How do you say “holy moly” in te reo?

In Maori language week St Peter’s College in Auckland made it “cool” to korero with boys learning some of today’s most common teenage expressions in te reo.

They turned to some of the most common – and possibly annoying – teen sayings and replaced them with their Maori equivalent.

It includes words and phrases such as ‘yeeyah’, ‘whatever’, ‘holy moly’ and ‘better than nothing’.

And headmaster Kieran Fouhy said he didn’t have to go far to find the right words.

“They came from the kids. In this generation it’s just the words they use – ‘hey bro, holy moly’ – and it’s in Maori.”

Holy moly in Maori, according to the students is wēkenui

Watch video clip for other phrases.

Fouhy said Maori culture was more than a haka and New Zealanders should realise the language was a wonderful gift we needed to treasure.

He said outside Maori Language Week, the school was making progress towards using Te reo Maori during the rest of the year.


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