To help with your Kiwi education and to ensure you’re not the tourist with the bubble above their head when the energetic local says “Aye, mate, catch the AB's at the weekend?!” below is a ‘mint’ selection of some of the most common and amusing Kiwi-isms:
1. Kia ora
This Kiwi greeting offers a friendly hello and welcome in New Zealand’s native Maori language. It's literal translation is "be well/healthy".
2. Choice, bro!
'Choice' is a very versatile word in New Zealand meaning anything from OK, cool, I agree, I understand, it's been good to a million other things. 'Choice' always has a positive connotation attached to it.
3. Fush ‘n’ chups
Fish and chips are a Kiwi classic! Prepped at the local ‘takeaway’ shops on every beach town corner, a must have when visiting New Zealand. To be enjoyed and consumed on the beach, with your friends and a cold cider in hand (see #10). Best served with Watties Tomato Sauce (ketchup).
4. Sweet as (or some version of the this)
Multiple ways to use this little gem. Can be used to imply ‘everything is well’ or used to express exacerbation or excitement. If you haven’t seen this video, get with the times and check it out for some examples.
The Kiwi linguistic catch all! Used to phrase questions, answer questions or dodge questions. It’s literally, the most passive aggressive word on the NZ market. With forever ascending intonation and the word ‘aye’, you can say no wrong in New Zealand because the conversational ball is constantly being thrown back into play. Wicked smart, aye?
It’s New Zealand chocolate. It’s the real deal. It’s what you crave in any hemisphere. Perfect for afternoon tea (snack time) and pre-bedtime. It’s available everywhere you need it to be: small towns, big towns, Four Squares, Pak n Saves, petrol stations etc. Dark chocolate almond is a fan favorite but then again, Whitakers can do no wrong. You'll quickly denounce your loyalty to Hershey's. You'll buy ten blocks of Whitakers as 'gifts' and come Christmas only have two left somehow. You'll try it. You'll love it.
7. Yeah Nah
Hard to explain the meaning of these two ‘words’ used in conjuncture with one another. Typically used to imply indifference, unsureness or on the flip side, to concur or agree with something. Currently, a video ad campaign by "Health Promotion Agency" utilizes "yeah nah" in their skit about drinking in moderation.
8. Full on
When something is very real, big or intense. For example: “She was a bit full on” implies that the chick was kind of over the top and intense. Or you could say “Ya bro, this party is going to be full on” which means that it’s a legit party so act and dress accordingly, bro!
9. AB’s or The All Blacks
Do yourself a favor, pull out your google machines and educate yourself on the following: The Haka and Richie McCaw. While you're at it, you might as well check out Dan Carter, especially if you're female.You can't turn up in New Zealand without knowing a bit about their nations sport and its' rich history. Rumor is that the AB's are due to play on Chicago soil this November. See article for detail.
10. Scrumpys Cider
‘Strong as’ and in a ‘big as’ bottle, something about Scrumpy’s screams ‘Kiwi Summer’. The perfect beach day or BBQ pairing, but beware of this ciders potency. It can energize your summer bliss or have you passed out, snoozing on the beach in your bikini, sand covered and with your legs sprawled. Not a good look.