Te Reo With Mnemonics: Garden Words

Flower – putiputi

Valerie Adams throws a shotput, only instead of the shot it’s a bouquet of flowers. She throws a bouquet twice, so put-put.

Snail – ngata

A day slowly turns to night and, when it does, a whole lot of snails come out.

Shovel – kāheru

A man sees another man walking along with a shovel over his shoulder, and calls out “Come here, you!”

Tree – rākau

A crazy old man uses a rake to clear the leaves from a tree that’s still standing and healthy.

Rake – purau

A woman takes a rake and purees it in a blender by pushing it in shaft first.

Grass – pātītī

A woman lies sunbathing in the grass. Instead of a bikini, her breasts are covered with pies. She has a pie-titty.

The Maori word for tree – rākau – sounds like the English word ‘Rake’

Leaf – rau

A boy nails a bunch of leaves to a wall in a row.

Bone – kōiwi

Bones are arranged on the ground in the shape of a kiwi.

Path – ara

A bunch of Mongrel Mob members walk down a garden path, chanting “Araaa!”

Bee – pī

A man is taking a pee at the edge of his garden, and he gets stung on the penis by a bee.

Wall – tara

A small girl walks up to an imposing brick wall and tears it down because it is only made of crepe paper.

Lawnmower – pōtarotaro

A lawnmover runs over a bunch of potatoes on the lawn.

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Kitchen Words

Spoon – koko

An old woman spoons cocoa out of a tin and into a cup.

Cup – ipu

A creature shaped like the letter E takes a cup, puts it on the floor and does a poo in it. In the cup is an E poo.

Door – tatau

A man shows off a tattoo on his arm. It is of a door that looks as though it leads to extradimensional places.

Oven – umu

A man tries to wrestle an emu into an oven.

Fork – paoka

A man is eating a casserole with a fork. Another man asks him what he’s eating, and he answers “Pork.”

Knife – naihi

A woman takes a knife and cuts her own knee.

The Maori word for ‘Door’ – tatau – sounds like the English word ‘tattoo’

Kettle – tīkera

(loan) A woman boils a kettle to make a cup of tea that has a carrot in it. The kettle boils the water in which floats the tea carrot.

Frypan – parai

A frypan is stuck to stovetop, so a woman tries to pry it off with a crowbar.

Towel – tāora

A princess is wearing a tiara on her head and nothing but a beach towel around her body.

Plate – pereti

A plate says to a woman “You are very pretty.”

Saucepan – hōpane

Someone knocks the bottom out of a saucepan and affixes it to a basketball backboard, where it serves as the hooping.

Broom – puruma

A puma is cleaning its house with a broom.

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Home Words

Pillow – urunga

A woman goes to lie down with a bright orange-coloured pillow.

Chair – tūru

Balanced precariously on a small chair are two kangaroos (two roos).

Bed – moenga

A bedroom looks photographically realistic except for the bed, which is drawn in Manga-style with Japanese characters on the bedding.

Mat – whāriki

A young man is sitting on a toilet and looking down at the mat in front of him. The mat starts swirling in a range of terrifying colours and he says “Freaky!”

Sheet – hīti

A man is lying in bed on a sweltering night. He cries out “Oh, the heat!” and then strips his bed down to the sheets.

Mirror – whakaata

A woman looks at herself in the hand mirror and notices, in the reflection, Dan Carter, far in the distance. In the mirror is the Far Carter.

The Maori word for ‘pillow’ – urunga – sounds like the English word ‘orange’

Brush – paraihe

A boy holding a large brush in his hands kneels down to pray.

Stairs – arapiki

An arrow walks up a set of stairs outside a house and then peeks through a window. He is the arrow peeker.

Table – paparahua

A young boy is sitting at a beach when a man comes by, rowing on an upended table. The boy says “Papa! Row here!”

Clothespeg – mātiti

A fat young boy puts a clothespeg on his own chest and says “Ow, my titty!”

Telephone – waea

Two people in adjacent houses are talking to each other on telephones, but there is a wire connecting both of the phones and they can’t move further away from each other.

Couch – hāneanea

A man is lying on a couch watching a video of two women fighting MMA-style. From deep in the couch he cheers “Ha! Knee her! Knee her!”

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Competition Words

Match – whakataetae

A boxer is about to engage in a boxing match. One of his eyes is wide open and the other squinting tight. He gets a punch in the squinting eye – his opponent whacked a tight eye.

win – toa

A reporter is interviewing a runner who has just won a race, with a gold medal around his neck. The runner says “I tore out of the starting blocks and then tore past my opponents and I won.”

lose – ngaro

Two men are rowing a boat in a race. One of them gives up and says “There’s no point – we’re going lose.” The other man yells “Nah! Row!”

draw – ōrite

The Black Knight from the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, missing his arms and legs, says “Alrighty, we’ll call it a draw.”

Result – tukunga iho

A man is watching some Test Match Cricket. A friend comes in and says “Have we got a result yet?” The first man replies “The result is taking an eon.”

Strategy – rautaki

Two boys a playing a strategy game, like Risk or Chess. One of them thinks for a long time, then lays out on the game board a row of tacks.

The Maori word for ‘attack’ – huaki – sounds like the English word ‘hokey’ as in hokey-pokey icecream

Tactic – rauhanga

Two girls are playing tic-tac-toe on a sheet of paper. After the game is over, one of them takes the paper and hangs it up in a row of similar papers. She is the row hanger.

Violence – whakarekereke

There are two wrecked cars, and a man comes and whacks them with a stick. He is trying to whack a wreck wreck.

attack – huaki(-na)

A woman is carrying a container of hokey-pokey icecream. Suddenly the hokey-pokey grows arms and attacks her.

defend – wawao

A boxer is throwing punches at a sparring partner, who is defending them. Then the boxer pulls out a dagger, and the sparring partner says “Whoa, whoa!”

Competition – tauwhāinga

There is a throwing competition where competitors have to pick up a dwarf by the toe and fling him through the air. The competition is for toe flingers.

cooperate – mahi tahi

A swarm of servants is cooperating to dress a man in a business suit. They finish cooperating, but he does not have a necktie, so he asks “Where is my tie?”

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Military Words

Army – waitaua

A medieval army lays seige to a tower shaped like the letter Y – the Y tower.

Artillery – ngā pū

A group of soldiers wearing nappies operate and fire an artillery piece.

hit – patu(-a)

A medieval knight hits another knight with a golf putter.

miss – tohipa

Someone has chopped off a large number of toes and put them in a heap. A man throws a cricket ball at the toe heap but misses.

Battlefield – kauhanga riri

On a future battlefield, a giant robot picks up cows and hangs them in trees. A watching soldier says “It’s a cowhanger, really!”

Rifle – raiwhara

A man and a woman get married, and a rifle serves as celebrant. The rifle, from the perspective of the groom, is therefore a wifer.

The Maori word for army – waitaua – sounds like the English phrase ‘Y tower’

shoot – pupuhi

A man fires a gun at another man, but instead of bullets, sewerage comes out. This makes the man who got shot poo-pooey.

Soldier – hōia

Two soldiers are trying to place a mirror on the wall. One of them keeps saying “Higher! Higher!

Sword – hoari

A woman runs down the street swinging a sword while dressed as a prostitute (a whore).

Tank – waka taua

A battletank swings its turrent and tries to knock down a tower. The tank is trying to whack a tower.

Weapon – patu

A man pulls out an AK-47 and says “This is a weapon,” and then pulls out a magazine, inserts it into the AK-47 and says “This is a weapon part two.”

Shotgun – tūpara

A teenage boy fires a shotgun, the barrel of which narrows down to an extreme taper.

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Physical Dimensions

big – nui

A man presents a child with a gigantic egg. The man says “I just bought you this new egg.”

small – iti

A tiny mouse is busy eating a pile of biscuits much bigger than itself.

heavy – taimaha

Lying on the ground is a large stopwatch, or timer. The timer is so heavy that it takes four men to move it.

light – māmā

A jar of Marmite is so light that it beings to float up off the kitchen bench.

Height – ikeike

A woman is standing between two very tall, scary looking men. She turns to one and screams, then turns to the other and screams. Her reaction was “Eeek! Eeek!

narrow – kūiti

A woman pulls a coat through a very narrow ring.

The Maori word for length – roa – sounds like the English word rower

Length – roa

A single rower sits and rows a ridiculously long canoe.

Size – rahi

A ray of sunlight shines from the clouds onto a plant, which then grows to an enormous size.

tall – teitei

On top of a really tall golf tee is a pot of tea. It is the tee tea.

short – poto

A very short man walks along with a pot belly and a pot on his head.

weigh – pauna(-tia)

On a large set of veterinary scales, a vet tries to weigh a pony.

wide – whānui

An extremely wide woman with an extremely wide paper fan sits in the heat fanning her face.

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Sports Words

Rugby – whutupōro

(loan) A group of kids playing rugby ask another kid, who is wearing rags, if he’d like to play. The kid says “Fuu, too poor, yo.”

League – rīki

(loan) A rugby league team walks past an old woman. She looks horrified and holds her nose, as if they reek.

Cricket – kirikiti

(loan) A man walks through a field wearing cricket gear and carrying a cat.

Netball – poitarawhiti

A woman in netball uniform walks onto a court eating a pie. The umpire says to her “If you want to play netball you’ll have to pay the pie tariff.”

Ball – poi

A boy plays cricket, but instead of bowling a ball he bowls a pie.

bounce – tāwhana

Inside a tavern, a crowd of drunken revellers bounce balls of all descriptions.

The Maori word for bounce – tāwhana – sounds like the English word tavern

catch – hopu(-kia)

A man hops along some grass and then dives to catch a ball.

coach – kaitohutohu

A man holding a kite talks to some skeptical schoolchildren. He says “I am the best in the world at coaching you on how to use this kite. Or who? Or who?”

Court/Field – papa tākaro

A middle-aged man meets some children on a sports field after a game and gives them some takeaway food. He is the papa takeaways.

tackle – rutu

Some trees are playing rugby. One of them tackles another by wrapping its roots around them.

kick – whana

A man tries to kick an electric fan into a goal.

pass – kuru

A doctor has a coughing patient on the other side of the room. The doctor says “This will cure him!” and passes a rugby ball into the patient’s chest.

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Natural Cycles

Spring – kōanga

In the middle of a bunch of blossoming flowers is a raging bull. The spring has caused cow anger.

Summer – raumati

If you know anyone named Matthew (or Marty), imagine them rowing a boat really fast under the blazing summer sun while onlookers shout “Row Matty!”

Autumn – ngahuru

A line of prostitutes stand on a street under some falling leaves. The autumn leaves are falling near whores.

Winter – hōtoke

In the middle of a wintry snowstorm, a woman stands drinking a hot cocoa.

Morning – ata

A man wakes up in the morning and then devours a massive breakfast. He is the morning eater.

Afternoon/Evening – ahiahi

As the shadows begin to lengthen for the time period after noon, a crazy man watches the sun start to fall and laughs “Ah he he…”

The Maori word for winter – hōtoke – sounds like the English phrase hot cocoa

Shadow – ātārangi

In the mountains, the Sun shines behind rocky outcropping and creates a lot of shadows. It is shadowy terrain.

Day – rā

The Sun shines on a sleeping lion in the middle of the day. The lion awakens, then roars.

Night – pō

A line of starving homeless people shambles through a city at night. One of them says “We are poor.”

Season – kaupeka

Through all four seasons of sunshine, wind, rain and snow, a giant chicken stands and pecks a cow. The cow never reacts, just watches the passing seasons with the cow pecker.

Dawn – ata hāpara

In the dim light of dawn, a man stuffs his face with food with one hand and plays a harp with the other. The dawn breaks on the eater harper.

Dusk – kākarauri

As the Sun is setting at dusk, a flock of crows lands on a parked car. The dusk wraps around the car crows.

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Entertainment Words

Bar/Pub – tūpapa

An infant picks up a glass of beer at a pub and then drinks it. Looking at his father, the infant sees double – he sees two papas.

celebrate – whakanui(-a)

Through a pair of binoculars, a man watches a bunch of canoeists celebrating something far out at sea. They are the far canoeists.

dance – kanikani

A line of dancers dance the can-can. The crowd boos them and throws tin cans at them.

drunk – haurangi

A man tries to talk to another man but the other man can’t hear him. He says “Sorry, I’m too drunk to talk – it’s affected my hearing.”

entertain – manaaki

A tall man, who is part of an entertaining carnival sideshow, has to duck under an archway, and a woman laughs and says “mind the archway”.

Fun/Recreation – hākinakina

A serial killer attacks a cleaning woman with an axe and laughs maniacally. For recreation he is hacking a cleaner.

The Maori word for recreation – hākinakina – sounds like the English phrase ‘hacking a cleaner’

funny – hangarau

On a giant gallows, a line of corpses are hanging in a row. A person looks at this ghastly scene and starts cackling dementedly as if it is very funny.

laugh – katakata

A cat looks at itself in a mirror (it’s two cats or cat-cat) and starts laughing.

joke – whakakata

A cat drops a mouse in front of an old grandmother and the grandmother shoos the cat away, saying “Fucking cat!” The cat says “It was only a joke.”

party – ngahau

A teenager complains “How can we fix this stereo?” A man smiles and says “With my know-how.” He fixes the stereo, music plays and a party springs to life.

sober – taumauri

A drunk youth complains that he feels dizzy. A nearby friend says “Don’t worry, you’ll be sober tomorrow.”

Spectacle – tirohanga

A child gets offered some food from a hangi, and cries “I’m tired of hangis!” and then throws a tantrum. An onlooking old lady says “What a spectacle.”

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Colour Words

black – pango

A ninja, dressed in black, takes a very good look at a black shotgun. Then it discharges – ‘PANG!’

white – tea

Up in the clouds, where everything is white, some of the clouds take the form of two old men drinking tea.

blue – kahurangi

A woman picks up a ringing phone. On the other end of the line, painted in a striking blue colour, is an anthropomorphic car. It is the car who rang.

red – whero

Suddenly a red feral pig bursts out of the bushes and starts wrecking the place.

yellow – kōwhai

A sea of yellow corncobs stretch out to the horizon, a yellow cornfield.

green – kākāriki

An old green car drives past, so old that bystanders can hear creaking noises coming from it. It is a car creaking.

The Maori word for ‘green’ – kākāriki – sounds like the English phrase ‘car creaking’.

brown – parāone

Wearing a brown suit, brown shoes and a brown hat, a giant prawn walks past.

grey – māhinahina

At a Chinese factory, a gigantic grey machine hisses in operation. It is a grey machine in China.

orange – karaka

Two children pull at either end of a giant orange Christmas cracker.

pink – māwhero

[Lit. ‘white-red’] A boy dressed in pink clothing solves some maths equations super fast and is awarded a prize. He is the math hero.

dark – whēuriuri

A man peers into a gloomy forest and then turns to his extremely hairy friend and says “It’s fair eerie, Hairy.”

bright – kanapu

A bird nesting in the canopy of a forest wakes up as the bright sun starts shining over the horizon.

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The above is an excerpt from the upcoming Learn Maori Vocabulary With Mnemonics, by Jeff Ngatai, due to be published by VJM Publishing in the summer of 2017/18.