CK Travels

A traveller’s guide to New Zealand slang and phrases

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.

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Aotearoa: Maori name for ‘New Zealand’ (meaning land of the long white cloud)

Bach(pronounced ‘batch’) Holiday home usually by the sea 

Bro: Mate

Bubbles: Prosecco/champagne

Chilly bin: Cool box

Chips: Crisps

Choice: Good/cool

Chook: Chicken

Churs: Thanks

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

Lollies: Sweets

Motu: Island

Not even: No way

OE: Overseas experience

Op shop: Charity/vintage shop

Pom or Pommie: Someone from the UK

Puke: Hill

Stoked: Happy

Stubbies: Short shorts!

Sweet as: No worries

Tiki Tour: To take the long route

Togs: Swimsuit

Tramping: Hiking

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!

More New Zealand blog posts

Things to do in Queenstown, New Zealand

A day trip to Milford Sound, New Zealand

A Guide to Arrowtown, New Zealand

Wine Tasting at Gibbston Valley, Queenstown

Visiting the Monteith’s brewery in Greymouth

20 New Zealand food and drinks items you need to try

Steampunk HQ Gallery in Oamaru

Delivering post on the Picton Mail Boat Cruise, New Zealand


More New Zealand blog posts by other bloggers

Things to do in Tongariro National Park

Fun family activites in Taupo New Zealand

Alps 2 ocean cycling holiday: a photo journal 

Geeking out in New Zealand

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