DANNY : DE HEKNew Zealand slang has developed over time from such a diverse mixture of backgrounds that it is sometimes difficult to establish exactly what phrases and slang words are originally from New Zealand!

However be assured that all of the listed words and phrases are used with regularity throughout New Zealand which will hopefully give you a better understanding of what your Kiwi mates are really trying to tell ya!

Ads – tv commercials, advertisements
Anklebiter – toddler, small child
Aotearoa – Maori name for New Zealand meaning land of the long white cloud
Arvo – afternoon
Bach – is a term that New Zealander’s use for a holiday home in the North Island
Banger – sausage, as in bangers and mash
Barbie – barbecue
Big smoke – large town or city
Bit of dag – hard case, comedian, person with character
Bitser – mongrel dog
Bloke – man
Brickie – bricklayer
Brown eye – to flash your naked butt at someone
Boy racer – is a term New Zealander’s use when they are referring to youth or young men driving fast cars that they have generally modified
Bring a plate – means bring a dish of food to share
Bugger – damn!
Bungy – kiwi slang for elastic strap, as in Bungy Jumping
Caravan – mobile home that you tow behind your car
Carked – fallen over or died
Cardi – cardigan
Cast – immobilised, unable to get to your feet
Cheers – thanks
Cheerio – goodbye
Cheerio – name for a cocktail sausage
Chocka – full, overflowing
Choice – is a term New Zealander’s use when they are happy about something
Chook – chicken
Chick – slang word for woman/female
Chips – deep fried slices of potato but much thicker than a french fry
Chippy – builder, carpenter
Chrissy pressies – Christmas presents
Chuddy – chewing gum
Chunder – vomit, throw up
Cockie – farmer
Cotton buds – Q-tips
Creek – small stream
Crib – is a term New Zealander’s use for a holiday home in the South Island
– cup of tea, as in cuppa tea
Cuz – cousin, family
De facto – name used for a couple who are not married but are living together
Ding – small dent in a vehicle
Dole – unemployment benefit
Dodgy – bad, unreliable, not good
Down the gurgler – failed plan
Drongo – stupid fool, idiot
Drop your gear – take your clothes off, get undressed
Dunny – toilet, bathroom, lavatory
Duvet – quilt, doona
Ear bashing – someone talking incessantly
Entree – appetizer, hors d’oeurve
Fizz Boat – small power boat
Fizzy drink – soda pop
Flannel – wash cloth, face cloth
Flat – apartment, name for rental accommodation that is shared
Flat out – is a term New Zealander’s use when they are very busy
Flicks – movies, picture theatre
Flog – steal, rob
Footie – rugby union or league, as in “going to watch the footie”
Full tilt – going very fast, using all your power, as in “he was running full tilt”
G’day – universal kiwi greeting, also spelled gidday
G’day guys – A greeting you say to people you don’t really know as you walk pass, applies to any gender even pets.
Get the willies – overcome with trepidation
Going bush – take a break, become reclusive
Good on ya, mate! – congratulations, well done, proud of someone
Good as gold – feeling good, not a problem, yes
Greasies – fish and chips
Gumboots or gummies – rubber boots, wellingtons
Handle – pint of beer
Happy as larry – very happy
Hard case – amusing, funny person
Hard yakka – hard work
Hollywood – to fake or exaggerate an injury on the sportsfield
Home and hosed – safe, successfully finished, completed,
Hoon – Young adult driving fast
Hosing down – heavy rain, raining heavily
Hottie – hot water bottle
How’s it going mate? – kiwi greeting
Iceblock – popsicle, Ice Stick
Jandals – is a term New Zealander’s use for what you wear at the beach. Known as flip flops to some and thongs to others
Judder bar – speed bump
Jumper – sweater, jersey
Kiwi – New Zealander
Kiwifruit – Brown furry skinned fruit, Zespri, Chinese Gooseberry
Kick the bucket – die
Knackered – exhausted, tired, lethargic
Knuckle sandwhich – a fist in the teeth, punch in the mouth
Laughing gear – mouth, as in wrap your laughing gear around this,
L&P – Fizzy soda water
Lift – elevator
Lolly – candy
Loo – bathroom, toilet
Long drop – outdoor toilet, hole in ground
Lurgy – flu
Mad as a meat axe – very angry or crazy
Main – primary dish of a meal
Maori – indigenous people of New Zealand
Mate – buddy
Motorway – freeway
Munted – is a term New Zealander’s use for when something is broken or damaged
Naff off
– go away, get lost, leave me alone
Nana – grandmother, grandma
Nappy – diaper
Nek Minnit – a funny phrased used when something happens next minute
North Cape to the Bluff – from one end of New Zealand to the other
Number 8 wire – is a term used for the ingenuity and resourcefulness of New Zealanders
OE – Overseas Experience, many students go on their OE after finishing university, see the world
Offsider – an assistant, someones friend, as in “we saw him and his offsider going down the road”
Old bomb – old car
Oldies – parents
On the never never – paying for something using layby, not paying straight away
On The Turps is what New Zealander’s refer to when someone has had a big night out drinking alcohol
Open slather – a free-for-all
Over The Ditch – The ditch is favourably known as the Tasman Sea that separates New Zealand and Australia
Pack a sad – bad mood, morose, ill-humoured, broken , as in “she packed a sad”
Pakeha – non-Maori person
Panel beater – auto repair shop, panel shop
Pav – pavlova, dessert usually topped with kiwifruit and cream
Perve – to stare
Petrol – gasoline, gas
Piece-of-piss – easy, not hard to do, as in “didn’t take me long to do, it was a piece of piss”
Pikelet – small pancake usually had with jam and whipped cream
Piker – someone who gives up easy, slacker
Pinky – little finger
Piss around – waste time, muck around
Pisshead – someone who drinks a lot of alcohol, heavy drinker
Piss up – party, social gathering, excuse for drinking alcohol
Pissed off – annoyed, angry, upset
Plonk – is a term New Zealander’s use for a cheap bottle of wine
– bad smell, stink
Postal code – zip code
Pram – baby stroller, baby pushchair
Pressie – present
Pub – bar or hotel that serves liquor
Pudding – dessert
Pushing up daisies – dead and buried
Quack – Medical doctor
Randy – horny, wanting sex
Rark up – telling somebody off
Rattle your dags – hurry up, get moving
Rellies – relatives, family
Root – have sex, get sex
Ropeable – very angry
Ring – to telephone somebody, as in “I’ll give you a ring”
Rubbish – garbage, trash
Rust bucket – decrepit motor car
Scarce as hens teeth – very scarce, rare
Scarfie – university student
Scull – consume, drink quickly
Scroggin – trampers high energy food including dried fruits, chocolate
Serviette – paper napkin
Shandy – drink made with lemonade and beer
Shark and taties – fish and chips
Sheila – slang for woman/female
She’ll be right – is a term New Zealander’s use for when everything will be ok
Shit a brick – exclamation of surprise or annoyance
Shoot through – to leave suddenly
Shout – to treat, to buy something for someone, as in “lunch is my shout”
Sickie – to take a day off work or school because you are sick
Skite – to boast, boasting, bragging
Snarler – sausage
Snowed under – is a term New Zealander’s use to indicate they are very busy and have too much work to do
Sook – cry baby, wimp
Sparkie – electrician
Sparrow fart – very early in the morning, sunrise
Spin a yarn – is what New Zealander’s refer to when someone embellishes a story that is often long and drawn out and it generally isn’t factual
Sprog – child
Spud – potato
Squiz – take a quick look
Steinie – bottle of Steinlager, brand lager
Stoked – is a term New Zealander’s use for when they are happy about something
Strapped for cash – low on cash, no money
Stubby – small glass bottle of beer
Sunday driver – someone who drives very slow
Sunnies – sunglasses
Sweet as – is a term New Zealander’s use for when something is good, awesome or no problem
Ta – thanks
Take-aways – food to be taken away and eaten, fast food outlet
Tea – evening meal, dinner
Tights – pantyhose
Tiki Tour – is what New Zealander’s say when they take a scenic route to a destination or a scenic tour of an area
– swimsuit, bathing costume
Torch – flashlight
Tramping – hiking
Twink – white-out
Up the duff – pregnant
Ute – small pickup truck
Veges – vegetables
Wally – clown, silly person
Whinge – complain, moan
Wobbly – to have a tantrum
Wop-wops – situated off the beaten track, out of the way location
Yack – to have a conversation with a friend, to talk
Yeah nah – is what New Zealander’s say with indecision. It’s a phrase than can mean yes, no or maybe

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