33 NZ slang words that confuse the rest of the world!


Every country has its own slang. New Zealand’s slang is so, er, original? that it’s just downright confusing.

If you can get past our Kiwi accent and know what we’re really saying when we ask for a pen, six, or when we call someone Ben, you’re halfway there. Then there are words like “chur”, “stoked”, and “”chook.” Are you lost yet?

We know it’s hard being the new kid on the block, so we have created a list of our Top Slang Words New Zealanders Use to help you out.

Before we get to the list though, check out this brilliant video of Kiwi Slang, it helps prove our point …

And now for our full list of the top 37 Kiwi slang words

  1. Bach: (pronounced batch) is a holiday home, normally near a lake, beach, or river.
  2. Beached as: Been to the beach for a long time and suffering from sunburn.
  3. Chilly bin: Pronounced “Chilly bun”, to the rest of the world this is an esky, or cooler.
  4. Chur: Thanks bro!
  5. Cuzzie: Another way of saying cousin, but can be used for your friends… No one really knows what this means anymore.
  6. Dairy: Your local corner store, much like a newsagent or milk bar.
  7. HungusWhen you’re hungry as for a feed.
  8. Jafa: Just Another Fuc***g Aucklander. You will find that the rest of the country is jealous of our biggest city… No one really knows why.
  9. Jandals: Flip flops or thongs, definitely not roman sandals.
  10. Knackered: Totally exhausted, usually from some form of physical activity done ’til you can’t move and have to resort to Maccas and TV all afternoon.
  11. Maori Job: Considered racial, same as Half Pai.
  12. Munted: Buggered, or something that’s broken.
  13. Smoko: A break, morning or afternoon tea.
  14. Solid: That’s really awesome!
  15. Sook: A grown man who needs to harden up, as in “don’t be such a sook” – like a whimp, or a baby.
  16. Spots: or known as hot knives or bottle tokes. This is where two red hot knives are heated on an oven top to incinerate a small ball of a weed to inhale through a bottle with the arse end removed.
  17. Rangi: That’s farked.
  18. Root: Sex, one of New Zealands favorite past times. Did you know? Kiwi women are the most promiscuous in the world. New Zealand women have an average of 20.4 sexual partners, the global average is only 7.3…  Us Kiwis are having more than the global average every year, bro!
  19. Scodey: Something that’s rotten or gross.
  20. Shame: Used when someone is witnessed doing or saying something embarrassing, or when you hear a story about something embarrassing happening to someone.
  21. Squizz or looksee: Checking something out visibly, as in “give us a squizz”.
  22. Stoked: Happy, pleased that something went well.
  23. Shot: Thanks bro.
  24. Skux: Ladies Man, or someone who is well dressed.
  25. Slash: Really needing to go for a pee.
  26. Sucked the kumara: Something that’s extremely broken.
  27. Swannie: Often worn by South Islanders, AKA the basis for fashion of NZ. It’s just a checkered jersey with no style.
  28. Sweet as: That’s awesome, or cool.
  29. Takka: Food.
  30. Tiki tour: Getting to your destination, the hard way or via the long route.
  31. Up the boohai, or boowai: Something lost or gone awry.
  32. What owl: Means what did you say?
  33. Wop wops: Somewhere that is literally in the middle of nowhere, just like Palmerston North or Gore.

Did we miss any? Let us know below.

Comment below or discuss in the community


  • Rachel Barnett

    Yeah, nah. I reckon youse got your list about half right? Some of those definitions are just munted, eh! But she’ll be right, s’all good. Sweet as.

  • Furat Al Samaraie

    Mate, you need a good editor to fact-check the list, and to tighten up the spelling etc.

  • OctagonalFerret

    I mean, at least half are right…

    The one that you got wrong that annoys me the most though, is “Yeah, nah”.
    “Yeah, nah” only means no. Just like the much less common “Nah, yeah” means yes. It’s kinda a way of saying that you had to think about it before deciding on the final outcome, or alternatively if you were being sarcastic with the first word.


      Depends on how you say it. If you say “yeah, nah, blah blah blah” it means you’re giving your statement some thought. But if you say “yeah, NAH” and nothing else, then it means no, sarcastically,

      • OctagonalFerret

        Ah, yes. Good point. I myself only use it for the later, sarcastic meaning and didn’t consider it’s use this way. Thanks for the correction.

  • Glenn F

    What owl? The moorpork! Or do you mean Ae?
    Yeah, Nah means only No! like “yeah thats stupid, I aint doing that’ Yeah, Nah”
    Up the boohai, or boowai Never heard of that..
    Takka – Tucka
    Maori Job: = half arsed but works well
    Hungus – who the hell says that
    Gruts or undies- Gruds!
    Beached as: no one uses it for that,, if anything just means stuck or lazy..

  • Dragon Lord the Dank

    The fuck is this shit.

  • TraceyandVanessa Towns

    Solid is not a kiwi slang. It’s used on the regular show which is based in America… where did the writer get their info from?

  • kinda right…takka?! think this person means tucker. what owl? is that what, ow? Solid is not Kiwi. And ‘rangi’ MUST be mispronounced to mean ‘farked’ (so said like ‘rang-ee’)…as in …her house is rangi as. And if you don’t want an uncomfortable moment, best you be Māori if you want to use it.

  • Patricia RH

    I have never and never will pronounce chilly bin as chilly bun. Those that do it is simply because they refuse to open their mouths wide to speak.

  • Yeah Right

    Crib. Also a bach or holiday home if you live further south than Dunedin. She’ll be right…the same as Ozzies’ Good as Gold. Means all good.

  • Mel Ransley

    … this isnt correct at all!

  • Ken Clark

    Takka? try Tucker English (1784) for food. Tuck-box (19thC Eng) a container to store personal food in English public boarding schools, [Billy Bunter stories 1890-1960]] Tuck-shop place on school grounds to buy food. Tucker-bag (19thC Aust) fabric, drawstring bag to hold food. Perhaps a back formation from “tuckered out” meaning tired, weak and unfed. having tuck=having food

  • Ken Clark

    Chur from “cheers” (14thC) wishing one happiness, to be of good cheer.
    Scodey perhaps shoddy (19thC US) filthy, inferior, poorly made.
    Squizz or looksee, Possibly after Squizzy Taylor,(early20thC Aust) a short Australian criminal.;a “little crook”, rhyming slang for “a look”

  • Shelly Te Puni

    Chur lol – “I got/get it” or understand and agree….

    Tiki tour – hitting the road with no destination inmind just out on a mission :)..

    Yeah Nah – yeah i get it but Nah ill pass :}…

    Maori Job – lol maori slang fior useless ” lets see how many maori bite hahaha – pukana 0_o –

    Swannie – worn by all like gumboots if u live in da bush or work/live on a farm or feel COLD ^_^…

    Hungus – someone who sees something u have and wants it!! :p…..

    Lol tis so much more missing on dis list but its all honky dory <_< AKA OKI DOKI lmao….


  • Tess Ballin

    You missed “reef” as in gross/not nice. Also, “blazed” (stoned) or “baked” (really stoned)? And it’s “what ow” not what owl?

  • ToniMastahz

    Since wen did we pronounce “Chilly Bin” as Chilly BUN an 2 say its internationally called an Esky is full of shit its an Esky in aus not da world like ugh an Esky is a brand not wat its actually called omg only an aussie came up with this list CLOWNS

  • Paul Alston

    A swanee is a checkered jersy? A swanee is short for a “swan dry” jacket, nothing to do with a jersey.

  • Heckler

    Knackered is pommy. When I moved to England I’d say “I’m stuffed”, and they’d look at me quizzically and ask “Did you eat too much?” I had to learn to say “Knackered” in Pommyland, so that they’d understand me. We always said “stuffed” to mean tired, exhausted.


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