77+ New Zealand Slang Words and How to Use Them Like a Kiwi

Last Updated on May 16, 2024

This site contains affiliate links for products and services we recommend. Read my disclaimer for more information. If you make a purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a small commission (for which I am very grateful).

New Zealand slang can be quite hard to understand especially on top of our fast and harsh-sounding accent. Sometimes it can seem like Kiwi English is an entirely separate language!

This is why I’m going to teach you some common New Zealand slang words, phrases and lingo!

This Kiwi slang can be found just about anywhere, even in the likes of fancy restaurants and hotels.

It includes some Maori words, Maori phrases and Maori slang used in everyday life, and even (it turns out) a few popular terms from the UK.

Also for reference the Maori language is called ‘Te Reo’ in Maori.

56 Typical New Zealand slang words and what they mean, low angle shot of a lush and d field of purple and pink flowers with clouds in the sky

From funny Kiwi sayings and New Zealand slang terms to Kiwi slang meaning, NZ slang phrases and other Kiwi lingo, there are New Zealand words and phrases for every person in almost every situation.

If you’re visiting the land of the long white cloud, then make sure you bookmark this page and test out some of these words while you’re travelling New Zealand.

This list of Kiwi slang are used widely around the country from the South Island to the North Island but there are some really local slang words that certain regions use so if you come across any on your travels that I don’t mention here, make sure you comment them below.

Here’s a complete guide on New Zealander slang and how to use it like a real Kiwi! It may look complicated but trust me; once you get the hang of it, it’s easy as, bro.

1. Eh – “It was cloudy this morning eh?”

This is one of the classic New Zealand slang words. New Zealand terms like this can be added onto just about every sentence you can think of.

2. Yeah Nah – “Do you want a vanilla ice cream?” “Yeah nah, I’ll be right”

Kiwis say this when they are a little indecisive on what the heck they are trying to say.

3. Bugger all – “How much money you got?” “Bugger all.”

This is used when you have nothing left. I was surprised to also hear this Kiwi slang used in the UK.

4. Bugger – *Something goes wrong* “Bugger!”

You can use bugger when something goes wrong. Bugger is classic Kiwi farmer slang and I hear it many times as a from my Dad growing up on a sheep farm.

This NZ slang is basically a curse word, but a very light one at that.

5. Chur – “Here’s a drink” “Chur”

Wondering what does chur mean? Well, this word can be slapped around in many different ways.

Sometimes the chur meaning is attached to another word or used by itself. It can mean sweet, awesome, yeah, good, cool, or cheers.

6. Bro & cuz – “Chur cuz” or “How’s it going bro?”

Basically means the same thing, and is just asking how are you doing. Although it can, this Kiwi slang rarely refers to an actual brother or cousin.

Enjoy some funny new zealand sayings, view along valley steeped by rolling green hills leading off into the distance under a grey cloudy sky

7. The wops – “He lives out in the wops”

This is one of the funny New Zealand sayings people always find adorable. It means a place in the middle of nowhere or far from anything.

8. Carked it – “Did you know Jimmy carked it the other day?” or “The car carked it”

This is a little depressing, but it is usually used when something or someone dies.

9. Munted – “That guy is munted as” or “I crashed my car and it’s munted”

Sometimes there are Kiwi slang phrases that are a bit flexible. This kiwi word has two meanings: when something is broken or when someone is drunk.

10. Chocka – “Have you had enough to eat?” “Yeah, I’m chocka block” or “Can you fit this into your car?” “Nah, it’s chocka”

This is used when something or someone is full. Not always, but sometimes we add ‘block’ at the end of this New Zealand slang.

11. Sus – “He looks a bit sus” or “That’s a bit sus”

When a situation or someone is particularly suspicious.

12. Piece of piss – “Can you build this Lego man for me?” “Yeah, it’s a piece of piss”

This colourful expression basically means when something is easy, and is both slang for New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Why not try out some of these new zealand expressions, hillside covered in colourful flowers with a stone path leading up towards a house perched on top of a hill with a moody orange sunset visible over the horizon behind

13. She’ll be right – “Are the sausages burning?” “Nah, she’ll be right”

When something is going to be okay or alright. This is one of my favourite New Zealand slang sayings.

14. Taking the piss – “Can you work for a few more hours?” “You’re taking the piss mate”

If you’re being unreasonable then this is usually what you will hear. This is another of the Kiwi sayings I heard used a lot in the UK.

15. Piss / Piss up – “Can you grab the piss out of the Ute?” or “I’m just going to go take a piss” or “Let’s have a piss-up”

Piss usually referring to either alcohol or urine. The word piss-up refers to a party. As you can tell, ‘piss’ is pretty diverse in Kiwi slang!

16. Stink one – “Did you grab me a pie?” “No” “Aw stink one ”

Uh oh. This is one of the New Zealand sayings you don’t want to hear because it means you have just disappointed someone.

Teach yourself some great kiwi slang phrases, raised above ground walkway with mesh sides running in a curved path through the low canopy of lush green trees

17. Keen – “Do you wanna go to the pools bro?” “Keen”

One of the more direct slang words in New Zealand, this is used when someone is enthusiastic about something.

18. Jandals – “Don’t wear sneakers, wear your jandals”

In other words flip flops, thongs (Australian slang) or sandals. Not only are they used for wearing purposes but also used as a weapon if someone has been a dick.

19. Skux – “You look skux today” “Thanks bro”

This NZ slang word has many meanings. The most popular is when someone looks cool or trendy. Sometimes it can be that a person is looking hot.

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. My #1 recommendation is SafetyWing! Me and thousands of other travellers use it to stay safe on the road. Click here to check it out.

It’s one of the more versatile New Zealand expressions.

Engage in some common new zealand slang, view down into a vast valley with snow capped peaks of mountains leading down into a bank of clouds under a cloudy sky

20. Nek minute – “I was at the dairy, nek minute”

A true New Zealand icon is this guy: He created this famous video which has now had over 7 million views where he used this most unusual of kiwi expressions.

So nek minute basically means ‘next minute’. This is one of the New Zealand words I use all the time with my Kiwi friends overseas.

21. Mare – “I’m having a mare today”

This means you’re having a difficult time. Hopefully it won’t become one of the more common Kiwi phrases in your vocabulary!

22. Pack a sad – “That kid is packing a sad”.

Whatever you do, don’t do this. Packing a sad means you’re basically having a tantrum.

23. Gumboots – “Chuck on your gumboots and let’s go on the farm”

Also known as wellingtons or rubber boots. As a kid, one of my favourite songs of all time was the gumboot song!

🏠 Anita’s Top Accommodation Recommendations: Check out these incredible places to stay in New Zealand!

👉Marsden Lake Resort: This five-star hotel is located right on the edge of Lake Dunstan and has the most incredible views. Click here for the latest prices and availability.

👉Plateau Lodge: This affordable accommodation option is perfect for a true countryside escape! Click here for the latest prices and availability.

👉Picton Yacht Club Hotel: This four-star hotel has a gorgeous outdoor swimming pool and a cool maritime-themed Chartroom Restaurant Click here for the latest prices and availability.

24. Beached as – “I can’t get off my bed, I’m beached as, bro!”

Referring to the cartoon where a whale is stuck on the beach, it means when you’re stuck somewhere.

25. Maaaate – “I forgot to buy you a bag of hot chips” “Aw maaaaate”

Sometimes Kiwi words and phrases are complicated, and sometimes they’re just “Maaaate!”

This has to be said with an extended middle of course, but the normal word is just mate. You would use this NZ slang if you’re a little bit disappointed.

Enjoy these funny kiwi sayings, view from hillside down into a beach cove with small waves gently lapping at the sand with the setting sun in the distance

26. Choice – “I got you a pie” “Choice bro!”

Choice means awesome, cool, great, thanks.

27. Dag – “Linda is a dag”

Dag is one of the Kiwi words that has multiple meanings. The official meaning is a piece of old poo hanging from a sheep bum.

But if used in Kiwi slang, as in this case, it actually means that something or someone is funny.

28. Hard case – “Oh Sharon, she’s a hard case!”

Hard case is New Zealand lingo for a person who is witty.

29. Hard out / hard – “Karen is so annoying” “Hard out bro”

Hard/hard out is a phrase used when you agree with someone.

It's time to practice from new zealander slang, aerial top-down view of a small boat in the turquoise waters between two islands with white sandy beaches
Photo by Aaron Birch on Unsplash

30. Egg – “You’re an egg” or “You’re a rotten egg”

What would the world be like without some good old New Zealand swear words?

You will probably need to watch the movie ‘Boy’ to appreciate how versatile this word is in Kiwi English and how to say it in many different forms. It’s used as an insult to someone.

31. Good as gold – “Everything is good as gold”.

Means everything is great, sweet, perfect or going great. One of the classic New Zealand slang words!

32. Bloody – “That was a bloody great night out, wasn’t it?”

This word is stereotypically British, so you might be surprised to learn that is a very common New Zealand phrase, too.

Bloody is put into any old sentence and is one of the most common New Zealand slang phrases.

33. Tu meke / too much – “I got you a pie” “Too much bro”

Tu meke is one of the Maori phrases on the list. It is Maori for too much. It’s not used as you might have thought. It means awesome or good job.

Make good use of these kiwi expressions, small bird standing on a wooden table in front of some vibrant green foliage

34. Yarn – “Stop spinning a yarn” or “That was a good yarn”

Yarn is NZ slang for a story or talking bull.

35. Scull – “Scull it now!”

In other countries, you probably yell “drink” instead of scull when someone is downing a drink. In New Zealand, we yell “scull, scull, scull”.

So if you hear someone yelling that in a bar, don’t worry they haven’t just found a dead body, it’s just some Kiwi drinking slang.

36. Chilly bin – “The drinks are in the chilly bin bro!”

This is a bin where you keep your drinks called. Also known as a cooler bin or in Australia it’s an esky.

37. Hungus – “Stop being a hungus!”

This refers to someone who loves food a lot.

38. Gizza – “Can you gizza drink bro?”

This is word is short for ‘give me’. It is very common in Kiwi English for multiple words to be shortened this way.

39. No worries – “Thanks for that!” “No worries cuz”

This means no problem! If someone helps you and you say thank you they will usually reply ‘no worries’.

40. Not even ow – “Jack went to Jail” “Not even ow”

I’m not sure I can really translate the meaning of this unique New Zealand phrase as it simply is what it says. You might use this term if you are a bit surprised.

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. My #1 recommendation is SafetyWing! Me and thousands of other travellers use it to stay safe on the road. Click here to check it out.

‘Ow’ is a term for you or someone; it can be added to just about any sentence and still make sense to a Kiwi.

These new zealand slang terms are great to use, view of body of water with a thick canopy of green trees behind under a blue sky with dark grey clouds

41. Yeah right – “Johns got a girlfriend” “Yeah right!”

A classic NZ saying that is apparent on Tui billboards. You can say this to someone if you don’t really believe what they are saying (Tui is an NZ beer).

This is one of the New Zealand slang words you will hear a lot!

42. Bowl round – “I’m going to bowl round to your house” “Chur bro”.

It literally has nothing to do with Bowls being round, in true Kiwi slang style. It means when someone is coming around to visit.

43. Long drop – “Just got to go use the long drop”

A long drop is a Kiwi term for an outhouse or an outside toilet with no flushing system. Commonly found in campgrounds and out in the wop wops.

44. Heaps – “I have heaps of piss bro!”

New Zealanders use this word like it’s going out of fashion. Heaps means lots.

45. Togs – “I’m just gonna go get my togs on”

This is one of the NZ slang words I always get funny looks for. When a Kiwi refers to togs they mean swimming costume, swimmers or bathing costume.

Some slang words in new zealand are like no other, dramatic lighting in the clouds filling the space between the two peaks of large mountains either side with a large body of water in front

46. All good – “I forgot to wear pants today” “That’s all good bro, I understand.”

Basically means what it says. You would use this if something is all good or it can mean that’s okay too.

47. Mean as – “I got this lollipop for free!” “That’s mean as!”

This means sweet, great, cool. Refers to something being awesome.

48. Crack up –“ I got a fine for stealing a piece of grass off my neighbour’s lawn” “That’s a crack up!”

Instead of saying that is funny you could just use the iconic New Zealand slang words ‘crack up’.

49. Straight up – “Are you being straight up?”

This word can actually mean two things. Either you’re telling the truth (being straight up) or you’re agreeing with someone like you would say “absolutely”.

Enjoy these kiwi words and phrases, view up the side of a hill looking over grassland and rocky outcrops to a single red and white lighthouse under a blue sky with white clouds

50. Wanna hiding – “Wanna hiding bro?!”

This is one of the Kiwi phrases you never want to hear.

If someone comes up to you on the street in New Zealand and asks this, it does NOT mean they want to play hide and go seek. It means they want to know if you want to fight them.

51. Sweet as – “This road trip is sweet as” 

This phrase is probably the most common NZ slang phrase. This can be used to describe something OR as a response.

💛 Anita’s Top Recommendations: Check out these incredible tours in the local area!

👉 Take an epic cruise around New Zealand’s best sites: Get up close and personal with dolphins, fur seals, penguins whilst passing by panoramic views and waterfalls!

👉 Take a tour around Queensland: Visit scenic viewpoints, waterfalls and where the Lord of the Rings was filmed.

👉 Attend a dolphin and whale watching tour: Discover whales and dolphins on this fun cruise!

Let’s say someone says they are going to be late meeting you, in response to that I would probably say something like sweet as.

52. Squizz – “Can I have a squizz at your new kitchen?”

I’ve been told this is a very odd word in Kiwi English, and I have to agree! This means to have a quick look.

53. Ta – “Here’s a sandwich” “Ta”

It simply means thanks.

54. Pakaru – “Mum, the TV is Pakaru!”

Another of the Maori phrases commonly used throughout New Zealand. This Maori word is often used when something is broken.

55. Stubbies – “Chuck your stubbies on, we’re heading to the beach for a day out!”

One of my favourite Kiwi slang words is stubbies! It’s another word for short shorts and they’re usually especially hard on the eye if men wear them.

56. Dairy – “Let’s go to the dairy and grab a pie!”

The dairy is also a corner store where you can grab snacks, a mince and cheese pie and just about anything else you need!

A group of women laughing on a boardwalk in Vancouver, sharing funny new zealand slang and kiwi words and phrases.
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 on Unsplash

57. Legend – “What a bloody legend”

In New Zealand, if someone is a good person or does something good, we often refer to them as a legend.

For example, let’s say your friend gets you a treat from the diary, you could say “Wow, what a legend!” to them and this would be a sort of thank you.

58. Arvo – “I’ll come round this arvo”

‘Arvo’ is ‘afternoon’ for short. You may notice Kiwis will shorten their words quite a lot because let’s face it, who has the time to say full-length words these days?

A yellow and black sign featuring Kiwi words and phrases.
Photo by Mark König on Unsplash

59. Tiki Tour – “Let’s go for a tiki tour”

Tiki Tour is New Zealand slang for when you go on a NZ road trip but go the long way around OR you’re going for a drive (or walk) with no real purpose.

You’re just going on a casual tiki tour around the neighbourhood!

This is one of my favourite New Zealand phrases and makes me instantly think of home.

60. Legit – “Is this really legit bro?”

Again this is another NZ slang word that is just a short word from the actual word ‘legitimate’. I have seen many countries like Australia, the UK and the USA use this slang word too so it’s not only a Kiwi one!

61. Marnus – “He’s being a marnus”

If someone is being annoying or a ‘dick’ then feel free to call them a marnus! Other ways you could use this could be ‘What a marnus’ or ‘Stop being a marnus bro’.

62. Fulla – “What a stink fUlla”

The word fella is used in many countries around the world, however, when you arrive in New Zealand, Kiwis say it with a slightly different tone. Fulla is just another word for man.

63. Oi – “Oi, come here”

Oi is often a calling word for when you’re trying to get someone’s attention whether you know them or not.

Although if you’re saying this to someone you don’t know it can come off as aggressive or negative and considered one of the top New Zealand Slang insults

64. Bomb – “That’s bomb”

Bomb is another word for cool, awesome or great. You could easily describe these New Zealand hidden gems as ‘bomb’.

A person giving a thumbs up on the beach in New Zealand.
Photo by Tash Williams on Unsplash

65. Sweet – “nah, I’m sweet thanks”

Sweet is just another word for good. This is very similar to how we would use sweet as but by now, you’ve learned that Kiwis LOVE to shorten things!

66. Flat out – “I can’t come to the party, I’m flat out right now”

The word ‘Flat-out’ is used when you or someone is super busy. It usually means that they don’t have time for something or right now they have no time for a break because they are super busy.

67. Dodgy – “Hmm, That sounds a bit dodgy to me”

Dodgy is used nearly worldwide but it IS used a lot in New Zealand to describe something that doesn’t seem legitimate or legal.

For example, let’s say that your mate has a wife and kids but doesn’t come home until 5 a.m. every night – now that’s a bit dodgy.

68. C*nt – “He’s a good c*nt”

The word c*unt is used for good in NZ (most of the time). I know that it is uber offensive in America but in New Zealand and Australia it’s usually used as a compliment.

C*unt is comparable to ‘ fulla’ or person. So if you’re from the USA and someone calls you this in a nice tone then don’t be offended, they are complimenting you!

Although it can be a good word it is still considered one of the biggest Kiwi swear words.

A Kiwi pointing at a wall covered in gumballs.
Photo by Matthew Brodeur on Unsplash

69. Chuddy – “Can I have a piece of cuddy?”

Chuddy is short for chewing gum. Now that I’m in my 30’s, I rarely use this but this New Zealand slang word used to be very popular when I was in high school and with the younger generation.

70. Maccas – “Let’s go get some Maccas’

Maccas is a shortened word for McDonald’s. You may also hear a similar version ‘Maccy D’s’ which also means the same thing!

71. Bach – “Let’s rent out a bach for the weekend”

This is less of a NZ slang word and more of just a different word that we use to describe a beach house. So if you’re visiting any of the beautiful New Zealand beaches then make sure you book a bach!

72. Turps – “She’s been on the turps”

Had too much alcohol? Your friend Shelly drank too many cruisers last night? That my friend means that you (or Shelly) have been on the turps and maybe drunk a wee bit much!

Turps is just another way to say alcohol.

Make sure to take a camera with you whilst on these types of nights out!

73. Crook – “Today I feel too crook to work”

Crook is slang for feeling sick or unwell.

74. Ratbag – “Suzy is being such a ratbag”

Ratbag is a Kiwi insult that is often used to call someone a brat. It’s not a super offensive word and is mainly used to describe children when they play up.

A group of people preparing kai (New Zealand slang for food) in front of a wooded area.
Photo by Mike Kilcoyne on Unsplash

75. Barbie – “Put some more meat on the barbie”

No, I don’t mean the doll, a barbie is short for barbeque.

BBQing and eating outside is a popular activity in New Zealand, grab your fav pair of sandals, a battery pack for your phone, and you can spend the entire day out in the sun!

This slang word is used in not only New Zealand but also in Australia as well. Having a Barbie MUST be on your New Zealand food bucket list.

76. Gutted – “I feel so gutted right now’

The New Zealand slang word ‘Gutted’ usually means that you’re really sad or disappointed by something. For example, when the supermarket runs out of your favourite drink or when your friend cancels on you last minute.

77. Stoked – “I’m so stoked right now”

This is totally opposite to the word above! If you’re feeling happy or excited about something, you’d be ‘stoked about it’.

A group of hikers in New Zealand  standing on top of a mountain overlooking a lake talking about their favourite New Zealand slang words.
Photo by Gregory DALLEAU on Unsplash

78. Tramp – “Let’s go for a tramp tomorrow”

Tramp is another word for a hike.

79. Missus – “I have to check with the missus”

Missus is a word for wife, girlfriend or partner. It’s basically Mrs but we use it for all of the stages of a relationship, not just if someone is married.

80. Yonks – “I haven’t seen you in yonks”

Yonks is New Zealand slang for a long time. For example, if something is taking a while or if you haven’t seen or done something in a while.

81. Far out – “Far out, there’s no way!”

Far out is not a way to describe something that’s a long way but instead, it’s more of a reaction word if someone tells you something shocking or something happens that was not expected.

A New Zealand sandwich or referred to as sammie in New Zealand slang, on a wooden cutting board.
Photo by Pille R. Priske on Unsplash

82. Sammie – “Can you please make me a sammie?”

Sammie is short for sandwich!

83. Smoko – “I’m going out for a smoko”

This is a slang word that is most popular during work hours. A smoko is when someone goes on a cigarette break.

84. Sunnies

Sunnies is short for sunglasses. Honestly, I don’t think I have EVER used the word sunglasses in my life thinking about it.

Sausages (or referred to as saussies in New Zealand slang), on a grill with smoke coming out of it, a classic scene during a Kiwi BBQ.
Photo by Beau Carpenter on Unsplash

85. Saussie – “Let’s go to Mitre 10 for a saussie’

Okay, this example sentence needs a bit of explaining. Saussie is short of sausage BUT it’s actually used in a couple of different ways.

Of course, a sausage is a sausage but in New Zealand (and Australia) outside of popular DIY stores like Mitre 10 and Bunnings, it’s very common for there to be barbeque that a school group or charity is running to raise money for something.

In New Zealand this barbeque is called a ‘sausage sizzle’ and it’s where you can buy a saussie in a piece of bread with onion and tomato sauce for $1 or $2.

So Kiwis make also say ‘Let’s go get a saussie’ and what they mean is go to Mitre 10 to the sausage sizzle.

86. Cuppa – “I would love a cuppa’

Cuppa is a New Zealand slang word for either a hot cup of coffee or tea.

87. Op Shop – “Do you wanna go down to the Op Shop later?”

An op shop is slang for an opportunity shop or thrift shop.

✅ What is NZ slang for cool?

If you think something is cool, the correct New Zealand slang term is “skux”, as in, “that’s skux, bro”.

✅ How do you say hello in Kiwi slang?

Meaning hello, good morning, take care and even good luck, saying hello in Kiwi slang is as easy as “Kia Ora!”

✅ Do Kiwis say “no worries”?

Unlike their Australian neighbours, Kiwis are more likely to say “She’ll be right” than “no worries” to mean that everything is OK.

✅ What is hottie New Zealand slang?

Hottie is a term that somebody from New Zealand will usually say if they find somebody attractive.

As long as you have these Kiwi slang words sorted you can start talking like the locals! Just don’t ask them to say the sentence ‘my deck is very slippery’. You may get a hiding!

Tell me below what is your favourite New Zealand slang words. Do you think you can master Kiwi English before your visit?

Here are some other New Zealand articles you might love:

Love this article? Pin it for later and share it with your friends!

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

The Comments

  • theworldonmynecklace
    August 12, 2016

    Love it! I would also add Dairy, Dear (for expensive), and packed a shit

    • Mia
      > theworldonmynecklace
      December 12, 2017

      I’ve recently been speaking with a gentleman who calls me dear all the time. When you say expensive, what do you mean? I love talking with him!!

      • Annie
        > Mia
        March 1, 2019

        For example:
        “Those pies at the bakery were dear as eh?”
        “Yeah bro, they’re way cheaper at the dairy.”

        “Those (meat & pastry) pies we purchased from the bakery were rather expensive weren’t they?”
        “Yes my friend, they are less expensive to buy from the local corner store.”

        “Dear” in this instance refers to an item that costs a lot, as opposed to meaning a person who is lovely or means a lot to someone.

  • Rhonda Albom
    August 16, 2016

    This is brilliant. Well done.

  • shannonelizabeth
    August 18, 2016

    Hilarious! I’m going to start testing these out on my Kiwi colleague. He will probably give me a weird look.

    • Michael Hurst
      > shannonelizabeth
      April 7, 2019


  • anne
    August 21, 2016

    Amazing how many we use in the UK

    • Johno
      > anne
      August 24, 2018

      That’s where most of them originated.

    • Faz
      > anne
      January 27, 2023

      Ka Pai that read was mean as bae lol
      Could prolly do a whole list of how to use Chur, very versatile word that one 🙂

  • Elaine J Masters
    August 21, 2016

    Great phrases. I wish I’d had the courage to try some when I was there.

  • Lillie
    August 21, 2016

    Hah! This made me laugh so hard! I didn’t realize how many hilarious slang phrases New Zealand has. My favorite is “stink one.” Maybe I’ll import it to Boston 🙂

  • Christina
    August 21, 2016

    Gidday. Very entertaining. Almost a different language entirely, eh? I loove the scenery in NZ and the fush and chups are pretty good too!

    • Random Kiwi
      > Christina
      May 22, 2019

      No Kiwi says Fush and Chups thats not real

      • Anita Hendrieka
        > Random Kiwi
        May 24, 2019

        As a Kiwi, I agree, but apparently with our accent that’s how people here us haha!

      • GrahamK
        > Random Kiwi
        November 4, 2019

        Yes you do!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Bailey
        > Random Kiwi
        April 1, 2020

        It’s Feesh and cheeps, bro.
        In Aussie lingo.
        Hey Chrees, go and buy me some fair dinkum feesh and cheeps.
        And while your at it, Chuck on some thongs , grab the esky and grab some shreemps for the barby!

      • Faz
        > Random Kiwi
        January 27, 2023

        Kia Or Bro, Yeah nah lol never heard it either even saying it myself clearly “Fish”

  • clrudder
    August 22, 2016

    This us great. Awesome post. I love learning new things and this will be great for the day I head to New Zealand

  • anna
    August 22, 2016

    Pretty useful list! The sayings are pretty hilarious!!

    • hayley
      > anna
      September 18, 2018

      hard out so diffrent to america

  • Jenna Kvidt
    August 22, 2016

    Too funny–I love hearing slang words from different parts of the world! Yeah nah and stink one are a couple of my favorites from this list!!

    • Faz
      > Jenna Kvidt
      January 27, 2023

      39yrs old never heard anyone ever say Stink One, just Stink 🙂

  • evan kristine
    August 23, 2016

    English is already complicated on its simplest form… Then comes the slangs from English speaking countries like NZ 😀 Pretty good to start with all these though, I won’t be completely lost whenever I speak with a Kiwi!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > evan kristine
      September 6, 2016

      Haha Us Kiwis like to make it difficult 😉

  • Megan MacNee
    August 23, 2016

    Love slang, especially the difference in all the versions of English. Like the use of the word “piss”. Not something us Americans use much of.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Megan MacNee
      September 6, 2016

      It’s like learning another language 😉

    • Colin
      > Megan MacNee
      June 15, 2021

      Kiwi usage of the word “piss”:

      Piss (1) = Urinate. To piss somewhere, have a piss, take a piss, pissed your
      Piss (2) = Alcohol, usually beer.
      Pissed = Very drunk.
      Pissing down = Raining heavily.
      Pissed off = Annoyed.
      Piss up = Party, often for no other reason than to drink loads of piss.
      Piss off = Go away.
      Pissing about = Wasting time.
      Pisshead = Person who likes to drink a lot.

  • Carla
    August 23, 2016

    Seems similar to UK and Aussie slang too? Thanks for sharing this!!

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Carla
      September 6, 2016

      Yes, some of it is very similar to Aussie slang!

    • Krystle Anderson
      > Carla
      May 15, 2018

      I was going to say the same thing. Most of these is what us Aussies say.

      • Jo
        > Krystle Anderson
        July 2, 2022

        exactly! I counted more than 20 that are common to Aus and NZ.

  • Paul Standeven
    April 22, 2017

    In NZ, I keep hearing people say ‘Awesome’ meaning ‘that’s good’ or ‘I agree’.

    You could add terms like

    feeling crook = ill
    pack a sad = very upset
    bonza = really good
    chunder = vomit
    up-chuck = vomit
    he spat his dummy = being angry in a childish way
    ropable = so angry you can’t do anything with them

    Last summer, I was in Ireland, and asked a fellow traveler a question. In one word, she told me that she was a New Zealander. She said “Yeeeis”

    A retired professor of English used to have a ‘Listener’ column in which people could ask him questions about New Zealand English. Someone asked him about the word ‘bach’, meaning a small cottage for the weekend, usually on a beach. This word defeated him. While traveling in Wales, I discovered the origin of the word ‘bach’ . It’s Welsh for ‘small’

    Yes, I’m a Kiwi, originally from Shake City (Christchurch) but living in London for many years

    • Tyler
      > Paul Standeven
      December 23, 2018

      hahahaha! Shake city? I love it!! A much better name than Christchurch!! I think I’m going to call it that from now on!!

    • Ramona Bruce
      > Paul Standeven
      January 18, 2020

      Why is Christchurch called Shake City, please?
      This was a fun article and comments to read.

      • Anita Hendrieka
        > Ramona Bruce
        February 3, 2020

        In 2011 Christchurch had a couple of big quakes which destroyed the city 🙁

  • Tai
    September 15, 2017

    Ah yea it’s a freaking crack up mate, I lived there a long time ago and have forgotten a lot of these. Great to remember!!

    • Marc & Louise Pierce
      > Tai
      May 3, 2018

      shot bro

      • Faz
        > Marc & Louise Pierce
        January 27, 2023

        Lol Shot…

  • Usiah
    October 28, 2017

    skull also means “a drink”, wanna skull ah?, “yeah” but now we mostly use the maori term “inu” for it. “any inu’s?” or “inu bro?” “yeah shots cuz” when we call you “cuz” (taken from cousin) its to symbolize a friend thats close enough to be called family or is actually your cousin. bail means “gap it” or “get away” mainly used when someone’s annoying you for something you got an they want. say they reach for your drink “bail ah” or a more heard of term we use is “nemine yours” as in never mind yours, but applied in a way that means “you thought”. the word geeze means “a go” or “turn”, “gizza geeze on your game”, “bail ah” simply put “can i have a turn?, nah”. “Safe” is overlooked these days but pretty much means what it means “its okay or all good”. “who’s that shady fulla over there?”, “who the bro? nah he’s safe g” or as an item “hows those drinks cuz?, safe as”, I noticed most our slang is a shortened way to say what we’re meant to, i can’t explain the rest but here some more maybe the urban dictionary can help. nuk, muppet, middy/middux, looks, chinux, rek, yoza

  • maori chiiick
    December 16, 2017

    Teenagers often use, “oushh” followed by “we geddit”. I know the meaning for this but I can’t define as I use it so often, but hopefully someone who does know the meaning can define it for me? Churrrr Maori

    • Faz
      > maori chiiick
      January 27, 2023

      Kia Ora..
      Oooosh I guess would be like rad, awesome, cool?
      Well thats how my bros use it lol

  • Sandeep Mohan
    December 22, 2017

    Don’t forget “Sweet as”, “mean” “top man” , “legend” , “arvo” , “all good/no worries”

    • Annie
      > Sandeep Mohan
      March 1, 2019

      Yes! I have a friend from Iraq who was so confused when he got to New Zealand despite being able to speak English fluently. He thought everyone was telling him he had a “sweet ass” haha

      • Annie
        > Annie
        March 1, 2019

        Oh and “arvo” means afternoon, e.g. “see ya tomorrow arvo”

  • Scott Kavanagh
    January 17, 2018

    we use to use wobbly woo a lot growing up too. This referred to someone throwing a tantrum. That kids throwing a real wobbly, or, that kids throwing a right wobbly woo. Woo meaning a party. Geez is another good one in place of squiz. Give me a geez at that. The on I still use loads today is Rubbish. Meaning full of crap. What you just said was a load of rubbish!

    • Annie
      > Scott Kavanagh
      March 1, 2019

      Yeap have to say I say geez a lot! My mum always used to say “no need to throw a wobbly over it” or another one: “don’t be a sookie lala” – don’t be so sensitive or don’t throw a tantrum about it etc

  • Captain Stubing
    May 26, 2018

    should add the word “cunt”

    dont worry…”cunt” isnt exactly an offensive word in NZ. cunt can also mean a positive sense.

    ie. “hes a clever cunt”.

    We kiwis tend to have a more liberal and positive view to the C Word.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Captain Stubing
      May 30, 2018

      Haha oh I was tempted :p

      • Annie
        > Anita Hendrieka
        March 1, 2019

        “Whatta good cunt!” Haha

    • Siobhan
      > Captain Stubing
      August 13, 2022


      Working in a hostel in the south of France, a fellow Kiwi colleague was asking me about my late Dad with the question ‘Was he a big cunt?’ to which I replied ‘nah’ but our English manager was so horrified he asked me if I’d realised my father had been called a “cunt”. Enter 3rd Kiwi to explain the nuances of the language.

      Btw Anita, beautiful list. Much better than some others I’ve seen. Having lived overseas so long, was a great reminder. Forever stuck having to call kumara a sweet potato – takes too long.

  • Lee
    May 29, 2018

    Gidday is Auatralian! Not New Zealand.

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Lee
      May 30, 2018

      Yes, Gidday is used in both countries! We do have very similar slang and most of the time, the same 🙂

    • M Chilcott
      > Lee
      February 16, 2019

      So is arvo and no worries. Never heard them until I went to live in Oz.

  • A.J
    June 20, 2018

    My mum and aunty(and now me cos i picked it up) tend to say ‘What are you doing, Ow?’ at literally anyone doing something stupid. also instead of just ‘the wops’ it tends to be dragged out to ‘the wopwops’ and since we live on a farm just out of the area, if someone asks ‘where do you live?’ the answer is typically ‘oh, way out in the wopwops’

  • Kylee
    August 31, 2018

    Trying to find the phrase -“ur all plaque” meaning ur all rubbish but can’t find anything on it… pretty sure it’s one of ours tho?

    • Anita Hendrieka
      > Kylee
      September 9, 2018

      Hmm I have actually never heard of this one before! Maybe it’s a phrase that’s used in only a certain region?

      • Rich
        > Anita Hendrieka
        February 13, 2019

        We used that in horowhenua as kids

  • Rich
    February 13, 2019

    Meaning shit, stupid, full of shit..you’re all plaque mate..that’s plaque

  • Jamie
    April 3, 2019

    These are AWESOME! Love these! I just sent this to my UK friend to learn a bit more about kiwi slang haha.

    Just one thing – Skull is “scull” as to scull a drink. I think!

    • Reagan A
      > Jamie
      October 18, 2020

      That is correct

    • Sharon
      > Jamie
      March 17, 2024

      and gutted, not guttered. 🙂

      • Samara
        > Sharon
        March 18, 2024

        Thanks Sharon! Have corrected this 😊

  • Jamie Ross
    May 28, 2019

    Thanks for sharing. Quite a few are similar in Oz 🙂



  • chur
    June 17, 2019

    wheres no statement

  • Jay
    June 18, 2019

    A lot of these are in use in the UK, too.

    Eh, bugger all, bugger, bro, cuz, munted, chock-a-block (chocka), piece of piss, taking the piss, piss-up, having a mare, good as gold, bloody, spinning a yarn, gizza, no worries, yeah right, all good, a hiding, ta, squizz…

    …I think the only ones that would confuse me are the Maori ones, which is probably why I like them the most 🙂 Although ‘hard case’ to mean witty is an odd one – I’d assume it meant tough nut to crack, or just plain tough.

    Thanks for sharing. I love New Zealand.

  • Deno
    June 22, 2019

    Jeeze Wayne. (Jesus your stupid, Wayne) also Ya drongo as in you’re an idiot.

  • Pat Palmer
    November 9, 2019

    Ring around
    tiki tour

  • Deni Holl
    November 10, 2019

    Nice one! Whata choice list!

  • Pam
    January 11, 2020

    Gidday is Aussie, never in my life have I heard a kiwi say that unless they were mocking aussie slang.
    Sometimes regions are slightly different with their slangs too.
    But dont forget
    Sweet as which means everything is good
    Horsey which means drunk or tipsy
    Skiddies means skidmarks
    hoope means snot
    Relax your undies means calm down
    Fulla means person

    • Kyle
      > Pam
      July 16, 2020

      I live in Auckland and I gidday constantly

      • Kyle
        > Kyle
        July 16, 2020

        I meant I hear gidday constantly sorry.

  • Sweet as Dude
    September 22, 2020

    Ya forgot SWEET AS… unforgivable 😉

  • Reagan A
    October 18, 2020

    Kia Ora can also be used interchangeably as a greeting, a sign of appreciation or a farewell

  • Ria
    January 20, 2021

    Up2 “Bae”, you forgot about me? Refs: Wikipedia Bae Kiwi Slang

  • Noelle Pham
    March 7, 2021

    Who else was really wanted to see chuddy, skint or land waka on the list?

  • Christina Grant
    April 20, 2021

    Haha love it! I’ve been away from NZ for 3 years and miss the slang! You left out the most important, and frequently used word: CHEERS! 🙂

    Here’s a few more:

    Sweet – “Nah, I’m sweet.”
    Bugger – “I left my wallet at home.” “Bugger!”
    Flat out – “I can’t come, I’m flat out.”
    Dodgy – “That fish smells dodgy.”
    Cunt – “He’s a good cunt.”

    Some NZ words:

    Kiwi (New Zealander)
    Bach (holiday home)
    Caravan (camping trailer)
    Footpath (sidewalk)
    Motorway (freeway)
    Car park (parking lot)
    Trolley (shopping cart)
    Boot (trunk of car)
    Wellies (rubber boots)
    Trainers (sneakers)
    Sunnies (sunglasses)
    Jumper (sweater)
    Tartan (flannel shirt)
    Flannel (washcloth)
    Serviette (napkin)
    Nappy (diaper)
    Spew (throw up)
    Breakie (breakfast)
    Tea (dinner)
    Takeaway (fast food)
    Pie (savory pot pie)
    Chips (french fries)
    Biscuits (cookies)
    Saussie (sausage)
    Courgette (zucchini)
    Aubergine (eggplant)
    Capsicum (bell pepper)
    Beersies (beer)
    Piss up (a party)
    Chill drinks (a small gathering)
    Cuppa (cup of tea)
    Caf (coffee shop)
    Op Shop (thrift store)
    Chemist (pharmacy)
    Uni (university)
    College (high school)
    Bush (native forest)
    Tramping (hiking)
    Torch (flashlight)
    Scroggin (trail mix)
    In the drink (swimming)
    In the tip (in the trash/rubbish bin)
    Chocka (full)
    Fringe (bangs)
    Plats (braids)
    Dub-dub-dub (www – start of web address)
    Zed (letter z)

  • manned
    April 22, 2021

    Kia Ora, Anita!

    • mandeh
      > manned
      April 22, 2021

      I meant, thank you!

  • Luke Finlayson
    May 3, 2021

    Great list! Had a pretty good laugh 🙂 Even though some of these words look similar on paper to those used in other countries, its the way we say them (our accent and intonation) that makes them funny; point-in-case, pakaru. I’m a kiwi and I’ve heard this word all my life but I still crack up every time I hear someone say it.
    Also, don’t forget ‘blues’. Haven’t heard it used for a while but it’s used to describe someone who is doing something random or acting a bit strange. “What a blues, ow!” or “that fulla’s pretty blues, aye!?”
    ‘Fulla’. it means ‘person’. It can be used in a positive or negative context; ‘oi, what a stink fulla! or ‘what a cool fulla’. ‘Oi’ is a word used to get someone’s attention.
    Then there’s ‘manu’ or ‘bomb’. It’s used to describe jumping into a body of water and making a big splash.
    ‘Nongie’ is a way to describe someone who is being stupid; ‘what a nongie, ow!’ (not sure how to spell it but hopefully you catch my drift?)

    Man, there’s too many to name! If you want to get a good feel for how to use kiwi slang or find new words, watch anything made by Taika Waititi or the Flight of the Conchords guys. Can’t go wrong there!

  • Michelle
    May 31, 2021

    Also balls-up or cock-up meaning something has gone seriously wrong. Eg, what a huge balls-up that was.

  • Éric
    February 4, 2022

    Nice list! At least about 4-5 of these are Black American slang, and some others is general American slang or variations of it. I could figure out what most of these meant. Kind of similar to howba lot of us talk over here.

    • Éric
      > Éric
      February 4, 2022

      *how a lot (not howba – typo)

  • exiled kiwi
    April 18, 2022

    I think you should add “Legit”, as in legitimate, to infer someone or thing is straight-up on-the-level whatevers.
    Maybe that term fell out of favour with the waning of M.C Hammer’s popularity, but I still found myself using it in the comments of kiwi vids on youtube (discussing how “sad” Australian pies are compared to New Zealand’s, a complete absence of “the hot pools”etc)

  • Jane Kelly
    April 23, 2022

    All Aussie slang. With conservative estimate half a million permanent residents North coast, Queensland, maybe one million living in Australia hardly surprising – never acknowledged by Kiwis.

  • Stephen
    June 5, 2022

    I always liked “out-of-it.” I remember going back to NZ for a brief visit after being in Europe for a few years and hearing this from a mate: “Yeah, man, he’s an out-of-it c–t!” Also, pretty sure the word “chur” comes from Howard Morrison and his mates. I heard it was a twist on the word “true.”

  • Rob
    September 14, 2022

    Don’t be a marnas. (manus? manas?) Not sure how to spell that one.

    I hear it all the time but I can’t find anything about it.


  • Fred
    December 13, 2022

    “The word piss-up refers to a party. As you can tell, ‘piss’ is pretty diverse in Kiwi slang!” It is pretty common in English as well, as in “He couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery.” This describes the highest degree of incompetence in arranging or organising anything, and is not restricted to organising a party. It is also very commonly used in Scotland.

  • Michael dietzel
    June 10, 2023

    I’m from California but I had a good mate years ago from Christchurch. He spoke a lot of slang, the ones I remember most was he would talk about us going out and getting a couple of gorgeous looking Sheila’s taking them out for a bit of the brush and slipping them a Wellington booty.. Still have no idea what he was talking about.. but I’m sure it was something vile and filthy.. Maxwell and I spent many nights together cruising the bars in Los Angeles. If Maxwell was relating this story he would say -Istill miss that big jumped up wanker. When I first met him I thought it was a bit of a poofter. But I found out soon enough he was all right mate.

  • Jenna
    September 29, 2023

    this was lit and sweet as. Love the squizz. Feeling squizzed out bro. Beached as a whale right now. Gotta take a piss.