It is corker!

Corker adj great, beaut, attractive

The new book from Te Papa Press, Book of New New Zealand Words by Dianne Bardsley is all those, and its useful and entertaining too. Bardsley, an expert lexicographer, has collected an intriguing list of unique words and popular sayings that give hints and insights into the nature of history, culture, beliefs and attitudes here in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The words come from sport, politics, farming and popular culture, can be English or Maori, and often feature a clever amalgamation of English and te Reo Maori: I  like half-pai, meaning incomplete, mediocre or partly satisfactory, which is derived from the Maori ka pai and tino pai meaning good and excellent respectively; couch kumara, like an all-day-tv-watching couch potato, but a kiwi one, featuring the sweet potato brought to NZ in the early Maori migrations; the adaption of the Maori hikoi, a protest march, as bikoi when bikers rode on Parliament to protest legislation, and carkoi, travelling by car to a point of protest; and finally, for its squeamish appropriateness, the startling fly cemetery, meaning a pastry filled with currants or raisins squashed together like, well, dead flies.
This is well-worth a read – it’s a cracker, really tino pai!


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