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.

Te Reo With Mnemonics: Animal Words

Dog – kurī

A dog and a man are walking along a path. The dog turns to the man and says “Can you carry me for a bit?”

Cat – tori

A cat dressed in a three piece suit with an expensive hat walks down the street with Margaret Thatcher, David Cameron and some other Tory Party politicians (use the closest to a Tory politician you can think of).

Bird – manu

A bird flies through the forest, and as it lands it takes the form of a man (if you know a man named Manu, imagine it taking his form).

Pig – poaka

Two pigs walk up to a sleeping woman. “Is she awake?” one asks. “I don’t know – poke her.” The first one then pokes the sleeping woman with a trotter.

Rat – kiore

A rat runs through a restaurant with an apple core in its mouth.

Chicken – pī

A chicken struts along the ground pecking at peas.

The Maori word for billy goat – koati toa – shares a k-t-t- pattern with the English word ‘quartet’

Mouse – kiore iti

[Literally means “small rat”] A mouse is busy eating an apple core. The mouse is the core eater.

Horse – hōiho

Eeyore the donkey from Winnie the Pooh series walks through a paddock, only instead of a donkey he is a horse.

Billy goat – koati toa

Four billy goats sing in a barber’s shop. They are the Billy Goat Quartet.

Deer – tia

A deer emerges from the forest wearing a scintillating tiara.

Cow – kau

A cow in a skirt hits a golfball off a tea. She is the famous bovine golfer Lydia Kau.

Fish – ika

A boy runs up behind a girl and places a fish on the back of her neck. The girl shrieks: “EEEK!”

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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: Head Words

Beard – paihau

A man with a really long beard keep talking and talking, so a woman grabs it, stuffs it into his mouth and says “Shut your pie hole!”

Chin – kauae

A man with an enormous chin keeps tapping on a woman’s shoulder. She turns around and says “Go away!”

Ear – taringa

A woman is wearing massive hooped earrings, when a car drives past, throwing up a chunk of tar onto her. On her ears are tar rings.

Eye – karu

A car opens up its headlights and instead of lights there are eyes there.

Face – kanohi

A man in a canoe paddles down a river, but the canoe gets stuck on the giant stone face of a moai in the current.

Forehead – rae

A man is praying on his knees when a ray of light bursts through the clouds and strikes his forehead.

The Maori word for forehead – rae – sounds like the English ‘ray’ as in ‘ray of light’

Hair – makawe

A man with incredible hair sits on a chair, as part of a contest. A woman walks up to him with a pen and clipboard and asks if she can mark his hair. “Mark away,” he replies.

Head – mātenga

At K-Mart, two disembodied heads get into an argument. The heads are exhibiting mart anger.

Lip – ngutu

A trendy-looking woman stretches out her lip and plays it like a banjo. To a nearby journalist, she says “It’s the thing to do!”

Mouth – māngai

An artist sits at a desk, practising how to draw mouths in the Japanese manga style.

Neck – kakī

A solider dressed in khaki has a neck that stretches high into the air.

Nose – ihu

A man walks up to a busker and, out of his nose, deposits a number of coins into the busker’s hat. Then he says “He who pays the piper calls the tune.”

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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: Travel Words

Boat – waka

Sailing through the ocean, impossibly managing to stay afloat, is a boat made of wicker.

Car – motokā

A woman drives out of a garage in a car. Then a man asks his son where the car is. The son replies “Ma took it.”

Bicycle – paihikara

A woman rides a bicycle past a line of noisy picketers.

Plane – manurere

An aeroplane crashes into a gigantic pile of horse manure.

Motorcycle – motopāika

A knight rides a motorcycle as if it was a jousting horse, only instead of a lance he has a pike. He is the motor piker.

drive – taraiwa

A man drives his car at different speeds along a road. Then he comes to a woman holding a bunch of ice-creams. “Try one,” she says.

The Maori word for aeroplane – manurere – shares a m-n-r pattern with the English word ‘manure’

arrive – whakaeke

A man walks through an arrivals hall at an airport. People keep offering him eggs. When he gets to the front of the queue, he knocks one egg away and says “Fuck eggs!”

depart – haere atu

A king and his retinue walk into a cannabis cafe. They get so high that they float off the ground, departing from the Earth entirely. They have departed because they are the high retinue.

Welcome – pōwhiri

A ferry full of very poor looking people arrives at a wharf. It is the poor ferry. The passengers disembark under a large “Welcome” sign.

Goodbye (to one going) – haere rā

A lion leaves its pride and climbs halfway up a mountain. Then it turns back and, to say goodbye, lets out a roar from up there. It is a higher roar.

Travel – haerere

A man is showing a slideshow of travel photos from all around the world. In them, the man appears to be very hairy.

Adventure – mātātoa

A backpacker climbs up through a bizarrely constructed building, and it looks adventurous. As they pass a dangerous-looking chunk of porcelain, the guide in front of him says “Mind the toilet”.

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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.