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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




There is a certain readiness among young Maori speakers to abandon genuine words in their native tongue for some barbarous transliteration of their English equivalents. The study of words adopted spontaneously by the Maori is very interesting, such words often assuming forms which differ widely from such rigid transliterations as would be made by a European. It is by no means always an easy matter to recognise such a word and trace it to its origin. Examples are matere, lookout at sea (from masthead); kaihe, ass (from jackass).

Examples of more obvious transliterations are:

  • motorcar = motukaa

  • flour = parroa

  • table = tepu

  • pen = pene

  • money = moni