Heading out to New Zealand soon? Or already living here and confused by the locals own set of unique slang? Well fear not – here is my essential beginners guide to ‘kiwispeak’ – the words and phrases that make no sense at all and will probably come up in conversation.
Aotearoa: Maori name for ‘New Zealand’ (meaning land of the long white cloud)
Bach: (pronounced ‘batch’) Holiday home usually by the sea
Chilly bin: Cool box
Dairy: Newsagents/small supermarket
Eh? A word used at the end of a sentence – don’t you agree?
Far out! Wow – excitement or disappointment
Gumboots: Wellington boots
Haere man: Welcome (in Maori)
Haka: A Maori ceremonial war dance
Hangi: Traditional Maori cooking method using an underground earth oven
Heaps: Lots of
Hokey pokey: Vanilla ice cream with honeycomb toffee pieces
Hot chips: Chips (pronounced ‘hot chups’)
Jafa: Abbreviation for ‘Just another f**king Aucklander’ (a derogatory term!)
Jandals: Flip flops
Keen: Used when someone is enthusiastic about something
Kia Ora: Hello (in Maori)
Kiwi: A flightless bird or a person from New Zealand
Not even: No way
OE: Overseas experience
Op shop: Charity/vintage shop
Pom or Pommie: Someone from the UK
Stubbies: Short shorts!
Sweet as: No worries
Tiki Tour: To take the long route
Wop wops: In the middle of nowhere
Yeah, nah: A polite no
Another note – Kiwi’s province the vowel ‘e’ as an ‘i’ – so if someone invites you have a beer and sit on their ‘dick’….they mean their ‘deck’ hehe 🙂
Have I missed anything out? Leave me a message in the comments!