Appendix:New Zealand English vocabulary

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For the main list of New Zealand English vocabulary, see Category:New Zealand English.

Shared with Australia or other countries[edit]

  • Bogan — a derogatory term describing a person (usually caucasian) who is perceived to be uncultured, uneducated, and/or of a lower class background. (See also "Westie", below.)
  • (bring a) plateinformal on invitations to social functions it constitutes a request that people attending should arrive with a plate-full of food, because catering is not provided. Many new arrivals in New Zealand have mistaken this and turned up with an empty plate, but only once. Perhaps used more by the older generation. Shared with Australia.
  • chips and chippies, — potato chips or french fries (USA). Shared with the UK and some other Commonwealth countries. Never crisps
  • chunder, slang — vomit, from "Watch out under".
  • chunder mile — a once popular sporting event, particularly at universities, in which participants would run a lap of a running track, eat a cold pie, scull a jug of beer, and continue until the above 'chunder' would occur. Now largely banned by the university authorities.
  • Claytons, slang adj. — low-quality imitation, not the real thing. Originated in Australia. For example, a hasty, temporary repair may be only a Claytons solution to a problem. Originally from the brand-name of a non-alcoholic whisky-flavoured beverage. Generally used by the older generation. See Claytons.
  • crook 1. (adj) sick, ill; as in "feeling crook". 2. (noun) criminal, thief; (adj) criminal, unjust, unfair.
  • fanny, slang — a crude word for female genitals, as in the UK. Although, sometimes buttocks as in the USA. Words such as "Fanny Pack" should be avoided in New Zealand (the New Zealand term is "beltbag" or "bumbag").
  • footpath, — pavement or sidewalk. Shared with Australia.
  • flat — a rented dwelling. Often a large multilevel home will be converted into an upstairs and downstairs flats, but there are fully-detached flats and blocks of flats as well. The term apartment is usually used for blocks of flats with shared internal access. (This is distinctly different from the British usage of the term, which is restricted to units within a block of flats). Also flatting, to share a flat.
  • footy, slang — football (usually Rugby Union, rarely League or soccer).
  • G'day!/ Gidday!, interj. — A friendly, informal greeting, as in Australian English (From "good day") Examples, Gidday mate. Mostly used by the older generation.
  • "good as gold" - Great, fine - as a form of agreement.
  • have someone on — To pull someone's leg: I was just having you on.
  • kiwiinformal a New Zealander, or as an adjective instead of New Zealand. New Zealanders never use kiwi to refer to kiwifruit because of their popular native bird to New Zealand, the kiwi. Used in foreign exchange circles to refer to the New Zealand dollar.
  • longdropinformal as in US "outhouse" or "portapotty"
  • lolly, — any of various sweets (pieces of candy). Iced lollies are called "ice blocks".
  • pom, n. — British person, usually English. Possibly from Prisoner Of (Her) Majesty. See Alternative words for British.
  • rubber - Another word for an eraser. It is called this because you "rub out" mistakes, and because they were made of rubber.Shared with the UK. Note condoms are never referred to as 'rubbers'.
  • scab - verb and noun, meaning the act of (or someone) scrounging, asking for food or money.
  • seshslang a period of time spent smoking marijuana. Shortened from 'session'. Less commonly used to refer to marijuana directly, ie to ask someone "have you got a sesh?" means the same as "do you have any marijuana?"
  • your shout - your turn to buy - usually the next round of alcoholic drinks
  • smoko, — rest break during work, originating in the days when smoking was a common practice and would take place during such breaks. Pronounced "smoke-o".
  • super, — the old age pension scheme. Contraction of "superannuation".
  • Template:visible anchor/sweet, adj. — fine as far as I'm concerned. The use of 'as' as an intensifier for adjectives has spread, for example 'It's cold as outside', or 'This summer has been hot as'. 'Sweet as' was, until recently with the exporting of NZ television and humour, unique to NZ.
  • ta - possibly a contraction of 'Thanks', can mean both 'Goodbye' and 'Thanks. Shared with UK.
  • togs - bathing suit; swimming costume. Non-gender specific, can apply to speedos, swimming shorts, bikini, or any swimming clothing.
  • up the duff — As in UK a noun for a pregnant woman, e.g. "I heard she was up the duff"
  • wag, slang v. — To play truant, as in Tom's wagging school today.
  • wagon, — station wagon (USA), estate car (UK). Contraction of "station wagon"; the full term is often used.

Unique to New Zealand[edit]

  • bach, — a small holiday home, usually near the beach, often with only one or two rooms and of simple construction. Pronounced "batch". Comes from bachelor. (See also 'crib', below).
  • boondocks, — rural, isolated part of the country (not unique, however)
  • chilly bin - An Esky or other portable polystyrene/plastic food and beverage cooler
  • choice!informal excellent! Great idea!
  • chur bro Slang, humorous 'pronounced as a deep 'chair' usually a strong voicing of thanks but also a parting salutation. Shortened from "cheers brother" although can be said to either male or female. Common in Auckland. More recently this can and has often been shortened to "chur bo", as "bro" loses its 'r'.
  • crib — another word for bach, more commonly used in the south of the South Island.
  • dag/dagg) — similar to a "hard-case" i.e. a comedian or funny person. Commonly used in the phrase: "What a dag!". NZ comedian John Clarke's stage name Fred Dagg was influenced by this.
  • dairy — equivalent to the British term corner shop or American term convenience store.
  • dak — marijuana
  • The Ditchslang the Tasman Sea, the "ditch" separating New Zealand and Australia, almost always used in the phrase: "across the ditch", meaning, Australia. Occasionally also refers to Cook Strait, which separates the two main islands of the country.
  • domain — as well as its common overseas uses, a public park or reserve, often with sports or camping facilities.
  • egg - mild insult meaning 'fool' or 'dork'. Enjoyed widespread use in the 1980s, still used today. Used to be used occasionally with the partner (and now all but obsolete) "spoon".
  • eh! (occasionally spelled "aye") — Slang used for emphasis at the end of a sentence, eh! (A similar but not identical usage is found in Canadian English). Possibly adapted by derivation from the Maori oral punctuitive syllable "e" (pronounced as the 'e' in "egg") eg "e hine e", "e tu", "tino pai e".
  • eoh; eoa; aoh (no agreed spelling, conversational only) derived from the Maori "e hoa" (friend). Used as a friendly term meaning "mate" in the NZEng equivalent, or bro; also used as "hey" or "yo" in place of subject's name if at the beginning of a phrase. Non-gender specific, and pronounced like a very short, clipped "our" perhaps without the final 'r', or like out without the 't'. Popularised by the television show 'bro'Town', where it is both pronounced and written as 'ow'. "Eoh, you coming or not?"; "Where you been eoh?".
  • freezing works — a meat-packing plant, an abattoir.
  • fullaslang guy, from 'fellow'.
  • Godzone - informal New Zealand: corruption from 'God's Own Country'.
  • Gruds - slang underpants.
  • hard caseslang a person who has a very good sense of humour, a comedian.
  • JAFA - a derogatory acronym used to describe Aucklanders. This stands for Just Another F'ing Aucklander. Aucklanders refer to it as Just Another Fantastic Aucklander. This acronym has particular sentimental significance to NZers, being the name of an iconic cinema sweet consisting of a spherical (slightly smaller than) marble sized shell of orange/red candy filled with chocolate. This explains the superfluous 'F' in the acronym here. Variant spellings have often dropped this 'F'.
  • Jandalsslang as in US and UK "flip-flops", Australia "thongs". Portmanteau of Japanese Sandal. See Jandals.
  • joker - bloke, guy, fulla... usually a general term for kiwi male, with positive connotations. Sometimes a "good joker" or "funny joker", never used in derogation. Although about two generations old from the time of entry, it is still recognised and understood.
  • hamu (pron. ha-moo) - verb or noun meaning scab (as above) or scrounge. Bay of Plenty origins, uncommon elsewhere.
  • Mainlandinformal usually, but not always, refers (sometimes mildly humorously) to the South Island, which, despite its much smaller population, is the larger of the two main islands of New Zealand.
  • manus - A derogatory term meaning idiot or imbecile. Pronounced 'Mah - niss'. Derived from 'male' 'anus'.
  • mucky - informal A term used for making a mess, or some something that can be messy. just for Thomo
  • munted - Badly damaged, unusable or wrecked.
  • OE or Big OEinformal overseas experience, time spent travelling and working overseas, usually beginning in London.
  • One outs - slang Another way to say I will knock you out in one hit
  • P - a recently adopted term for Crystallised Methamphetamine. "P" stands for "pure", which it was also called. During the mid-2000s, the New Zealand Media popularised this term for the illegal drug, and other terms are all but unused.
  • pottle — in some areas, the unit by which strawberries and certain other fruit are sold. In other parts of New Zealand, the terms "chip" and "punnet", shared with UK English, are better known.
  • Queen Street farmerinformal humorous a usually pejorative term for an investor in rural land with no knowledge of land use.
  • rej - pronounced "reedge". Abbr. of "reject", a schoolyard insult.
  • Remuera tractor/Fendalton tractorslang humorous a usually pejorative term for an SUV (known as a "four wheel drive" locally) (compare Queen Street farmer, above). See Toorak Tractor.
  • Rogernomics - a political term applied to so-called 'economic reforms' of the 1980s, and continuing worldwide today. These involved turning public assets and property over to private interest; selling government land and companies for short-term , one-off profit. Named in honour of its spearheading MP, Sir Roger Douglas.
  • scarfieslang a university student, particularly one studying at the University of Otago.
  • shot - slang said instead of thanks or cheers, commonly as "Shot bro" or "Shot g"
  • skuxx - slang A male that dresses with branded fashion
* slayer - slang A male that attracts a lot of females 
  • tin - slang Corrugated roofing iron, an icon of New Zealand architecture and widely used in old and new houses.
  • tinny (also spelled 'tinnie') - 1. slang a tinfoil wrap containing marijuana, sold at a "tinny house". 2. older meaning 'lucky', as in 'tinny bastard', or 'tin-arse'. 3. slang a can of beer. 4. slang a small aluminium-hulled boat, usually unpowered.
  • too much - Good, Great, very pleased
  • tu meke - Maori word meaning 'Great'
  • Twink - used to erase or cover a writing mistake in pen. Elsewhere known as White-out.
  • up the Puhoislang far from civilisation. The Puhoi is a river just north of Auckland. Over the years the phrase has evolved and is now often heard as "Up the Boohai". It is also sometimes attributed to other New Zealand rivers. Again, more characteristic of the older generation.
  • waka — slang term for any kind of vehicle or means of transport, from the Maori term waka used for a canoe or watercraft.
  • Westie — a derogatory term which refers to an inhabitant of West Auckland, usually Caucasian. It is also used by people from West Auckland instead of "Bogan" for people who may not even reside there. Has some similar sentiment to the term "white-trash" which is common in the U.S. Westies may be identified by their affinity for black clothing,(including tight jeans), Heavy Metal music, 'muscle cars' and aggressive dog breeds. Their women, children and pets are often just as tough as the men.
  • West Island - humorous name for Australia due to it being west of NZ.
  • WOF/warrant — (Warrant of Fitness), vehicle roadworthiness test, similar to British MoT and the Australian Roadworthy Certificate, except that it is required 6-monthly for older vehicles. Often pronounced as 'woof'.
  • Wops - slang rural areas or towns/localities on the fringes of larger towns/cities. (Wop Wops or the Wop Wops are also used but less commonly).