Speak like a Kiwi

Dictionary of Kiwi Terms and Expressions

Kia Ora (hello)

Anyone coming to NZ will be challenged with the fast, quiet speech of Kiwis (the people, not the bird) but to help you through your period of adjustment, we’ll provide some of the more used Kiwi-isms – words and expressions.

Barbiea barbeque
Blokea man
Cardia cardigan, a button up sweater/
Choicethat’s good
Crookangry or sick
Cruisyeasy, relaxed
Cuppaa cup of tea
Daga person who is funny; a comedian (of course, its also something that hangs off the back end of a sheep)
Dodgyuntrustworthy, not good
Driza-bonea type of long, heavy raincoat (= as dry as a bone)
Dunnyoutside toilet over a dug hole (outhouse)
Flat outvery busy
Footpatha pavement or sidewalk; as in area where walkers are most likely (but not always) safe from Kiwi drivers
Full Ondemanding of attention/action
God smackedvery surprised
Hard yakkahard work, usually physical work
Hardcasea tough but likeable person
Jandalsrubber sandals (aka flipflops in the US and UK and thongs in AU)
Judder barsspeed bumps on the road
Long dropoutside toilet built over a hole in the ground
Naffnot good, silly
No 8 Wiresymbolic expression for the Kiwi attitude of being able to fix or make anything using the simplest methods and materials)
No worriesI’m not worried about it so you don’t have to worry either
Pav/Pavlovaa very sweet dessert over which both New Zealand and Australia fight for bragging rights
Relliesrelatives (family)
She be rightrenowned Kiwi expression> the result will be good even though it is not clear how
Shoutpay for someone else as a treat (as “Its your birthday so you have to should tea”)
Sing outask e.g. Sing out if you want help
Snarlers/Snagssausages (also see bangers)
SpagbolSpaghetti Bolognaise, a popular very basic rendition of the Italian pasta dish
Specsspectacles, glasses
Stokedvery pleased
Stunned Mulletvery surprised (a mullet is a seabird that sometimes gets tapped by a passing boat and stunned)
Swan-dri or ‘Swannee’type of woollen shirt
Sweet asthat’s fine; good
Take the pissjoke or fib (see ‘wind someone up’
Teaa drink with jam and bread, a break at 10am and 3pm with tea, coffee and/or a like snack, and also refers to dinner
Telling Porkieslying (not serious ones)
Toss your toysget upset
Turn pear shapedgo wrong, experience unexpected problems
Wops-wopsa remote area

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