phrase of support following the 2010 Canterbury earthquake.

Some hybrid words, part English and part Māori, have developed, the most common of which is probably half-pai — often written half-pie — meaning incomplete or substandard quality, pai being the Māori word for "good". (The portmanteau form half-pied is also used, derived from half-baked.) Similarly, the Māori word ending -tanga, which has a similar meaning to the English ending -ness, is occasionally used in hybrid terms such as kiwitanga (that is, the state of being a New Zealander).

Several Māori words are used in English as lighthearted, or even slang, equivalents of their more common English counterparts. The term puku for stomach, for example, is more likely to be encountered during a friendly chat than in more formal circumstances, with one of its uses being a euphemism for a large belly.

English words intimately associated with New Zealand are often of Māori origin, such as haka,[3] Pākehā,[4] Aotearoa,[5] kiwi,[6] and the word Māori itself.[7]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jo Lines-MacKenzie, The use of Māori language accelerating in newspapers, stuff.co.nz (September 13, 2018).
  2. ^ 'Māori has gone mainstream': the resurgence of New Zealand's te reo language, The Guardian (July 28, 2918).
  3. ^ "Definition of haka in English". British & World English. Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 15 November 2017. haka NOUN: A Maori ceremonial war dance involving chanting, an imitation of which is performed by New Zealand rugby teams before a match. ... Origin: Maori.
  4. ^ "Definition of Pakeha in English". British & World English. Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 15 November 2017. Pakeha NOUN: NZ - A white New Zealander as opposed to a Maori. as modifier ‘Pakeha influences’... Origin: Maori.
  5. ^ "Definition of Aotearoa in English". British & World English. Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 15 November 2017. Aotearoa PROPER NOUN: Maori name for New Zealand ... Origin: Maori, literally ‘land of the long white cloud’.
  6. ^ "Definition of kiwi in English". British & World English. Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 15 November 2017. kiwi NOUN: 1 - A flightless New Zealand bird with hair-like feathers, having a long downcurved bill with sensitive nostrils at the tip. Family Apterygidae and genus Apteryx: three species ... 2 - informal A New Zealander. ... Origin: Mid 19th century: from Maori.
  7. ^ "Definition of Maori in English". British & World English. Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 15 November 2017. Maori NOUN: 1 - A member of the aboriginal people of New Zealand. ... 2 - mass noun The Polynesian language of the Maoris, with about 100,000 speakers. ... ADJECTIVE - Relating to the Maoris or their language. ... Origin: The name in Maori.

Further readingEdit