Word of the day – kai
kai /kai̭/ [Māori]
- (verb) to eat, consume, feed (oneself), partake, devour.
- (noun) food, meal.
Related expressions include:
- kai moana = seafood, shellfish
- wāhi kai = café, restaurant (wāhi = place)
- hari kai = a song to entertain visitors as food is set out (hari = joy, happiness)
The Māori word kai is mentioned quite a lot in the book I’m reading at the moment, Come On Shore and We Will Kill and Eat You All by Christina Thompson: a memoir about the author’s life with her Māori husband which also discusses the history of the Māori, and contacts between them and other peoples.
Other Māori words and concepts are also discussed, include iwi, which means an extended kinship group, a tribe, a nation, a people, a nationality or a race, and often refers to a large group of people descended from a common ancestor, and utu, which means revenge, cost, price, wage, fee, payment, salary, reciprocity, and is an important concept in Māori culture.
Kai also means food in Tok Pisin, and kaikai means to eat. In Japanese kai (海 かい) means sea, among other things, though this reading of the kanji 海 is derived from Chinese (hai) – the native Japanese word for sea is うみ (umi).