Kiwi Language for Beginners


Whenever you are in New Zealand, you need to communicate, so here are some Kiwi terms for the beginners.

  • Eh/Aye – compulsory addition to the end of a rhetorical question… “Last night was bloody good, eh”
  • “ie” – often found at the end of shortened words, e.g. pressie (present), hottie (hot person), tantie (tantrum)
  • “As” – also added to the end of words: “cold as”, “fun as”, “drunk as” -used to place emphasis on the word preceding ‘as’.
  • Sweet as – great, as in “sweet as pie”… “That bungy was sweet as!”
  • Heaps – used instead of “lots”… “We saw heaps of dolphins in Kaikoura.”
  • “Gap it” – to leave the situation
  • Hard case – someone who has a big personality, may do unusual things but basically is a real laugh… “Our bus driver’s hard case!”
  • No wakas! – no problem!
  • Dairy – a corner shop or news agent that sells milk, newspapers, etc.
  • Bro – friend or brother
  • Cuz – friend or cousin
  • Chur bro – “cheers, thanks” or “that’s cool, my friend”
  • Good on ya mate -well done
  • She’ll be right mate – it’ll be OK
  • Not even – “no, it’s not” or “that’s not true”
  • Ta – thanks
  • True? – surprised question, like “is that true?”
  • Togs – swimwear
  • Jandals – flip-flops
  • Sunnies – sunglasses
  • Suss – to figure out
  • Wop-wops – out in the back country (middle of nowhere)
  • Piker – someone who backs out of doing something
  • Tiki Tour – to drive around casually taking the scenic route
  • Gawk – to gaze
  • Pack a sad – to get upset and sulk
  • Back in the day – an undetermined amount of time in the past
  • Nek Minute – “next” minute – used to create suspense when telling an amazing story.