Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary




The vowels seldom interchange in Samoan words, although there are a few examples of such transfer, e.g., tonini, to guess a riddle, tonana; soma, red native cloth, sema; taunu‘u, to arrive, tunu‘u.

The vowel-changes between Samoan and Maori are much more frequent. In the following instances the related Maori words are given in brackets:—Aluga, a soft pillow (urunga); anahea, when? of past time (inahea); lepa, a pond, to be stagnant (repo); anapo, last night, (inapo); ‘emo, to wink the eye (kimo); ogoogo, the stinging nettle (ongaonga); tafolà, a whale, (tohora); tagamimi, the bladder (tongamimi); tipa, to jump as a stone on the water when playing “ducks and drakes” (tipi); tupito, last, at the end (topito.)


Here the Samoan words are placed first with related Maori words (marked M) or Samoan words (marked S) following.

L and R.—Lagi, the sky, M. rangi; lau, a leaf, M. rau; lima, five, M. rima, &c., &c. This is the regular interchange.

L and T.—Lona, his, M. tona; lou, thine, M. tou; la‘u, my, M. toku; lau, thy, M. tau; la‘u, my, M. taku; le, the M. te; le, not, M. tè; lena, that, M. tena; lenei, this, M. tenei.

L (or R) and N.—Naumati, dry, M. raumati; nini‘i, small, M. ririki and S. liliki; manino, calm, M. marino; manene, to fall slowly, M. marere; nape, to be entangled, S. lape; no‘uno‘u, to be weighed down, M. roku; nono, the white ant, M. rororo; nunu, to crowd together, M. ruru; pologa, a slave, M. pononga.

L and G (NG).—Sala, continually, S. saga; tugagi, dull, blunt, S. tulali; tugafana, the step of a mast, S. tulafana.

G is written in Samoan for the sound of Maori NG, as gafulu, ten, M. ngahuru. A regular script.

L (or R) and ‘ (K.)—Pipi‘i, to stick to, M. piri.

L and S.—Segasega, yellowish, S. legalega.

M and T.—Tale, a cough, M. mare.

M and P.—Mase‘ese‘e, slippery, M. pahekeheke; masunu, to singe, M. pahunu; malemo, to be, drowned, M. paremo; mapà, to make a cracking noise, to snap, M. papà; magugu, to be scranched. S. pagugu.

M and F.—Manene, to loiter, S. fanene; mafine, a woman. S. fafine.

S and T.—Safe, pannus menstrualis, M. tahe; lalato, to have the mouth stung by an acrid substance, S. salato; sasa, a rod, M. ta; sefea, which? M. tehea; sou, thy, M. tou; so‘u, my, M, toku; sau, thy, M. tau; sana, his, M. tana; sè, not, M. tè; senei, this M. tenei; sena, that M. tena.

S and P.—Salafalafa, flat, M. paraharaha.

S and K.—Sapo, to catch at M. kapo; sasala, to be diffused, as a perfume. M. kakara.

S and H.—A regular interchange between Maori and Samoan. Soa, a companion, M. hoa; sau, dew, M. hau, &c., &c.

S and WH.—Asiosio, a whirlwind, M. awhiowhio.

‘ and K.—A regular interchange. [‘ is used to denote a “break” or catch of the breath, in sound between K and H, and used for the former letter.] A‘a, fibres of a root, M. aka; ‘a‘e, to ascend, M. kake; ‘ai, to eat, M. kai, &c., &c.

‘ and V.—Sa‘eu, to stir up, S. saveu.

‘ lost.—Uli, a dog, M. kuri; alalù, a cockroach, M. kekererù; iato, bars connecting the out-rigger with the canoe, M. kiato; io, a long strip of flesh or fish, M. kiko; ina‘i, to eat one kind of food with another, as sauce, M. kinaki; ave, a tentacle of cuttle-fish, M. kawekawe; avei, the handle of a mat-basket, M. kawei.

page xvii

‘added.—‘ivi, a bone, M. iwi; ‘aue, alas! M. aue; ‘e‘e, to place upon, M. eke.

‘and T.—Fato, to eat, S. va‘o.

W and V.—A regular interchange. Vai, fresh water, M. wai; vae, the leg of an animal, M. wae, &c., &c.

W and F.—Fasi, to split, a piece, M. wahi.

M and F.—Filo, a thread; S. milo, to twist rope. [See Whiro.]

V and F.—Fato, to eat, S. va‘o.

WH and F.—A regular interchange. Fetu, a star, M. whetu; fili, to plat, M. whiri; fa, four, M. wha, &c., &c.

H and F.—Fui, a cluster of nuts, M. hui; fua, to produce fruit, M. hua; fono, to hold a council, M. hono; foe, a paddle, M. hoe; fo‘i, to return, M. hoki. This is a very frequent though irregular interchange, and probably points out that the related Maori words have lost W; thus hoe, a paddle, should be whoe; hoki, to return, should be whoki.

N and T.—Ninifi to adorn, S. titifii.

H Lost.—I'u, the tail, M. hiku, uluulu to be bushy, said of the beard, M. huruhuru.

T Lost.—Mati'u'u, the finger nail, S. mai'u'u.

Transpositions.—Namu, a smell, an odour, S. manu; nivaniva, the bow of a native drill, S. vinavina.