37 Kiwi Words That Will Confuse The Hell Out Of You

By Martha Brooke
20th Sep 2016

37 Kiwi Words That Will Confuse The Hell Out Of You

Every country has its own lingo and slang terms that are commonly used by true locals and New Zealand is no exception. From scroggin to chook, it’s not an easy ride being the newbie in town. Here at The Urban List, we have created a ‘dictionary’ full of street talk, with an easy definition to go with it.

Refer to this guide and you’ll be passing yourself off as a true Kiwi/Jafa in no time—don’t worry, you’ll find out what a Jafa is soon enough!

  1. Dairy: Corner store selling day-to-day essentials including milk, newspapers, dollar lolly bags, Cookie Times and choccy-flavoured Primo. “I’m going to the dairy to grab some milk.”
  2. Lolly: Candy and sweets. “Yum, this lolly tastes great.” 
  3. Pineapple Lumps: Chocolate-covered pineapple chew. FYI they don’t taste like pineapple. “Let’s decorate the cake with Pineapple Lumps.”
  4. Bach: Holiday home pronounced ‘batch’. If you’re anyone in New Zealand, you will own one. “Let’s go to the bach this weekend for a girly getaway while Mummy and Daddy are away on the yacht.”
  5. Jandals: Flip flops/thongs. The closest thing to going barefoot (which Kiwi’s love by the way!). “We’re going to the movies? I’ll wear my jandals.”
  6. Beaut: Great, excellent, very good. “My car’s a beaut.”
  7. Bro: Short for brother. A term of endearment for a close male friend and used a hell of a lot. “Hey, bro. Let’s go have some pints.”
  8. Scroggin: Commonly known as Trail Mix. A collection of nuts and raisins used as a snack on a hike (also very expensive!). “Have you got some scroggin for our hike?”
  9. Munted: Something that is pretty much stuffed. Can also be used to describe someone who is rather intoxicated. “God, the back of that car is completely munted.” 
  10. Togs: What you wear when you go swimming. “Gosh, his togs don’t hide much!”
  11. Dodgy: Suspicious. “That guy looks seriously dodgy.” 
  12. Capsicum: A pepper that comes in green, yellow and red. They can be stuffed, thrown in stir fries and turned into soup. When not in season, they are deathly expensive. “I’ll add some capsicum to the salad.”
  13. Stoked: Pretty happy and chuffed about something. “I’m so stoked a New Year’s Eve Festival is coming to Auckland.”
  14. Chook: Chicken. Can also be used as a term of endearment. “What are you up to, chook?”
  15. Eh?: Pardon/what.
  16. Eh: Pronounced ‘ay’. Means similar to ‘don’t you agree?’ “That feed was good, eh?”
  17. Ta: A shortened version of thank you taught to kids from a very young age. “Here’s your drink.” “Ta.”
  18. Yeah…nah: Technically means no. How vague can you be?! “Do you want to go on a date with me?” “Yeah…nah.”
  19. Dunny: A toilet. “Hang on, bro. I just need to go to the dunny.”
  20. EFTPOS: Electronic Payment System. Confusing for newbies to New Zealand and you have a choice: cheque, savings or credit. “I’ll just get some money from the EFTPOS machine.” 
  21. Chocka: Full. “My wardrobe is chocka after that shopping.”
  22. Shore Girl: A stereotype of girls who live on the North Shore. “She’s a Shore Girl? Oh, then she’s a sure thing.” 
  23. Wop-wops: Literally in the middle of nowhere. “They live in the wop-wops.” 
  24. Chur: Thanks/thank you. Relaxed alternative of ‘cheers’.
  25. Durrie: Cigarette. “Hey bro, lend us a durrie!”
  26. Sweet as: Cool, awesome or no problem. “Can I borrow your wheels?” “Sweet as.”
  27. Gumboots: Wellingtons/wellies/rubber boots. There is even a gumboot throwing contest in New Zealand! “I’ll wear my gumboots in the garden.”
  28. Cuz/zie: Abbreviation of cousin. Can be male or female. “Hey cuz, how are you?” 
  29. Feijoa: A widely popular fruit that takes a while to get used to. Don’t disrespect the feijoa though, they are worshipped by Kiwis. “Can I pick some feijoas off your tree?” 
  30. Scull: Down your drink—not for the faint-hearted. If someone yells scull, you do it! “Happy 21st, Jack—now scull your yard glass!” 
  31. Hokey pokey: A type of toffee. FYI it’s delicious. Hokey pokey ice cream is a godsend. “Can I please have some hokey pokey ice cream?” 
  32. Hot chips (pronounced hot chups): Literally hot chips. They call crisps ‘chips’ so hot chips are the hot version of the potato snack (if that makes sense). “Let’s eat some hot chups on the beach.”
  33. Heaps: A lot. “I have heaps of uni work to do” or “that looks like heaps of fun.” This word is literally used ‘heaps’ in New Zealand.
  34. Westie: Someone that lives in West Auckland. “Yeah, she’s a Westie.”
  35. Crook: To feel sick or unwell. “I felt so crook after all those Pineapple Lumps.”
  36. Tiki tour: Getting to a destination the long way. “Let’s take a tiki tour to Sarah’s house.” 
  37. Jafa: Just Another F******g (or fantastic) Aucklander. “He always orders a spicy soy chai latte…a total Jafa.”

Looking for more? Check out 20 things tourists should know before visiting Auckland

Image credit: SM Photo Art

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