Breadcrumb
New Zealand Travel Blog:
Blog view

How to speak kiwi: common New Zealand slang

‘Yea nah, she’ll be right bro. I’m knackered as, gonna get a mean feed.’

‘Yea sweet as, choice cuz.’

If that sentence confused you and you’re planning a trip to New Zealand, have a read of these common Kiwi words and phrases and you’ll find understanding the locals a lot easier when you arrive!

Popular kiwi words

  • Kiwi: New Zealanders, also a native bird
  • Chilly bin: Cooler/esky
  • Wop wop’s: The middle of nowhere/the sticks
  • Togs: Swimsuit
  • Jandals: Flip flops/thongs
  • Buggered/knackered: Really tired
  • Jumper: Sweater/pull over
  • Bach/crib: Holiday home
  • Bro: Brother, friend
  • Chur: Thanks
  • Hokey-pokey: Ice cream flavour (definitely try this while in New Zealand)
  • Stubbie: Bottle of beer
  • Stubbies: Shorts (short shorts)
  • Tramping: Hiking
  • Mate: Friend or enemy (depending on the speakers tone)

 

Popular Kiwi phrases

  • All good: That’s ok, never mind
  • Sweet as: Great, good, fine
  • Choice as: That’s great, awesome, sure
  • Yeah nah: This has a large variety of meanings, the most common one’s being: an acknowledgment that you have spoken, but disagree with what you said; a space filler within a sentence
  • Most common use example:      
    “Nick thought the show was rubbish, didn’t you Nick?”
    “Yea, nah”
  • Bring a plate: Bring a shared dish of food to a party/gathering (if you get asked to ‘bring a plate’ do not just bring an empty plate, you will be judged harshly)
  • She’ll be right: It will be fine, everything is ok, don’t worry about it
  • No worries: You’re welcome, no problem
  • You right?: Are you ok? Is everything ok?

 

Common Maori phrases you will hear

  • Kia Ora (key-or-a): Hello
  • Haere Mai (high-reh-my) – welcome.
  • Haere Ra (high-reh-rah) – goodbye
  • Whanau (far-no): Family
  • Ka kite ano: See you later (commonly used by news anchors)
  • Mana: Respect
  • Kai: Food
  • Ka pai: Good work

Categories: Essential Info

Thanks for reading our blog

We have lots more information to share with you if you need it. Our team lives and works within New Zealand. We have travelled to every region and experienced the best (and worst) of what there is to offer.  If you have any questions about tours, locations or just want some friendly advice please reach out to us by chat, email, or phone. There is no penalty for getting in touch, we do NOT charge any consultant fees so you can take the hassle out of your travels for free!

If you are interested in planning a trip then please leave your details in the simple form below and we can provide you with support customising a tour just for you. 

Contact form
Let's start planning your New Zealand Experience

See our privacy policy here

Tour index