Rawa. an intensifier meaning quite, very, very much, at all, intently, carefully, finally, permanently, really, indeed, and used to form superlatives.
Rawa is an intensifier. Now, I know I said that tonu is also an intensifier but compared to rawa it’s a sissy. While pai tonu is quite good, pai rawa is the best, the greatest and the most fabulous.
Pai rawa. Kino rawa. Anuanu rawa. Ātaahua rawa. Koretake rawa.
Best. Worst. Grossest. Most beautiful. Least capable.
Mate rawa. Kuare rawa. Nui rawa. Koi rawa. Koa rawa.
Dead as a doornail. Thick as a post. Big as a house. Sharp as a tack. Over the moon.
You see, rawa is all about being effusive, extreme and over the top. There’s a sense of finality about it, of going as far as you can possibly go. Often it translates using words like completely or totally.
Hoki rawa koe ki Hawaiki nui
Return all the way to Hawaiki
Kua wehe rawa a Hēni i a ia
Hēni has left him for good.
Pakaru rawa te rama.
The lamp is broken beyond repair.
Waiho tēnei ki runga rawa.
Put this right up the top.
Kei te tino pohara rawa atu au.
I’m utterly, totally and completely skint.
Rawa can also translate to finally. In the example below, it gives the sense that there may have been a few false starts before everyone was completely and utterly ready to go.
I wehe rawa mātou i te whare i te iwa karaka.
We finally left the house at nine o’clock.
It often will depend on context exactly how you need to translate rawa but you can be sure that it’s exaggerating something!
Coming soon: Noa