75 Of The Most New Zealand Sayings Ever

By Olivia Atkinson

Friends look at a phone.

Kiwi slang is, erm...let’s go with ‘unique’. We’ve got a colourful collection of sayings and catchphrases that have been passed down from generation to generation, and make little to no sense to anyone who isn’t from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Whether you’re as Kiwi as they come, or a New Zealand newbie trying to figure out what the heck everyone is talking about, we’ve created a nifty list of all the sayings you should know. From describing last night’s antics to cheekily insulting your mate, here are 75 Kiwi slang and colloquialisms and their meanings. Your vocab will thank you for it.

1.“My bloody car carked it yesterday.” Translation: “My car died yesterday.”

2.“Pff! He couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery.” Translation: ‘He’ is unable to accomplish a simple task.

3.“That fulla is munted.” Translation: “That guy is drunk.”

4.“Did you see Susan? She looked like mutton dressed as lamb.” Translation: Susan was dressing too young for her age.

5.“Had enough to eat, love?” “Yep, I’m chocka.” Translation: “Yep, I’m full.”

6.“Aw I dunno, it looks a bit sus.” Translation: “Hmm, I don’t know, it looks a bit suspicious.”

7.“Pass me the chuddy.” Translation: “Pass me the chewing gum.”

8.“What a ratbag!” Translation: “What a brat!”

9.“Slow down, Trev.” Translation: “Slow down, guy who is probably not called Trev.”

10.“Oi, let’s hit up Maccas.” Translation: “Hey, let’s go to McDonald’s.”

11.“Oh that Jack, he’s a hard case.” Translation: “Oh Jack, he’s funny.”

12.“Mandy is packing a sad.” Translation: “Mandy is upset.”

13.“That Geoff guy spins all the yarns, huh.” Translation: “Geoff tells stories that aren’t necessarily true, doesn’t he?.”

14.“I had a bloody mare last night.” Translation: “I had a bad time last night.”

15.“Had a big one on the turps.” Translation: “Had a big night of drinking.”

16.“Give us a couple of snags off the barbie, will ya?" Translation: “Give us a couple of sausage off the barbecue, please.”

17.“She’s down in Dunners living the scarfie life.” Translation: “She’s in Dunedin living the student life.”

18.“Course I can do it, it’s a piece of piss.” Translation: “Of course I can do it, it’s extremely easy.”

19.“He’s a muppet!” Translation: “He’s an incompetent idiot.”

20.“And then she chundered all over the floor.” Translation: We think you get the picture…

21.“The punters are out in full force!” Translation: “There’s a big crowd.”

22.“Ugh, that’s grotty.” Translation: “Ugh, that’s disgusting.”

23.“Well that was a total cock up, wasn’t it?” Translation: Cock up = mistake/went badly.

24.“Yes but can you handle the jandal?” Translation: “Can you deal with the situation?”

25.“Don’t worry about it, just chuck a sickie.” Translation: Chuck a sickie = have a sick day.

26.“Can you pass me a beer?” “Nah” “Aw, stink one.” Translation: Stink one = disappointed.

27.“You’re such an egg.” Translation: “You’re such a clown.”

28.“Aw, gutted!” Translation: Gutted = disappointed.

29.“Sweet as, bro!” Translation: Sweet as = great/excellent.

30.“He’s all mouth no trousers.” Translation: “He promises something and never follows through.”

31.“She was pissed as a chook.” Translation: “She was very drunk.”

32.“You’re taking the piss!” Translation: Take the piss = joking/making fun of.

33.“Eh?” Translation: Eh has a variety of meanings. It can be what, huh or doesn’t it, just to name a few.

34.“I didn’t choose the skux life, the skux life chose me.” Translation: A pearler of a quote from Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Skux = ladies man or good looking person.

35.“I left my scooter outside the dairy, nek minit.” Translation: Nek minit = the next minute/what happened next.

36.“Dammit, I forgot to bring my togs!” “Maaaate.” Translation: “Oh no, I forgot my swimsuit.” “Oh no, that’s disappointing.

37.“Yeah, nah.” Translation: An indecisive ‘no’.

38.“How’s the missus?” Translation: “How is your female significant other?”

39.“The ol’ noggin is still pretty sore.” Translation: “My head is still quite sore.”

40.“Did you pash?” Translation: Pash = kiss.

41.“Hahaha, she’s such a dag.” Translation: “She’s so funny.”

42.“I have heaps of mates.” Translation: Heaps = a lot.

43.“It was choice, bro.” Translation: “It was good, bro.”

44.“Far out, that’s ratshit.” Translation: “Oh wow, that sucks.”

45.“Nah, I’m still feeling crook.” Translation: “I’m still feeling ill.”

46.“Ben, take your gummies off in the house!” Translation: Gummies = gumboots.

47.“You’ll be knackered after all that hard yakka.” Translation: “You must be tired after all that hard work.”

48.“Let’s knock the bastard off.” Translation: Coined by the late Sir Ed. “Let’s finish the job.”

49.“He’ll try to cut your lunch if you’re not careful.” Translation: “He will do his best to steal the person you’re dating away from you and date them himself if you don’t watch out.”

50.“Stop being such a hungus!” Translation: Hungus = someone who eats a lot of food.

51.“He gave him a good rark up.” Translation: “He told him off.”

52.“How much money have you saved for travelling?” “Bugger all.” Translation: Bugger all = not much.

53.“Bugger!” A phrase used when something/anything goes wrong.

54.“Have you seen that new video?” “Nah, I’ll give it a squiz though.” Translation: Squiz = quick look.

55.“No worries, she’ll be right.” Translation: The epitome of the Kiwi attitude. Everything is going to be OK.

56.“Want to hit up the Coro, bro?” “Keen” Translation: Keen = an enthusiastic ‘yes’.

57.“She’s always spitting the dummy.” Translation: “She’s always having a tantrum/hissy fit.”

58.“I’ll suss it.” Translation: “I’ll sort it out.”

59.“He’s a wally.” Translation: “He’s silly.”

60.“Here’s your sammie.” “Ta.” Translation: “Here’s your sandwich.” “Thank you.”

61.“Not even.” Translation: “Not true.”

62.“The weather sucks at the moment.” “Hard.” Translation: Hard/hard out = to agree.

63.“That’s a crack up.” Translation: “That’s funny.”

64.“Everything is good as gold.” Translation: “Everything is fine.

65.“I got you a pie from the dairy, bro.” “Aw, tu meke.” Translation: “Thanks, you shouldn’t have.

66.“Will managed to get himself a bird.” “Yeah, right!” Translation: “Will got a girlfriend.” “Whatever/I don’t believe what you just said.

67.“I got a free dinner.” “Mean!” Translation: Mean = awesome.

68.“Chur.” Translation: Chur = cheers/thanks.

69.“Straight up, g?” Translation: “Really/are you telling the truth?”

70.“That's some bloody good kai.” Translation: Kai = food.

71.“Bloody nora, I forgot to lock the house!” Translation: Bloody nora = “Oh no!”

72.“It’s a cracker of a day.” Translation: Cracker = great.

73.“He took us on a tiki tour in the wop wops.” Translation: “He took us for a drive to the middle of nowhere.”

74.“She’s a sammie short of a picnic.” Translation: “She’s a bit stupid.”

75.“Let’s head out for a smoko.” Translation: “Let’s head out for a break.”

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Image credit: Tito la resta.

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