This ones for my Antipodean friends…
Fellow travellers, by now you’re aware that Kiwi’s and Auzzie’s are EVERYWHERE. We’re like the great plague, but far more fun and definitely better looking.
As a Kiwi – we like to think we’re somewhat of a rarity. From the bottom of the world, and tiny little corner we like to boast is ‘Middle Earth’, it’s hard to believe we could occupy all four corners of the globe [since when did globe’s have corners anyway?].
London is definitely an exception. Especially for those who live in Clapham Common. But yet, people still have a hard time understanding us [or is it just me?] so I’ve created this wee guide to help you understand what the hell we’re saying. So the next time I say “it’s cold and I’m off to put some pants on” you wont stare at me like I’m enforcing nudity.
Lesson One: The Basic Terminology
As – We commonly use the word “as” to amplify or drive home the point of the previous word. For example, “cheap as” would translate to “very cheap”.
Bit of a Dag – Used if someone is rather funny. “They’re a bit of a dag”, meaning they’re funny. I’m not sure why, because “a dag” is also the raggy bits hanging off the back of a sheep’s bum. Delightful, what a compliment.
Bust a Gut – Used if something is particularly difficult and you’ve worked hard to achieve it. “I busted a gut building that fence”.
Cheers – Goodbye or Thankyou. NOT the drinking variety of the word [although we also do use it when we toast], and therefore I should probably stop writing it at the bottom of my work emails.
Chilly Bin – Australian’s call them ‘Eskies’. It’s a cooler box to put your beers in.
Chips – Can refer to both fries and crisps. They’re one and the same.
Choc-a-block – Very full. Packed. “The bar was Choc-a-block.”
Dairy – Corner store or off-license shop – although in NZ it’s rare that they sell alcohol. The dairy is where you go to buy your chips and fizzy drink [soda pop].
Eh? – Used in replacement for ‘what’, ‘excuse me’, and ‘pardon’. Often utilized when you haven’t heard what someone has said, or you are rather surprised by a comment. This is truly a kiwi staple.
Feijoa – Not slang but do yourself a favour and get amongst this fruity deliciousness.
Gumboots – Outdoor Footwear also referred to as ‘Gummies’. The Brits’ know them as Wellingtons. Essentially they’re just rubber boots for getting down and dirty. Festival and farming essentials.
Heaps – Meaning a lot of something. You all know there’s “heaps of sheep” in NZ.
Hoon –You can be “a hoon”, or “go for a hoon”; both are generally associated with fast cars. Ie: “I’m going for a hoon in my car”. The older generation of kiwis also refer to young male car enthusiasts as “hoons” or boy racers.
Jandals – Japanese Sandals. Flip flops. The Ozzies call them ‘Thongs’. No explanation necessary.
Kiwi – A flightless bird that is also a national icon. Also another term for a New Zealander [if you hadn’t already realized]. As for the fruit, we call them Kiwifruit.
Maggot – A term for being incredibly intoxicated. Generally it’s used when someone is so drunk they’re almost literally rolling around on the ground like a maggot.
Mean – A somewhat confusing one. “Mean” is often used interchangeably with good. Have I lost you? So if I said, “far out, that car was mean”, it would translate as “that is a very aesthetically pleasing vehicle”.
Squiz – Look, See. “Can I have a squiz at that?” “Come and have a squiz at this”.
Togs – Swimming costume.
Lesson Two: Multiple Uses for the Word “PISS”
Piss – Used interchangeably for both urine – “taking a piss”, and alcohol – “drinking piss”. Don’t ask me why.
Piece of Piss – Used when something is very easy. “That run was a piece of piss”.
Piss Around – To stuff around or not to much at all.
Piss Off – To be angry, or anger someone. “You’re pissing me right off”. Also used to tell someone to go away.
Piss-Up – To go to a party – generally involving “drinking a lot of piss”. You’re going to a Piss-Up to get pissed!
Take the Piss – When you make a joke of someone or something you’re “taking the piss”. “Don’t take the piss” means don’t tell me lies, and is often responded to with “I shit you not”, which means I’m not telling you lies.
Most Importantly: The Use of “As”
Kiwi’s use the word “As” at the end of MANY things, but it is an easy one to master. To begin:
Sweet As – Means something is very good, or not a problem.
Examples: “The pie was sweet as”, meaning it was very good.
Or “Bro, can you buy me a pie?”
“Sweet as” – meaning sure, not a problem.
“As” can be added on to most words and is commonly paired with the words Choice, Sweet, Heaps, and Mean.
Next time you meet a kiwi, try it on! And to correct your pronunciation, here’s a winner!
And for a wee piece of New Zealand Awesomeness [just in case you still confuse us with Australians]