New Zealand English

Although New Zealand is dominantly English speaking, there are things for Americans to learn about their dialect. Here I record unique terms and language used in New Zealand:

  • Bars me up: annoys me
  • Billy: a bucket
  • Bundy: (adj) cheap, poor quality
  • Bush: the forest, the backcountry
  • Chea boi: a casual greeting (I’ve only heard it used at University)
  • Goon: a box of cheap wine
  • Heaps: a lot “That party was heaps of fun”
  • Haka: Maori war dance. It’s often performed as a ceremonial greeting or challenge.
  • Hooning: speeding “That crazy car is hooning down the road”
  • Jandals: Sandals, flip-flops
  • Kiwi: A person born/raised in New Zealand.
  • Kiwi Bird: a native, flightless bird.
  • Kiwi Fruit: a brown, fuzzy fruit the size of a large egg. When cut open it reveals sweet green flesh with a ring of small black seeds.
  • Lollies: candy (not just lolly-pops)
  • Knackered: tired, weary
  • Niggly: (adj) describing something slightly annoying
  • Reckon: (v) indicating thought or judgement “I reckon it’s going to rain”
  • Scroggin: trail mix
  • Stubbies: shorts or swimtrunks
  • Sweet as: a common phrase expressing approval or thanks
  • Torch: flashlight
  • Yum: delicious “I love this cake, it’s yum!”