How to Speak Kiwi


“sweet as.” – This is like saying, “Cool.” Also, you can substitute “sweet” with any adjective.

 “Living in New Zealand is sweet as, bro.” or “That shirt is expensive as.”

“tog” – a bathing suite

“Grab your togs. We’re going to Hot Water Beach in Coromandel this weekend.”

“getting pissed” or “getting on the piss” – getting drunk

“My mates and I were getting on the piss a bit at the pub last night.”

“taking the piss” – mocking or harassing someone. It can also be used to describe “pulling someone’s leg.”

“One of my mates got bashed at the pub last night for taking the piss at this hori fellow.” Or “My friend told me he slept with a sweet as girl from the pub last night, and I told to stop taking the piss out of me.”

“hori” – an adjective to describe someone who is trashy, unkempt, and low class and uncultured. It’s the New Zealand equivalent of calling someone trailer trash. It used to be a derogatory term specifically directed at Maori, but anyone can be a hori now.

“My mates and I were getting on the piss at the pub last night and we were taking the piss out of this hoary fellow because he was wearing togs and smelled like sheep.”

“pie” – a meat pie

“For lunch I got a pie at the dairy.”

“dairy” – a convenience store

“I’m going to run down to the dairy to pick up a pie and cigarettes.”

“tea” – lunch

“Want to join me for tea? I’m going to McDonalds.”

“full stop” – a period (the grammatical kind)

“You need to put a full stop at the end of that sentence or it will be a run-on sentence.”

This next word isn’t different from English, but if you want to sound Kiwi, try to use it at least twice in every conversation:

“heaps” – a lot

“Don’t take heaps of luggage when you travel. It’s heaps more trouble than it’s worth.”

“Capsicum” – bell peppers

“Would you like capsicum on your salad?”

“Smoko” – a smoke break

“I can’t talk now, but my smoko is in 15 minutes.”

“Fanny” – A women’s private parts.

“Does this dress make my fanny look big?” “No. It doesn’t make your vagina look big.”

“Torch” – Flashlight

“Make sure to bring your torch on the night hike.”

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4 Responses

  1. Some more:

    Hoon – a boy racer
    “I didn’t sleep a wink – the hoons were doing circuits round the block all night”

    To flag – to ignore
    “I couldn’t be bothered to read the email, so I flagged it”
    NB – to flag for someone’s attention also means to mark it for their attention (as it does in the UK – not sure about the US – a nicely confusing phrase!

    To biff – to throw away
    “No-one was using the old towels, so I biffed them.”

  2. I am glad that Hubby has been in NZ for 20 years and helps me with the language (even after 4 years, I need a little help) but he’s a pom, so that has problems of it’s own!

  3. Having lived in six different states in the US I realize that each state has its own unique colloquialisms but I usually understand them. Here are a few my husband and I have had great fun noticing since we’ve been here:

    “boot”: the trunk of your car

    “chippie” carpenter

    “sparkie” electrician

    “hob” stove top

    “bogon or bogen” (spell?) red neck

    “look” the word they put at the beginning of every sentence

    “aubergine” zucchini
    “liquidizer” blender

    • An aubergine is actually an eggplant 🙂 – a zucchini can also be called a courgette here (depending on who you speak to)

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