One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(Usually with the) any of the major or significant migratory movements of peoples in ancient or historic times.
2NZ History (also with capital initials), (according to a Maori founding myth, now considered of doubtful historicity) the migration of Polynesian peoples in a fleet of canoes from Hawaiki to New Zealand in the 14th cent.; also called heke.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Henry Milman (1791–1868), historian and dean of St Paul's.
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