Author(s): Bruce Biggs
Comprehensive and scholarly Maori dictionaries in the past - pre-eminently William William's A Dictionary of the New Zealand Language (1852, 1871, 1892) - have usually been Maori into English. Headwords have been Maori, definitions English. A need has long existed for an English into Maori counterpart; it is filled in this book. Over 15,000 headwords are given, each of which may have as few as one or as many as several hundred Maori equivalents. For example, the English entry 'thousand' has just one Maori word, mano, entered against it, 'spurt' has thirteen equivalents, and 'bird' has about 400 equivalents representing all the Maori names of bird species. All Maori words contained in William's Dictionary are in this one under the English equivalents, together with words which are in Tregear's Maori-to-English Dictionary (The Maori-Polynesian Comparative Dictionary) but not in Williams. Maori borrowings from English, including a large number of concepts and material items not known indigenously (e.g. kooti 'court', taanakuru 'spanner' (from turn-screw), riipenata 'repent'), are also added. The result is not only a more comprehensive Engish-to-Maori dictionary than any previous one, but also a greater number of Maori words than in any previous Maori dictionary. The Complete English-Maori Dictionary does not give examples for the use of the words. It is essentially a comprehensive finder-list to be used in conjunction with a Maori-English dictionary such as William's. It is indispensable to all users of such a dictionary.
Bruce Biggs was a renowned linguist and pioneer in the study of te reo Maori language. He is the author of several books, including "Cook Islands Maori Dictionary," "Let's Learn Maori," "Maori Marriage," and "The Stucture of New Zealand Maori."