The absolute traveller’s guide to New Zealand Slang

Every group of people develops its own slang, which can make it difficult for overseas visitors to understand. New Zealand is no exception.

Here are 6 common Kiwi slang words and their meanings.

Kiwi – Can refer to either a New Zealander, or the country’s national bird. For the fruit, we say kiwifruit.

Bro – When I’m with my friends I use this in almost every sentence. We use it in place of ‘man’ or ‘mate’ or ‘dude’. It’s not reserved for good friends, you can say it to anyone, like the mailman or a taxi driver. They’ll probably say it back to you.

Example:
Jack: Hey bro how’s it going?
John: I’m all good bro! Did you see Shortland Street last night bro? It was crazy bro!

All good – This basically means ‘everything’s fine’ or ‘no problem’, and we also use it in place of ‘you’re welcome’ when someone says thank you.

Example:
Jack: I thought my car was going to break down but it was all good, thanks for waiting.
John: All good bro.

Sweet as – Means ‘no problem’, or sometimes can just mean a simple “OK”. Used similarly to ‘all good’.

Example:
Jack: Yo, we’re all going to Jen’s house to watch Gossip Girl and eat Toffee Pops. Gotta go gym first but I’ll pick you up at 7?
John: Sweet as (translation: OK).

Not even – Loosely translates to “No way” or “That’s not true”, but can be used in various different contexts.

Example:
Jack: Bro, I forgot my wallet. You’ll lend me 20 bucks though eh?
John: Not even! (translation: No, I wont.)

Reckon – In many ways it is a synonym for the word “think”, for example instead of saying “I think so” you could say “I reckon”. However it has other meanings:

1. Used to express one’s opinion. For example, instead of saying “Do you think?” you would say “Do you reckon?”

Example:
John: Do you reckon if I buy Jen a box of Pineapple Lumps and then ask her on a date she will say yes?
Jack: Yeah, I reckon! (translation: yes, I think she will).

2. Used to agree enthusiastically to something.

Example:
John: I can’t believe Tom cheated on Jill for the 279th time!
Jack: I reckon! What a dick. (translation: I know! What a dick).

 

 

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