Maori Loanwords in NZPBC

The use of Māori words borrowed into New Zealand English (known as loanwords) is one of its most defining characteristics, and it has been shown that between 1850 and 2000 the incidence of Māori loanwords increased in such contexts as newspapers, the New Zealand School Journal, and the New Zealand debating chamber. John Macalister of Victoria University of Wellington has also tracked the New Zealand public’s knowledge of these loanwords, most recently estimating that New Zealanders generally know between 70 and 80 Māori loanwords.

A study done by Nicola Daly and Daryl Macdonald showed a rate of about 13 Māori loanwords per thousand in a set of nearly 500 New Zealand children’s picture books published between 1995 and 2005.

In the NZPBC, the rate of loanwords is 45 per thousand. Five of the 22 books use no loanwords at all, and in the remaining 15 books, there is a range of between 5 loanwords (The House that Grew), and 154 loanwords (The Whale Rider).

Below is an alphabetical list of loanwords in the NZPBC.

New Zealand Picture Book Collection: ALPHABETICAL LIST OF LOAN WORDS AND TYPES

Letter Māori Loanword Meaning
A Āe ‘yes’
Aotearoa ‘New Zealand’
Apirana Name
E e particle – used before a verb or noun
e noho ra ‘farewell’
e tu ‘stand up’
H haere ra ‘farewell’
haka Ceremonial dance
hapū ‘pregnant’
Haumiatiketike Name
Hawaiki Name (country)
Hemi Name
Hinauri Name
Hinemoa Name
Hinewhata Name
Hirini Name
Hoani Name
hoha To be ‘fed up with’
hui ‘gathering’
Hu-hu Name
Hu-hu-tu Name
K Kae Name
Kahu Name
kai ‘food’
Kaiangaroa Name (mountain)
kaimoana ‘food from the sea’
kakapo ‘ground parrot’
karakia ‘prayer’
kauri tree name
kawau ‘black shag’
Kimi Name
kiore ‘rat’
kiwi ‘kiwi’
koekoea ‘long tailed cuckoo’
koretake ‘useless/no good’
Koro ‘elderly man/grandfather’
koroua ‘elderly man’
kotuku ‘white heron’
kowhaiwhai decorative patterns
kuia ‘elderly woman/grandmother’
kumara ‘sweet potato’
M Maka Name
mana ‘authority/pride’
Manganui-a-te-ao Name
manuhiri ‘visitor/guest’
manuka tree name
Māori Native New Zealander
marae ‘meeting house’
matai tree name
Maui Name
meke native dance: ‘to strike with the fist’
Mere Name
Miria Name
moko ‘facial tattoo’
Mokoia Name (island)
N Nani Name
“Nga mihi nui o te wa” ‘acknowledgements of this great time’ (Christmas)
Ngai Tahu South Island tribe
Ngaio Name
Ngaruhoe Name (mountain)
O Ōwhata Name
P Paikea Name
Paka Name (nickname)
Papa Name (grandfather)
Papatuanuku Name (earth mother)
paua Shellfish
Pihanga Name (mountain)
pipi Shellfish
piupiu flax skirt
poi ball on a string – used for female māori dancing
Porourangi Name
Pounamu ‘greenstone’
pukeko ‘purple swamp hen’
puku ‘tummy/stomach’
purenga ‘naming ceremony’
Putauaki Name (mountain)
R Ranginui Name (sky father)
Rawiri Name
Rehua Name
rimu tree name
Roimata Name
Rongomātāne Name
Ropata Name
Rotorua Name (town)
Rowi Name
Ruapehu Name (mountain)
ruru ‘morepork/ native owl’
T tahi ‘one’
taiko ‘black petrel’
Tama Name (meaning ‘boy’)
Tane Name (meaning ‘man’)
Tanemahuta Name (god of the forest)
Tangaroa Name (god of the sea)
Taniwha ‘water spirit/monster’
Taranaki Name (mountain)
Tau Name
taua ‘united as one’
Tauhara Name (mountain)
Taupo Name (town)
Tāwhirimātea Name (god of the wind)
“Tei!” bird call
Te-ika-a-Maui ‘the fish of Maui’ (North Island)
tieke ‘saddleback’
Tinirau Name
tītī ‘muttonbird’
tiwakawaka ‘fantail’
tohunga ‘expert/skilled person’
Tokoeka South Island brown kiwi
Tongariro Name (mountain)
Tūhuruhuru Name
Tui ‘parson bird’
Tūmatauenga Name (god of war)
tuna ‘eel’
tūpuna ‘ancestors’
Tūtānekai Name
Tūtūnui Name
U urupā ‘burial ground’
utu ‘to avenge’
W waiata ‘song’
Waitoremi Name
Waka ‘canoe’
Wanganui Name (town)
weka ‘wood hen’
weta large insect
whānau ‘extended family group’
Whangara Name (town)
Whangarei Name (town)
wharekai ‘eating house’