Just eat it

If there was such a thing as ‘Academic Idol’ or maybe ‘Geek Idol’, Hēni Jacob would get my vote. (Obviously I mean geek as a compliment – I’m both a word geek & a web geek). Once upon a time, I used to cuddle up on the couch with a novel & hot chocolate, but now I bunker down with a notepad, pen and a copy of Hēni’s Mai i te Kākano.

But here’s the problem: many topics of my blog post drafts (albeit less articulately) also appear in Hēni’s book. I don’t like to suggest that she copied me or anything but it is highly suspicious! Seriously, even though I know I wrote those posts before I read her work I still feel fraudulent. By using some advanced abstract logic I came to this conclusion: I should blatantly steal one of her ideas so I actually have something to be guilty of. So here’s my (via HJ) little kōrero all about kai.

Say you’ve bought a new car & are showing it off, or are peering down from the top of a mountain, or have dropped two dress sizes when you run into your ex.

E kai ō whatu!
Check it out! Feast your eyes on this! Drink it in!

When something is busily & happily doing the task for which it’s intended, you can say it’s ‘eating’ it. The eyes’ job is looking therefore any interesting sights could be considered its food. Here’s some more examples relating to the body.

I kai ōku whatu i taua pukapuka.
I devoured that book.

I kai ōna taringa i āku kupu katoa.
He absorbed every word I said.

Kei te kai ō waewae i te puke nei.
You’re powering up this hill.
(lit. your legs are eating up this hill)

But kai isn’t just for the body; every little thing has it’s job, and if it’s doing it well or strongly then we can use ‘kai’.

E kai ana te ahi
The fire is blazing.

Kua kai ō pūtu whutupōro i te papa o te kauta.
Your rugby boots have wrecked the kitchen floor.

Kua kai te pene whakatika a te kaiako i taku tuhinga.
The teacher has completely covered my essay with corrections.

E kai ana tō pū i te rā nei.
You’re shooting well today.

Plagarism is the new black. I eat it for breakfast with my weeties.


3 thoughts on “Just eat it

  1. I love this use of ‘kai’ – it’s yet another example of how Maaori (taku whakapaaha – still haven’t figured out how to insert tohu too when I’m typing on my phone) an be simultaneously logical and poetic!

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