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New Zealand slang

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New Zealand slang - a list of common Kiwi words and idioms


A&P Show


Agricultural & Pastoral Show

All Blacks


New Zealand Rugby Team

All Whites


New Zealand Soccer Team

ANZAC


Australian and New Zealand Army Corps

Aroha


Love

Baby Blacks


New Zealand Junior Rugby Team

Bach


Holiday house (North Island term, derived from 'bachelor home')

Banger


A sausage or old car

Big OE


'Overseas Experience' (long trip)

Bikkie


Biscuit

Bit of a problem


A real worry

Black Caps


New Zealand Cricket Team

Black Sticks


New Zealand Hockey Team

Bloke


A man

Blow me down!

What a surprise, I didn't know that!

Bludger


Somebody who tries to get something for free

Bobby calf


Young male calf

Brassed off

Annoyed

Brekkie


Breakfast

Bring a plate


Bring a plate of food to a dinner or a party

Bro


A male friend

Brolly


Umbrella

Bugger


A gentle swear word

Bugger all

Not much, hardly anything

Bush


Native forest

Bushed


Exhausted

Bust your guts

Make a huge effort

Buzzy Bee


Iconic New Zealand wooden toy




BYO


Bring Your Own (alcohol into a restaurant for example)

Chilly bin


Cool box for a picnic to store cold items

Chinwag


Conversation

Chippie


A carpenter

Chips

French Fries

Choice!


Great!

Chook


Chicken

Chuffed


Proud and happy

Chur


A parting remark like cheers as in 'Chur bro'

Crib


Holiday house (South Island term)

Crook


Feeling sick

Cuppa


Cup of tea or coffee

Cuz or Cuzzie


Cousin or a friend

Dag


A bit of a joker, dags can also be found on a sheep's bottom

Dairy


Corner shop

Doing a donut


Boyracers spinning their cars in a tight circle

Dunny


Toilet

Easy as


No problem

Feed


Meal

Footrot Flats


Famous comic books about typical Kiwi rural life

Footy


Rugby

Get off the grass


Get real

Godzone


God's own country, New Zealand of course

Good as gold


All good

Good on ya


Positive affirmation, 'good for you'

Good sort


A good person

Gumboots


Rubber boots or Wellies, originally gumdigger boots

Gumdigger


Finding buried Kauri gum (hardened resin)

Gutted

Disappointed

Handle


A glass of beer

Hard case


Something or someone funny or crazy

Hard yakka

Hard work

Have a go


Try something

Hightail


Retreat as fast as possible

Hissy fit

A tantrum

Hokey pokey


Icecream with vanilla flavour and honey comb bits

Home and hosed

In the bag, all gone well

Hoon


A young fast driver in a car

Hottie


Hot water bottle or attractive person

Hui


Meeting

Huntaway


Dog bred for barking skills

In the sticks


Rural

In yonks, in donkey's years

For a very long time

JAFA


'Just another * Aucklander'

Jaffa


Chocolate orange bikkie and type of seedless Orange

Jandals


Japanese sandals - Flip Flops

Jogger

This word was first ever used in Auckland in 1962

Joker


A regular bloke

Jug


A water kettle or large measure of beer

Kai


'Food' in Maori language

Kiwi


A New Zealander, a flightless bird or a green fruit

Koha


Gift

Kumara


Sweet potatoe

Like a box of budgies

Very happy

Lolly


Any kind of sweet confectionary

L&P


Lemon & Paeroa - a drink 'World famous in New Zealand'

Longdrop


Outside composting toilet

Mainland


The South Island

Maori


Indigenous New Zealander

Marae


Maori meeting house

Mate


A friend

Metal road


Unsealed gravel road

Mountain oysters


Ram testicles

Mucking in


Helping

Munted


Broken

No worries


No problem

Paddock


Field, be it for grazing or sports

Pakeha


New Zealander of European origin

Pavlova


New Zealand dessert with fruit, cream and meringue

Pikelet


A small pancake

Piker


Someone who tries to get out of something

Pokies


A gambling machine

POM


'Prisoner of Mother England' - half-derogatory for an English person

Reserve


Public recreational area

RSA


The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association

Scarfie


Scarf wearing Otago students

Shark & Taties


Fish n'Chips

She'll be right


All will be ok

Shout

Offering a drink or something

Sickie


Take a day off sick

Silver Ferns


New Zealand Netball Team

Smoko


Once 'Smoking break', now commonly used for taking a work break

Sparkie

Electrician

Station


Large farm

Stubbie


Small bottle of beer

Stubbies


Very short men's shorts

Swanndri


Typical outdoor clothing for farmers

Sweet as


Great!



Ta


Thanks

Tall Blacks


New Zealand Basketball Team

Tea


A cuppa or evening meal

Tiki tour


Sightseeing tour

Tinny


Small metal boat

Togs


Swimsuit

Townies


City people

Tramping


Hiking

True


Really? As in 'Joe called.' 'Ah true?'

Ute


Utility vehicle or pickup truck

Veges


Vegetables

We'll see you right

Don't worry we'll make sure you're ok

Whanau


Extended family

Wopwops


Out in the sticks

Youse


'You' plural

For Maori words see Maori in New Zealand and our comprehensive Maori language course for travellers.

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