New Zealand Slang

In which Bennett learns some New Zealand slang

I’ve reached the 21 month mark here in New Zealand. How crazy is that? I’ve also been cohabiting with a boy for a year now. Now, this may not be major news, but it’s living with him (having grown up in the North Island for 12 years after moving from the UK) has most certainly changed my vocabulary, or at least my understanding of kiwi vocabulary! There is a lot of New Zealand slang (kiwi slang) which I can now pass onto you guys, in case I ever use it and you are confused about what I am saying!

New Zealand slang in greenBritish English translations follow each word

Trundler – the humble shopping trolley

Docket – a shop receipt

Jandals – flip flops (and as I also live with an Aussie now, we also hear a lot about “thongs!”)

bach (most of NZ)/crib (far south of NZ) – a holiday home

Tramping – The kiwi version of hiking

Togs – swimwear (Craig has a great video for the definition of togs – this used to be an advert for ice cream!)

Twink – Tippex

Munted – broken

Lollies – this is all sweets, not just lollipops: chewy sweets, hard boiled sweets. This causes great debate in this household!

Stubby – a short fat bottle of beer – comes from Aussie slang but is used here too

Stubby holders – a neoprene wrap to keep your stubby cool whilst you hold it

Gladwrap – clingfilm (Gladwrap is actually a brand name – just like we refer to Tippex or Sellotape!)

Kiwi – a flightless, national bird, or anything New Zealand related

“Yeah nah” – ummmmmmmm, or not fussed.

Hokey pokey – honeycomb sweet, like the stuff you find in a Crunchie bar

Chips – crisps. VERY CONFUSING!

“That’s mean bro!” – “That’s great, mate!”

Chur! – Cool!

“I’m hungry as!” – I’m very hungry. Use “as” after any adjective to mean very: “fresh as” “cold as”…. you get the gist!

“Sweet as!” – awesome

A varied list of words that I now have to deal with fairly regularly!

Which is your favourite New Zealand slang word on this list? Are there any I’ve forgotten?

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Author: Bennett

2 years as an expat in China and now doing the same in New Zealand, Bennett sure likes to experience "slow travel!"

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1 Comment

  1. Tehehehehe…. love this! Having lived in Australia for many years, this made me giggle a bit. And congrats on reaching the 21 month mark!!! 😀

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