Kiwi Slang

Why don't you go flat out, sit down with a cuppa and take a squiz at our mean as list of Kiwi slang… Every society develops its own phrases and ways of expressing things and New Zealand is no exception.  We thought we would help you get a head start with some of our more colloquial expressions you may come across.
Awesome Fine, excellent
Bach A holiday home (also known as a crib in the South Island)
Barbie Barbecue (also written as BBQ) - food cooked outside over a charcoal or gas fire
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
Bring a plate Everyone brings food to share. Don't bring an empty plate.
Bush New Zealand's native forest
Bushed, had it Exhausted
BYO Bring Your Own. A BYO restaurant is a restaurant that allows customers to bring their own wine to drink with their meal.
Chocka Full
Choice Fine, excellent
Clean as a whistle Sparkling clean
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
Dork An idiot or a physically uncoordinated person
Dough Money
Drive around the bend Annoy so much you lose your temper
Drongo A term of abuse, idiot
Dude A cool or good looking male
Feed A meal
Flat tack At top speed
Foxy, fox Used to describe a cool or good looking person of either sex
Fully I agree
G'dday Greeting meaning hello
Got the blues Used to describe a sad state of mind
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
Hard graft Hard work
Head over heels               Usually describing somebody who is very very happy
Heart of gold Describing a person who is very kind
Hook up Meet up or join in
Hoon A noisy person, a lout
In a spin Usually when too many things happen all at one time or too many choices
Jandals Rubber sandals or thongs (called flip flops in Britain)
Joker A man
Kiwi New Zealand native bird symbol. New Zealander
Lolly The usual word for a confection or sweet
Mate A friend, also a term of address
Mission An adventure
Mongrel A term of abuse or contempt for a person
Munted To be broken or distorted
Narley Cool, good
Nerd A boring person
Nifty Good (applied to a thing)
No worries Common phrase of agreement
On to it Efficient or intelligent
On a high A good feeling that can come from success
Once in a blue moon Very rarely, seldom, almost never
Paddock A field, also a sports pitch
Paint the town red To go out and have a good time
Piker Someone who opts out of an activity
Pop on over/ pop in Come and visit me at my house
Potluck dinner Everyone brings prepared food to share with all the guests
Pressie A present (gift)
Pub A bar where alcoholic drinks are served over the counter
Rapt Very pleased
Rellie A relation or relative
Rough ride A difficult experience
She'll be right Everything is going to be OK
Shocking              Very bad
Shout To treat your friends to something such as a drink or a meal
Skite To boast. A boaster or show-off
Smoko Coffee or tea break
Snowed under Usually has too much work or responsibility
Spuds Potatoes
Sticks     Remote or rural district, the countryside
Stinge/Stingy Not generous with your money
Stoked Very excited
Sweet as Great
Swot Study hard, especially before an exam
Ta Thanks
To take for a ride To deceive or trick someone
Togs Swimming costume
Tucker Food
Turn to custard Collapse of ideas, schemes, plans
Unc/Unco An uncoordinated person, often used as an insult or taunt
Under the weather Feeling off colour, unwell, tired
Uni University
Varsity University
Veggies Vegetables
Wicked Fine, excellent
Wop-wops Remote or rural district, the countryside
Check out for more examples of common New Zealand expressions.

Common Māori Words

Māori are the indigenous people of New Zealand.  Māori culture, traditions and language all make an important contribution to New Zealand society. Here is a list of Māori words you are most likely to come across during your time in New Zealand:
Aotearoa  The Māori name for New Zealand.  Roughly translated it means ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’
Haere mai Welcome
Haere ra Goodbye
Hangi Traditional way of cooking food, where the food is cooked in the ground
Hongi To press noses, a formal greeting
Hui Meeting to discuss a special topic
Iwi Tribal people
Kai Food
Ka pai Good
Kia ora Māori greeting, also used as an expression of gratitude and agreement
Mana Prestige, authority, status
Marae A Māori communal facility (generally consisting of a meeting house, dining hall, kitchen, and ablution area)
Mihimihi Greeting
Pākehā The Māori word for non-Māori people
Rangatira High-ranking person
Reo Language
Tamariki Children
Tangata whenua (local) people of the land
Tangi Funeral
Taonga Values (spiritual, personal) and physical treasures
Tapu Sacred
Tēnā koe How do you do?
Te reo The language (Māori)
Tiriti Treaty
Waka Canoe, vessel
Wānanga University
Whānau Family
Whare House, meeting house on a marae
Whenua Land