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Idioms

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Loan words

Historical loan words

whetū

1. (noun) star - sometimes also used for other celestial bodies, e.g. comets. Stars were observed carefully as they were important indicators of time and particular stars and star clusters were omens of aspects of life, including crop success.

(Te Kōhure Textbook (Ed. 2): 165-180;)

I kī rā ahau he tohu aua whetū. Koia nei hoki te kāpehu a ō tātou tūpuna i whakawhiti mai ai i Hawaiki (TTT 1/7/1922:3). / I have stated that those were navigational stars. they were the compass of our ancestors who migrated here from Hawaiki.
E kore pea te tangata e whakapono ki te kīia atu e 640 māero te tere o taua whetū i te hēkene kotahi (TP 1/6/1901:11). / A person would probably never believe it if it was said that the speed of that comet was 640 miles per second.
Te Tahi o Pipiri ka puta ō tātou mātua, tūpuna, ki waho i te atapō, i te whā o ngā hāora ki te titiro i te putanga o ngā whetū, nō te mea kei aua whetū te mōhiotia ai te tau pai te tau kino, kei tēnei whetū kei a Matariki, ka nunui ngā whetū he tau pai mō ngā ika. Kei aua whetū kei a Puanga, kei a Matariki (HKW 1/4/1899:4). / In June our elders go outside before dawn at 4 am to look at the stars, because those stars would inform them as to whether it would be a good or bad year and if the stars of the Pleiades were large it would be a good year for fishing. Those stars were Rigel and the Pleiades.

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2. (noun) asterisk.

tātai whetū

1. (noun) constellation, cluster of stars.

Mārama katoa ana ia ki ngā whakapapa, kōrero tuku iho, te tātai whetū, te taiao me ngā karakia e pā ana ki te huamata, te tua rākau, te hanga whare, te tārai waka, te whakaara riri, te whakaora tūroro me te poroporoaki i te hunga mate (Te Ara 2013). / He understood genealogy, oral history, the constellations, natural lore and the ritual chants for planting, felling trees, building houses, fashioning canoes, making war, healing the sick and farewelling the dead.

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whetū kiriata

1. (noun) movie star.

Ka mau te wehi o taua whetū kiriata! / That movie star is awesome!

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purapura whetū

1. (noun) a tukutuku pattern that represents the stars and the great numbers of people of a nation.

He purapura whetū ngā papa tukutuku o te tuarongo o te whare (PK 2008:719). / The tukutuku panels of the back wall of the house were of the purapura whetū pattern.

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tūtae whetū

1. (noun) basket fungus, white basket fungus, common-basket stinkhorn, Ileodictyon cibarium - starts growing like a puffball, but later, when the ball bursts, a white basket-like shape breaks out. When mature this breaks loose and rolls off in the wind, scattering its spores on the way. Found in clearings in the bush or in open country in summer to autumn.

kāhui whetū

1. (noun) constellation.

(Te Kōhure Textbook (Ed. 2): 171-193;)

He kāhui whetū rongonui a Matariki. / The Pleiades is a famous star constellation.

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whetū mārama

1. (noun) planet - nine planets are in orbit around the sun and Mercury, Venus, the Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were known to Māori astonomers in ancient times.

(Te Kōhure Textbook (Ed. 2): 165-180;)

Ko Takero, ko Kōpū, ko te Ao, ko Matawhero, ko Rangawhenua, ko Pareārau ngā whetū mārama i mōhiotia ai e ngā tohunga kōkōrangi Māori o neherā (PK 2008:1174). / Mercury, Venus, the Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are the planets that were known by Māori astronomers in ancient times.

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whetū mātaiata

1. (noun) morning star.

E tautoko ana ahau i nga mihi ki a koe, e Tā Āpirana Ngata, te uri o ngā tāngata. Haere te whetū mātaiata, haere atu i te marae wharanui o Porourangi ki te tihi o to maunga o Hikurangi (JPS 1950:331). / I support the sentiments that have been expressed to you, Sir Āpirana Ngata, the relative of the people. Depart the star of the morning to the great courtyard of Porourangi, to the top of Hikurangi mountain.

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mahere whetū

1. (noun) star chart.

Whetū-kura

1. (personal name) Aldebaran - the brightest star in the constellation Taurus.

Whetū a Heri

1. (loan) (personal name) Halley's Comet.

See also Rongomai

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