Tuesday, December 30, 2008


New Zealand is an English-speaking country, but as it turns out, their English is a wee bit different from American English. With my upcoming move barely a month away, I thought it wise to brush up on my Kiwi-speak. Here are just a few common words and phrases I fancy I ought to rattle my dags and learn before I bugger off down-under. The thought of getting there and brassing off the Kiwis and having them think I’m two sammies short of a picnic because I can’t understand them gives me the colly wobbles. Cheers!

banger: sausage
biscuit: cookie
Bob's your Uncle: roughly translates to 'there ya go - that's all there is to it!' Just press this big red button that says 'Launch Missile', and "Bob's your uncle".
brassed off: disappointed, annoyed
brilliant: excellent; great; wonderful
bugger off: piss off, shove off, get out
caravan: trailer, mobile home
cheers: goodbye or thanks or good luck.
chips: french fries
chuffed: pleased; as in "he was dead chuffed"
colly wobbles: a feeling of nausea usually associated with nervousness; as in "bungee jumping gave me a dose of the colly wobbles"
corker: very good
dodgy: bad, unreliable, spoiled; as in "that fish is a bit dodgy".
dunny: toilet, bathroom, lavatory
fancy: hanker after somebody or something
flat: apartment
good on ya, mate!: congratulations, well done
home 'n hosed: safe, completed successfully
jersey: sweater
judder bar: speed bump
Kiwi: New Zealander
knickers: underwear
lift: elevator
loo: bathroom
lorry: truck
mate: buddie (common term, and can be used even with strangers) as in "how's it going mate" for "how are you", but it is NOT used to the same extent as spoken in Australia where every second word seems to be "mate".
Maori: indigenous people of New Zealand.
Mum: Mom
naff off: get lost!
nought: zero
pakeha: non-Maori person
piece-of-piss: easy as in "that was a piece of piss to make".
piker: one who gives up easily
pissed: drunk, inebriated
rattle your dags: hurry up; get a move on.
sarnie: sandwich
she'll be right: not a problem, it'll be O.K.
snarky: mixture of sarcastic and nasty
stupid as a two bob watch: used to describe a person who behaves irrationally
tea: dinner - generic name for evening meal
tiki tour: roundabout way to get somewhere; scenic tour
togs: swimsuit, bathing suit
torch: flashlight
two sammies short of a picnic: used to describe a person who is a "bit thick".
wop-wops: out of the way location
yonks: forever, a long time ago, ages; as in "I haven't seen them in yonks".
yack: general conversation held between friends; as in "have a yack".
zed: Z; zee; the last letter of the alphabet.