New 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, advertisments Anklebiter – toddler, small child Aotearoa – Maori name for New Zealand meaning land of the long white cloud Arvo – afternoon Bach – holiday home 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 – name given to a young man who drives a fast car with a loud stereo 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 Cardi – cardigan Cast – immobilised, unable to get to your feet Cheers – thanks Cheerio – goodbye Cheerio – name for a cocktail sausage Chocka – full, overflowing 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 – bach, Cuppa – 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 Flicks – movies, picture theatre Flog – steal, rob Footie – rugby union or league, as in “going to watch the footie” Full tit – going very fast, using all your power, as in “he was running full tit” G’day – universal kiwi greeting, also spelled gidday 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 Jandal – thongs, sandals,flip-flops, 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 Naff off – go away, get lost, leave me alone Nana – grandmother, grandma Nappy – diaper North Cape to the Bluff – from one end of New Zealand to the other 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 Open slather – a free-for-all 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 – cheap liquor, cheap wine Pong – 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 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 Sook – cry baby, wimp Sparkie – electrician Sparrow fart – very early in the morning, sunrise Sprog – child Spud – potato Squiz – take a quick look Steinie – bottle of Steinlager, brand lager Strapped for cash – low on cash, no money Stubby – small glass bottle of beer Sunday driver – someone who drives very slow Sunnies – sunglasses Ta – thanks Take-aways – food to be taken away and eaten, fast food outlet Tea – evening meal, dinner Tights – pantyhose Tiki tour – scenic tour, take the long route Togs – 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