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.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *