56 New Zealand Slang Words and How to Use it Like a Kiwi

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56 Typical NZ slang words

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! Which is why I’m going to teach you some common New Zealand 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 phrases used in everyday life, and even (it turns out) a few terms popular from the UK.

Here’s a complete guide on New Zealand 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.


Let’s talk like a Kiwi! Here are some New Zealand slang words!


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

This is one of the classic New Zealand slang words is one that 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. It’s mostly heard on a farm. This NZ slang is basically a curse word.


5. Chur – “Here’s a drink” “Chur”

This word can be slapped around in many different ways. Sometimes it’s attached to another word or used by itself. It can mean sweet, awesome, yeah, good, cool, 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.


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

This is one of the Kiwi 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”

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 basically means when something is easy.


56 Typical New Zealand Slang Words And How To Use It Like A Kiwi

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.


56 Typical New Zealand Slang Words And How To Use It Like A Kiwi

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

Used when someone is enthusiastic about something.


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

In other words flip flops, thongs (Australian) 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.


56 Typical New Zealand Slang Words And How To Use It Like A Kiwi


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 3 million views. So nek minute basically means ‘next minute’.


21. Mare – “I’m having a mare today”

This means you’re having a difficult time.


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!


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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 chips” “Aw maaaaate”

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.


56 Typical New Zealand Slang Words And How To Use It Like A Kiwi

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.


56 Typical New Zealand Slang Words And How To Use It Like A Kiwi

Looking for a good Kiwi insult?


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

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 toward 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.


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

Tu meke is one of the a 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.


56 Typical New Zealand Slang Words And How To Use It Like A Kiwi


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

Yarn is NZ slang for a story or talking bull.


Need some Kiwi slang for a party?


35. Skull – “Skull it now!”

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



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


56 Typical New Zealand Slang Words And How To Use It Like A Kiwi


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”.

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 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.


56 Typical New Zealand Slang Words And How To Use It Like A Kiwi

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”.


56 Typical New Zealand Slang Words And How To Use It Like A Kiwi


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. Crash here – “You can crash here if you have been drinking bro”

This phrase shouldn’t be taken literally. There’s no need to crash your car when someone demands you to. Crash here means stay or sleep here.


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. Gidday – “Gidday mate, how ya going?”

This is a classic New Zealand slang word used just like hello or good day.


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?

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  • Reply
    August 12, 2016 at 4:56 pm

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

    • Reply
      December 12, 2017 at 1:32 pm

      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!!

      • Reply
        March 1, 2019 at 9:10 am

        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.

  • Reply
    Rhonda Albom
    August 16, 2016 at 1:02 am

    This is brilliant. Well done.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2016 at 7:42 am

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

    • Reply
      Michael Hurst
      April 7, 2019 at 7:17 am


  • Reply
    August 21, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Amazing how many we use in the UK

    • Reply
      August 24, 2018 at 3:23 am

      That’s where most of them originated.

  • Reply
    Elaine J Masters
    August 21, 2016 at 7:54 am

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

  • Reply
    August 21, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    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 🙂

  • Reply
    August 21, 2016 at 8:51 pm

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

    • Reply
      Random Kiwi
      May 22, 2019 at 5:08 am

      No Kiwi says Fush and Chups thats not real

      • Reply
        Anita Hendrieka
        May 24, 2019 at 11:14 pm

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

      • Reply
        November 4, 2019 at 2:58 pm

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

      • Reply
        April 1, 2020 at 7:31 am

        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!

  • Reply
    August 22, 2016 at 1:50 pm

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

  • Reply
    August 22, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Pretty useful list! The sayings are pretty hilarious!!

    • Reply
      September 18, 2018 at 12:50 pm

      hard out so diffrent to america

  • Reply
    Jenna Kvidt
    August 22, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    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!!

  • Reply
    evan kristine
    August 23, 2016 at 5:39 am

    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!

    • Reply
      Anita Hendrieka
      September 6, 2016 at 5:30 am

      Haha Us Kiwis like to make it difficult 😉

  • Reply
    Megan MacNee
    August 23, 2016 at 10:40 am

    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.

    • Reply
      Anita Hendrieka
      September 6, 2016 at 5:29 am

      It’s like learning another language 😉

  • Reply
    August 23, 2016 at 11:38 pm

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

    • Reply
      Anita Hendrieka
      September 6, 2016 at 5:28 am

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

    • Reply
      Krystle Anderson
      May 15, 2018 at 9:54 pm

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

  • Reply
    Paul Standeven
    April 22, 2017 at 1:30 am

    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

    • Reply
      December 23, 2018 at 5:06 am

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

    • Reply
      Ramona Bruce
      January 18, 2020 at 9:43 pm

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

      • Reply
        Anita Hendrieka
        February 3, 2020 at 6:50 am

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

  • Reply
    September 15, 2017 at 7:08 am

    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!!

    • Reply
      Marc & Louise Pierce
      May 3, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      shot bro

  • Reply
    October 28, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    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

  • Reply
    maori chiiick
    December 16, 2017 at 11:29 am

    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

  • Reply
    Sandeep Mohan
    December 22, 2017 at 10:44 pm

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

    • Reply
      March 1, 2019 at 9:16 am

      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

      • Reply
        March 1, 2019 at 9:17 am

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

  • Reply
    Scott Kavanagh
    January 17, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      March 1, 2019 at 9:21 am

      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

  • Reply
    Captain Stubing
    May 26, 2018 at 10:32 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Anita Hendrieka
      May 30, 2018 at 2:56 am

      Haha oh I was tempted :p

      • Reply
        March 1, 2019 at 9:26 am

        “Whatta good cunt!” Haha

  • Reply
    May 29, 2018 at 2:32 pm

    Gidday is Auatralian! Not New Zealand.

    • Reply
      Anita Hendrieka
      May 30, 2018 at 2:57 am

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

    • Reply
      M Chilcott
      February 16, 2019 at 12:22 pm

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

  • Reply
    June 20, 2018 at 11:34 am

    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’

  • Reply
    August 31, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    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?

    • Reply
      Anita Hendrieka
      September 9, 2018 at 10:04 pm

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

      • Reply
        February 13, 2019 at 8:27 pm

        We used that in horowhenua as kids

  • Reply
    February 13, 2019 at 8:29 pm

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

  • Reply
    April 3, 2019 at 4:18 am

    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!

  • Reply
    Jamie Ross
    May 28, 2019 at 12:34 pm

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



  • Reply
    June 17, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    wheres no statement

  • Reply
    June 18, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    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.

  • Reply
    June 22, 2019 at 1:27 pm

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

  • Reply
    Pat Palmer
    November 9, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Ring around
    tiki tour

  • Reply
    Deni Holl
    November 10, 2019 at 8:03 pm

    Nice one! Whata choice list!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    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

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