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Yeah Na! The art of kiwi slang

Yeah Na! The art of kiwi slang

Language, we all speak it, in one form or another, but what about things like slang?  For instance, in most cultures there are a lot of abbreviations of ‘real’ words that generally only they can understand. I think its gone from one extreme to another  now though in that kids now talk in letters rather than use the full word like ‘F’ off” which we all know what it means, or ‘ATM’ which means’ at the moment ‘ etc. Some of it can be blamed on texting where the need to have such short terms is necessary, it doesn’t mean everyone understands it though and that’s where the difficulty starts.

Growing up in New Zealand we had odd words like ‘togs’ for swimwear, it seemed normal to me until my Australian penpal came to stay and laughed at our silly word, saying she was going to wear ‘bathers’ which I also found hilarious!

So here’s a few more Kiwi slang terms and what they mean just for those of you who don’t get what we mean!

Ads - television commercials as in advertisements
Ankle-biter - a toddler or small child
Aotearoa - Maori name for New Zealand meaning land of the long white cloud
Arvo -  as in the afternoon
Bach –  for the north island, or crib if your south island, which means your holiday home
Barbie - barbecue
Big smoke - large town or city
Bit of dag - hard case, comedian, person with character
Bloke - man
Brickie - bricklayer
Brown eye - to flash your naked butt at someone
Boy-racer - a young man who drives a fast car with a loud stereo (Girl-racer, a girl one!)
Bring a plate - means bring a dish with some food on it to share
Bugger – exclamation of annoyance
Bungy - kiwi slang for elastic strap, as in Bungy Jumping
Caravan - mobile home that you tow behind your car
Cardi - cardigan
Cheers - thanks
Chocka – full or overflowing as in ate too much food or put too much in the rubbish bin
Chook - chicken
Chick - slang word for woman/female
Chips - deep fried slices of potato but much thicker than a french fry
Chippy - builder, carpenter
Chrissy pressies - Christmas presents
Chuddy - chewing gum
Chunder - vomit, throw up
Cockie - farmer
Cuppa - cup of tea, as in cuppa tea
Cuz - cousin, family
De facto - name used for a couple who are not married but are living together
Ding - small dent in a vehicle
Dole - unemployment benefit
Dodgy - bad, unreliable, not good
Down the gurgler - failed plan, ruined
Drongo – idiot, stupid person
Drop your gear - take your clothes off, get undressed
Dunny - toilet, bathroom, lavatory
Duvet – the warm cover on your bed, like a quilt or doona
Ear bashing - someone talking incessantly
Entree – small meal before the main course as in an appetiser
Fizzy drink - soda pop
Flannel - wash cloth, face cloth
Flat - apartment, name for rental accommodation that is shared
Flicks - movies, picture theatre
Flog - steal, rob
Footie - rugby union or league, as in "going to watch the footie"
Full tit - going very fast, using all your power, as in "he was running full tit"
G'day - universal kiwi greeting, also spelled gidday
Get the willies - overcome with trepidation
Going bush - take a break, become reclusive
Good on ya, mate! - congratulations, well done, proud of someone
Good as gold - feeling good, not a problem, yes
Gumboots or gummies - rubber boots, wellingtons
Handle - pint of beer
Happy as Larry - very happy, nothing to do with anyone called Larry either!
Hard case - amusing, funny person
Hard yakka - hard work
Home and hosed - safe, successfully finished, completed,
Hoon - Young adult driving fast like a boy-racer
Hosing down - heavy rain, raining heavily
Hottie - hot water bottle  or someone who you really fancy
How's it going mate? - kiwi greeting
Iceblock - popsicle, Ice Stick
Jandals - thongs, sandals,flip-flops, those rubber things you wear to the beach
Judder bar - speed bump
Jumper - sweater, jersey
Kiwi - New Zealander
Kiwifruit - Brown furry skinned fruit, Zespri, Chinese Gooseberry
Kick the bucket - die
Knackered - exhausted, tired, lethargic
Knuckle sandwich - a fist in the teeth, punch in the mouth
Laughing gear - mouth, as in wrap your laughing gear around this,
L&P - Fizzy soda water made in Paeroa New Zealand
Lift - elevator
Lolly – sweets or candy not usually chocolate though
Loo - bathroom, toilet
Long drop - outdoor toilet, hole in ground
Lurgy - flu
Mad as a meat axe – crazy or insane
Main - primary dish of a meal
Maori - indigenous people of New Zealand
Mate - buddy
Motorway - freeway
Naff off - go away, get lost, leave me alone
Nana - grandmother, grandma
Nappy – babies’ diaper
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, someone’s friend
Old bomb - old car
Oldies - parents
On the never never - paying for something using layby, not paying straight away
Open slather - a free-for-all
Pack a sad - bad mood, morose, ill-humoured, broken , as in "she packed a sad"
Pakeha – Maori name for a non-Maori person
Panel beater - auto repair shop, panel shop
Pav - pavlova, meringue type dessert usually topped with kiwifruit and cream
Perve - to stare especially at the opposite sex
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
Pinky - little finger
Piss around - waste time, muck around
Pisshead - someone who drinks a lot of alcohol, heavy drinker
Piss up - party, social gathering, excuse for drinking alcohol
Pissed off - annoyed, angry, upset
Plonk - cheap liquor, cheap wine
Pong - bad smell, stink
Pram - baby stroller, baby pushchair
Pressie – present or gift
Pub - bar or hotel that serves liquor
Pudding - dessert
Pushing up daisies - dead and buried
Quack - Medical doctor
Rark up - telling somebody off
Rattle your dags - hurry up, get moving
Rellies - relatives, family
Root - have sex, get sex
Ropeable - very angry
Rubbish - garbage, trash
Rust bucket - decrepit motor car
Scarce as hens teeth - very scarce, rare item
Scarfie - university student
Scull - consume, drink quickly usually alcohol
Scroggin - trampers high energy food including dried fruits, chocolate
Serviette - paper napkin
Shandy - drink made with lemonade and beer
Shark and taties - fish and chips
Sheila -  woman/female
Shit a brick - exclamation of surprise or annoyance
Shoot through - to leave suddenly
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
Snarler - sausage
Sook - cry baby, wimp
Sparkie - electrician
Sparrow fart - very early in the morning, sunrise
Sprog – baby or young child
Spud - potato
Squiz - take a quick look
Steinie - bottle of Steinlager, brand lager
Strapped for cash - low on cash, no money
Stubby - small glass bottle of beer
Sunday driver - someone who drives very slow
Sunnies - sunglasses
Ta - thanks
Take-aways - food to be taken away and eaten, fast food outlet
Tea - evening meal, dinner
Tiki tour - scenic tour, take the long route
Togs - swimsuit, bathing costume
Torch - flashlight
Tramping - hiking
Up the duff - pregnant
Ute - small pickup truck
Veges - vegetables
Wally - clown, silly person
Whinge - complain, moan
Wobbly - to have a tantrum
Wop-wops - situated off the beaten track, out of the way location
Yack - to have a conversation with a friend, to talk

And last but not least

Yeah Na – yes no as in I agree, well wasn’t that obvious!?

For some cool kiwiana jewellery, especially the ‘Yeah Na’ cufflinks, visit this site http://www.etsy.com/shop/MeganMaguireDesigns made in Hamilton New Zealand, so real kiwi clobber!

Posted: Monday 13 December 2010

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