Kiwi expressions and South African words you can’t use

Posted on: January 16th, 2013 by admin

Kiwi expressions
Each country has it’s own way of speaking and it’s own colloquialisms that everybody uses. New Zealand is certainly no different and has it’s own unique Kiwi expressions that you will hear every day and need to learn.

Here you will find a list of the most common:

Kiwi Talk

 Saying  Meaning / Use
 As  If something is really good, then you add As after the event, eg., Scary As (really scary), Funny As (really funny), Intense As, etc.
Here one stands out in particular : Sweet As. This means “That’s just fine” or another common Kiwi saying “All Good”
 All Good  Everything is fine / no problem
 Eh  End the sentence with this phrase, pronounced like Hay, just without the H. Eg., “That was a sweet as movie eh”. You can also use it like we do to ask the person to repeat themselves because you didn’t hear what they said. eg., Paul : “What you doing tonight?”. You : “eh?”
 Bach  Pronounced Batch, means a holiday home
 Flash  Fancy, eg., “You just bought yourself a flash new car eh”
 Bricky  Bricklayer
 Chippy  Builder / Carpenter
 Mate  Friend, eg., “Hey mate, can I ask you a favour?”
 Gold Coin  One or Two dollar coin
 Jumper  Jersey or pull over jacket
 Choice  Very good, eg., “Thanks Mum, that was a choice plate of food”
 Chook  Chicken
 Crook  sick, eg., “I’m feeling a little crook today”
 Stink  Bad or not good, eg., “These black jelly beans taste pretty stink”
 Flick  send. Usually used when sending an email, eg., “Flick me your CV” (Email me your CV)
 Bro  Bru, eg. “What are you doing to night bro?”
 Dole  Unemployment benefit
 Ding  small bump or dent, eg., “I just dinged my car” or “I just dinged my head on the cupboard door”
 Dunny  Toilet
 Lifestyle Block  What we call a Plot in Afrikaans.
 Push Bike  Bicycle
 Good on Ya  well done
 Yakka  Work, eg., “It’s gonna be hard yakka building this fence today”
 Ice Block  Ice cream made with water
 Judder Bar  Speed bump
 Motorway  Highway / Freeway
 Pakeha  White people
 Kai  Food
 Kai Ora  Hello in Maori
 Whanau  Pronounced “Fah no” and means family in Maori
 Rellies  Relatives / your family, eg., “We’re gonna go visit the rellies today”
 Sealed Road  Tarred road
 She’ll be right  Everything will be okay
 Smoko  Smoke break
 Kumara  Pronounced “koo-muh-ruh”, Sweet potatoes
 Tea Towel  Used for drying the dishes
 Wellies  Gum Boots
 Tag  A form of graffiti where the kids spray paint their tagging name on walls
 Hoon  Teenagers with fast cars
 Boy Racer  same as hoon
 Ring  Phone me, eg., “Ring me”
 ya  pronounced “yuh” (not Ja like in Afrikaans), eg., “Ring me will ya”
 wop wops  In the middle of nowhere, eg., “Gee this place is really in the wop wops”

Then there are words and terms we are used to using in South Africa that the Kiwis simply don’t understand so you will need to unlearn them:

South African Sayings that you can’t use in New Zealand

Saying Rather use
 Just Now / Now Now  Shortly
 Couple  In New Zealand this means two and not a few
 Robot  Traffic Light
 Circle (driving)  Roundabout
 Takkies  Trainers
 Costume (swimming)  Togs
 Supper  Tea or Dinner
 Sweets  Lollies
 Lekker  good
 Ja  Yep, or yes
 Cooler Box  Chilli Bin
 Geyser  Hot water cylinder
 Air conditioner  You can say Air conditioner, they will understand but Heat Pump is the term used here
 Bakkie  Ute
 Plakkies / Flip Flops  Jandals
 Ground Road  Metal Road
 Pressure Washer (like Karcher)  Water Blaster
 Kafee  Dairy
 Capsicum  What we are used to calling pepper, like green or red or yellow peppers
 Pawn Shop  Not big in New Zealand, folks usually just donate to Hospice or the Salvation Army. The items are then sold and the profits used for charity work. These charity shops are called Op Shops
 Scrap Yard  Dismantlers, also called Wreckers
 Braai  Barbi
 Hiking  Tramping
 SMS  Text
 Ground Road  Metal road
 Ouma and Oupa  Kiwis do understand what this means, but they usually say Nana and Pops
 Spanspeck  Honey Dew Rock Mellon
 Spinach  Silverbeet
 Brinjal  Eggplant
 Naartjie  Mandarin
 Baby Marrow  Courgette. Pronounced “korszet”.
 Granadilla  Passion Fruit
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