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New Māori words added to Oxford English Dictionary

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The Oxford English Dictionary has just added 47 words that are unique to New Zealand English, many of them in te reo Māori, the language of the Indigenous people of New Zealand.

You may have heard the phrase “Kia ora e hoa” before – it means “hi mate” and is a common greeting in New Zealand. And now, it’s officially part of the Oxford Dictionary! Other new words include koha, which means “gift or offering,” and kōrero, which means “conversation or chat.”

But it’s not just about new words – some of the words in the dictionary describe concepts that are unique to Māori culture. For example, whenua means “land,” especially the land that belongs to a Māori person, and rāhui is a special prohibition that is put in place to protect a resource.

Te reo Māori is becoming more and more popular in New Zealand, and not just among Māori people. You might hear phrases like “kia ora e hoa” used in everyday conversation, even by non-Māori people.

The dictionary editors had to do some serious research to find all the new words. They looked through old newspapers, books, and even Twitter to find examples of how the words are used.

And it’s not just Māori words that are being added – some of the new words are uniquely Kiwi. For example, after-ball is a party that happens after a school ball, and chur is a way to say “thanks” or “good job.”

So next time you hear someone say “kia ora e hoa,” you’ll know that it’s not just a cool phrase – it’s an official part of the Oxford Dictionary!

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