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….