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New Zealand Lingo - New Zealand Gap Year Guide

The Kiwi Lingo!

New Zealanders are known as Kiwi’s which is the native flightless bird to New Zealand and the national symbol. Before you go to New Zealand you should learn their slang to integrate with the locals! Read our guide to the most popular slang terms in New Zealand to help you on your way.

They Say, We Say

  • Awesome - Fine, excellent
  • Bach - A holiday home (also known as a crib in the South Island)
  • Barbie - Barbecue
  • Beaut, beauty - Something good or outstanding. Often used ironically to mean the opposite
  • Bro - Term of address for a male friend or relative
  • Bright as a button - Looking fresh, alert
  • Bright spark - Intelligent, alert, attentive, awake
  • Bush - New Zealand's native forest
  • Bushed, had it - Exhausted
  • Chocka – Full
  • Clown - Term of abuse, idiot
  • Crook - To be ill or unwell. Also means a thief
  • Cuz - Term of address for friend or relative
  • Dag - An amusing person, a character
  • Drongo - A term of abuse, idiot
  • Flat tack - At top speed
  • Foxy, fox - Used to describe a cool or good looking person of either sex
  • Fully - I agree
  • Greenie - A conservationist
  • Gumboots - Waterproof rubber boots (called Wellingtons in Britain)
  • Grog - Alcohol
  • Grouse - Fine, excellent, often used to express delight
  • Hard case - A tough but likeable person, an eccentric person
  • Hook up - Meet up or join in
  • Hoon - A noisy person, a lout
  • Jandals - Rubber sandals or thongs (called flip flops in Britain)
  • Mission - An adventure
  • Mongrel - A term of abuse or contempt for a person
  • Munted - To be broken or distorted
  • Narley - Cool, good
  • No worries - Common phrase of agreement
  • On to it - Efficient or intelligent
  • Piker - Someone who opts out of an activity
  • Rapt - Very pleased
  • Rellie - A relation or relative
  • Rough ride - A difficult experience
  • Skite - To boast. A boaster or showoff
  • Smoko - Coffee or tea break
  • Sticks - Remote or rural district, the countryside
  • Togs - Swimming costume
  • Turn to custard - Collapse of ideas, schemes, plans
  •  Unc/Unco - An uncoordinated person, often used as an insult or taunt
  •  Wop-wops – Remote or rural district, the countryside