Kiwi Slang

While New Zealand English Slang has a lot of similarities to Aussie and British Slang, it does have a bit of an identity of it’s own. So, we thought we’d gather together a list of Kiwi slang terms.

New Zealand Kiwi Slang Dictionary
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
Beaut – beauty Something good or outstanding. Often used ironically to mean the opposite
Big bikkies – Lots of money
Big smoke – large town or city
Bit of dag – hard case, comedian, person with character
Bitser – mongrel dog
Bloke – man
Bludge – Sponge off other’s generosity
Boy-racer – name given to a young man who drives a fast car with a loud stereo
Box of birds – Feeling very good.
Brickie – bricklayer
Bright as a button – Looking fresh, alert
Bright spark – Intelligent, alert, attentive, awake
Bring a plate – means bring a dish of food to share
Bro – Term of address for a male friend or relative
Brown eye – to flash your naked butt at someone
Bugger – damn!
Bungy – kiwi slang for elastic strap, as in Bungy Jumping
Bush – New Zealand’s native forest
Bushed – had it Exhausted
Buttie – Sandwich made from buttered bread
BYO Bring Your Own – A BYO restaurant is a restaurant that allows customers to bring their own wine to drink with their meal.
Caravan – mobile home that you tow behind your car
Cardi – cardigan
Cast – immobilised, unable to get to your feet
Cheerio – goodbye
Cheerio – name for a cocktail sausage
Cheers – thanks
Chick – slang word for woman/female
Chippy – builder, carpenter
Chilly bin – Cool bag
Chips – deep fried slices of potato but much thicker than a french fry
Chocka – full, overflowing
Choice – Fine, excellent
Chook – chicken
Chrissy pressies – Christmas presents
Chuddy – chewing gum
Chunder – vomit, throw up
Clean as a whistle – Sparkling clean
Clown – Term of abuse, idiot
Cockie – farmer
Cotton buds – Q-tips
Creek – small stream
Crib – bach
Crook – To be ill or unwell. Also means a thief
Cuppa – cup of tea, as in cuppa tea
Cuz – cousin, family
Dag – An amusing person, a character
Dairy – Convenience store
De facto – name used for a couple who are not married but are living together
Ding – small dent in a vehicle
The Ditch – Tasman Sea
Dodgy – bad, unreliable, not good
Dole – unemployment benefit
Domain – Public park
Dork – An idiot or a physically uncoordinated person
Dough – Money
Down the gurgler – failed plan
Drive around the bend – Annoy so much you lose your temper
Drongo – stupid fool, idiot
Drop your gear – take your clothes off, get undressed
Dude – A cool or good looking male
Dunny – toilet, bathroom, lavatory
Duvet – quilt, doona
Ear bashing – someone talking incessantly
Entree – appetizer, hors d’oeurve
Feed – A meal
Fizz Boat – small power boat
Fizzy drink – soda pop
Flannel – wash cloth, face cloth
Flat – apartment, name for rental accommodation that is shared
Flat tack – At top speed
Flat white – Similar to a café au lait but uses microfoam instead of steamed milk
Flicks – movies, picture theatre
Flog – steal, rob
Footie – rugby union or league, as in “going to watch the footie”
Foxy, fox – Used to describe a cool or good looking person of either sex
Full tit – going very fast, using all your power, as in “he was running full tit”
Fully – I agree
G’day – universal kiwi greeting, also spelled gidday
Get the willies – overcome with trepidation
Get off the grass – No way
Glidetime – Flexible working hours
Going bush – take a break, become reclusive
Good as gold – feeling good, not a problem, yes
Good on ya, mate! – congratulations, well done, proud of someone
Got the blues – Used to describe a sad state of mind
Greasies – fish and chips
Greenie – A conservationist
Grog – Alcohol
Grouse – Fine, excellent, often used to express delight
Gumboots or gummies – rubber boots, wellingtons
Guts for garters – Big trouble
Handle – pint of beer
Happy as larry – very happy
Hard case – amusing, funny person
Hard graft -Hard work
Hard yakka – hard work
Head over heels – Usually describing somebody who is very very happy
Heart of gold – Describing a person who is very kind
Hollywood – to fake or exaggerate an injury on the sportsfield
Home and hosed – safe, successfully finished, completed,
Hook up – Meet up or join in
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
In a spin – Usually when too many things happen all at one time or too many choices
Jandal – thongs, sandals,flip-flops,
Joker – A man
Judder bar – speed bump
Jumper – sweater, jersey
Kick the bucket – die
Kiwi – New Zealander
Kiwifruit – Brown furry skinned fruit, Zespri, Chinese Gooseberry
Knackered – exhausted, tired, lethargic
Knuckle sandwhich – a fist in the teeth, punch in the mouth
L&P – Fizzy soda water
Laughing gear – mouth, as in wrap your laughing gear around this,
Lift – elevator
Lolly – candy
Long drop – outdoor toilet, hole in ground
Loo – bathroom, toilet
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
Mate – Friend, buddy, pal
Mince – Ground meat
Mission – An adventure
Mongrel – A term of abuse or contempt for a person
Motorway – freeway
Munted – To be broken or distorted
My shout – My treat
Naff off – go away, get lost, leave me alone
Nana – grandmother, grandma
Nappy – diaper
Narley – Cool, good
Nifty – Good (applied to a thing)
No joy – No luck
No worries – Common phrase of agreement
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”
Off yer face – Drunk
Old bomb – old car
Oldies – parents
On a high – A good feeling that can come from success
On the never never – paying for something using layby, not paying straight away
On to it – Efficient or intelligent
Once in a blue moon – Very rarely, seldom, almost never
Open slather – a free-for-all
Oz – Australia
Pack a sad – bad mood, morose, ill-humoured, broken , as in “she packed a sad”
Paddock – A field, also a sports pitch
Paint the town red – To go out and have a good time
Pakeha – non-Maori person
Panel beater – auto repair shop, panel shop
Partner – Significant other. Typically someone will ask if you have a partner, versus asking if you have a boyfriend or girlfriend.
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
Pike out – Give up
Pinky – little finger
Piss around – waste time, muck around
Piss off – Go away! Shut-up
Piss up – party, social gathering, excuse for drinking alcohol
Pissed off – annoyed, angry, upset
Pisshead – someone who drinks a lot of alcohol, heavy drinker
Plonk – cheap liquor, cheap wine
Pong – bad smell, stink
Pop on over/ pop in – Come and visit me at my house
Postal code – zip code
Potluck dinner – Everyone brings prepared food to share with all the guests
Pram – baby stroller, baby pushchair
Pressie – A present (gift)
Pub – bar or hotel that serves liquor
Pudding – dessert
Pushing up daisies – dead and buried
Quack – Medical doctor
Rack off – Go away angry
Randy – horny, wanting sex
Rapt – Very pleased
Rark up – telling somebody off
Rattle your dags – hurry up, get moving
Rellies – relatives, family
Ring – to telephone somebody, as in “I’ll give you a ring”
Root – have sex, get sex
Rooted – Feel tired
Ropeable – very angry
Rough ride – A difficult experience
Rubbish – garbage, trash
Rust bucket – decrepit motor car
Scarce as hens teeth – very scarce, rare
Scarfie – university student
Scroggin – trampers high energy food including dried fruits, chocolate
Scull – consume, drink quickly
Serviette – paper napkin
Shandy – drink made with lemonade and beer
Shark and taties – fish and chips
She’ll be right – Everything is going to be OK
Sheila – slang for woman/female
Shit a brick – exclamation of surprise or annoyance
Shocking – Very bad
Shoot through – to leave suddenly
Shout To – treat your friends to something such as a drink or a meal
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
Smoko – Coffee or tea break
Snarler – sausage
Snowed under – Usually has too much work or responsibility
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
Sticks – Remote or rural district, the countryside
Stinge/Stingy – Not generous with your money
Stoked – Very excited
Strapped for cash – low on cash, no money
Stubby – small glass bottle of beer
Sunday driver – someone who drives very slow
Sunnies – sunglasses
Sweet-as! – Cool! Awesome!
Swot – Study hard, especially before an exam
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
To take for a ride – To deceive or trick someone
Toastie – Toasted sandwich
Togs – swimsuit, bathing costume
Tomato sauce – Ketchup ( Do not try asking for Ketchup. You will be met with alien looks.)
Torch – flashlight
Tramping – hiking
Trundler – Shopping cart
Tucker – Food
Turn to custard – Collapse of ideas, schemes, plans
Twink – white-out
Unc/Unco – An uncoordinated person, often used as an insult or taunt
Under the weather – Feeling off colour, unwell, tired
Uni – University
Up the duff – pregnant
Up the Puhoi – In difficulties
Ute – small pickup truck
Varsity – University
Veggies – Vegetables
Wally – clown, silly person
Whinge – complain, moan
Wicked – Fine, excellent
Wobbly – to have a tantrum
Wop-wops – Remote or rural district, the countryside
Yack – to have a conversation with a friend, to talk
Zed – How Kiwis pronounce the letter “Z”