Euphemisms

Of course I know nothing at all about the Maori language but then entire ignorance doesn’t stop most economic commentators either. I think what we’ve got here is euphemism:

A Canadian brewery and a leather store in New Zealand have found themselves in a hairy situation after using te reo Māori to unwittingly name their respective brands after pubic hair.

Canadian brewery, Hell’s Basement, called its New Zealand Pale Ale Huruhuru, while a shop in the New Zealand capital, Wellington, gave its entire outlet the name.

“Some people call it appreciation, I call it appropriation,” te reo Māori exponent and TV personality Te Hamua Nikora said on Facebook, after explaining that most Māori would use the word “huruhuru” as a reference to pubic hair.

Most, use, reference……that is, the word doesn’t actually mean pubic hair at all. It’s a euphemism often used to refer to it. As with, say, the word twat. It can of course mean the female genitalia but that is a euphemism, the correct and actual meaning is “Richard Murphy”. We can see how the euphemism arose, obviously.

This though is more controversial:

“To those who feel disrespected, we apologise. We also do not think pubic hair is shameful, though we admit it may not go well with beer.”

Some portion of that beer is bought in order to gain access to that type of hair….

16 thoughts on “Euphemisms”

  1. How incredibly tiresome. Back in the 20s and 30s, various musicians produced records with titles such as “Muggles” and “I’se a muggon'”, without conveying any threat of theft by physical menace. But it appears that the Maori are so incompetent that they don’t have a dictionary of their language. Is this true or even conceivable?

  2. Pete in Whanganui

    As far as I can see ‘huruhuru’ does indeed mean coarse hair, body hair or fur, as opposed to human head hair, which is ‘huru’. ‘Puke huruhuru’ means female pubes – ‘puke’ means hill or mound.

  3. “I call it appropriation,” te reo Māori exponent and TV personality Te Hamua Nikora said on Facebook, after explaining that most Māori would use the word “huruhuru” as a reference to pubic hair.”

    I would use “Te Hamua Nikora” as a reference to the glans penis.

  4. When we lived in NZ a leading Maori activist was revealed to be entirely Irish.

    When we lived in Queensland a leading Abo activist was found to be 0% Abo.

    It’s as well to remember that the users of euphemisms may simply be crooks.

  5. ‘As with, say, the word twat. It can of course mean the female genitalia but that is a euphemism…’

    It is not a euphemism, it is a centuries old vulgarism which does mean the vulva or vagina, and that is its original use. It may be used figuratively for ‘Richard Murphy’. Pussy, muff or beaver would be euphemisms for female external genitalia…

    A euphemism is a word which has a specific meaning for something but which is used as a vague or inoffensive word/phrase for something quite different. Passed away, instead of dead, or Bristols, or dick, or J Arthur instead of…

  6. In other news, Cadbury’s has decided not to launch a “fun-size” version of the Curly Wurly, as focus groups were rather put off by the idea of Short and Curly Wurlys….

    Allegedly…

  7. Huru is a Finnish word for a crazy. Ukko means an older man. Huru-ukko is a crazy old man. Pubic hair is munakarvat or pillunkarvat, masculine feminine respectively.

  8. @Nautical Nick
    No need for “Fun Size” as Cadburys have caved in to activists in Gov & PHE and agreed to “follow guidelines, or we make law” on 200 Calories per bar – by shrinking again

    Cadburys, Mars etc should say FO, make it law then consumer knows who to blame

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