to study, to learn – ako
A student is learning how to do arc welding. With a welding helmet on, he shoots electric arcs all over the place. “Ah, cool!” he says.
to teach – whakaako
A student learning arc welding is shooting arcs all over the place instead of aiming them at the metal to be welded. His teacher comes over and says “Fuck arcs!” and then teaches the student how to be more accurate and precise.
Subject – akoranga
An old dignitary on a campus tour approaches a young man who is standing at a sink coring apples. The dignitary asks: “What subject are you studying? Cooking?” The youth looks back and replies: “Ah, Coring.”
Book – pukapuka
A small boy sits reading a picture book about two adventurous pigs. The book is titled ‘Porker Porker‘.
Student – tauira
A number of half-men, half-monkeys sit at desks in a classroom. Absent a teacher, they are occupied with cleaning the wax out of their ears with their own toes. Every student here is a toe-earer.
Teacher – kaiako
A man kayaks down a river. The river runs through a classroom, so he kayaks up the shore, gets out, and starts teaching his class. The teacher is a kayaker.
Professor/teacher of high standing – ahorangi
An old dignitary on a campus tour approaches a woman who is clearly dressed to solicit men for prostitution. The dignitary asks: “You’re a professor? What subject are you a professor of?” The woman looks back and replies: “Ah, Whoring.”
Classroom – akomanga
In a primary school classroom, all the kids line up to hang a comb on a bow turned upside-down for the purpose. At the front of the class room is a comb hanger.
to know, to understand, to realise – mōhio
A woman is teaching a young girl to tapdance. The girl shows what she can do and the woman says “More heel. More heel.” The girl says “Okay, I get it.”
Awareness/Intelligence/Perception – mōhiotanga
A woman walks onto a stage before an audience, blindfolds herself, and says “This dance is called the more heel tango.” She launches into a dance which is mix of tapdancing with heavy emphasis on heel strikes, and the tango. She comes very close to the edge but does not fall off, despite being blindfolded, thanks to a kind of extra-sensory awareness or perception.
Knowledge/Wisdom/Understanding – mātauranga
A bikini-clad beach bunny walks along the boardwalk reading a book called “The Book of Knowledge and Wisdom.” Her toe ring falls off and rolls away, and she calls out “My toe ring!”
University degree – tohu mātauranga
At a graduation ceremony, a barefoot young woman walks on stage to receive her degree. The man gives her the degree and says “Don’t forget to give your toe ring to the dean.” The girl says “Give to who my toe ring?”
This wordlist is an except from Learn Te Reo With Mnemonics, a book being compiled by Jeff Ngatai for an expected release at the beginning of 2020.