100 Kiwi Slangs: A New Zealand Slang List

Kiwi slangs

🗣 Introduction to the 100 Most Used Kiwi Slangs — A New Zealand Slang List

New Zealand, affectionately known as Aotearoa in the Māori language, boasts a unique cultural tapestry that includes a rich array of colloquial expressions and slangs. 

As New Zealanders are often called, Kiwis have a distinctive way of speaking that reflects the country’s diverse heritage and laid-back lifestyle.

Here’s a list of 100 Kiwi slangs, each with its own:

  1. Aotearoa: The Māori name for New Zealand, often used to emphasize the indigenous culture and heritage.
  2. Kiwi: A term not only referring to the iconic flightless bird, but also commonly used to describe New Zealanders.
  3. Jandals: Flip-flops or thongs, perfect for the Kiwi beach lifestyle.
  4. Sweet as: A popular Kiwi phrase indicating approval or agreement, synonymous with “awesome” or “excellent.”
  5. Chilly bin: A cooler or ice chest, essential for keeping drinks cool during a Kiwi barbecue.
  6. Bach: Pronounced “batch,” a holiday home or beach house.
  7. Choice: Excellent or cool, expressing admiration for something.
  8. She’ll be right: A laid-back attitude, often used to convey that everything will be okay.
  9. Togs: Swimsuit or bathing suit, essential for a day at the beach.
  10. Mate: Friend or buddy, a widely used term reflecting the Kiwi camaraderie.
  11. Cuz: Short for cousin, but often used casually to address friends or acquaintances.
  12. Munted: Broken, damaged, or in a state of disrepair.
  13. Wop-wops: A remote or isolated location, far from urban areas.
  14. Buzzy: Exciting or busy, full of energy.
  15. Bro: Short for brother, a term of endearment used among friends.
  16. Chur: Thank you or cheers, expressing gratitude.
  17. Cark it: To die or stop working.
  18. Bogan: A term for someone with a working-class background, often associated with a casual or unconventional lifestyle.
  19. Dairy: A convenience store or small grocery shop.
  20. Gumboots: Rubber boots or Wellington’s, perfect for muddy outdoor activities.
  21. Hangi: A traditional Māori method of cooking food in an earth oven.
  22. Heaps: A lot, plenty, or a large quantity.
  23. Hundy: A hundred, often used in the context of giving something full effort.
  24. Kai: Food, reflecting the importance of sustenance in Kiwi culture.
  25. Kia ora: A Māori greeting meaning “be well” or “be healthy.”
  26. Puku: Stomach or belly, often used in the context of being full after a meal.
  27. Skuxx: Stylish, attractive, or cool.
  28. Tiki tour: Taking a scenic or meandering route to a destination.
  29. Whānau: Family, emphasizing the importance of kinship.
  30. Yarn: A conversation or story, often shared in a casual and relaxed manner.
  31. Duvet: A blanket or comforter, essential for staying warm during chilly nights.
  32. Kumara: A sweet potato, popular in Kiwi cuisine.
  33. Weta: A large insect native to New Zealand, often used to describe something impressive or robust.
  34. Chur bro: A combination of “thanks” and “bro,” expressing gratitude in a friendly manner.
  35. Hard case: A funny or amusing person.
  36. Rattle your dags: Hurry up or move quickly.
  37. Pavlova: A popular dessert, typically a topic of debate between New Zealand and Australia regarding its origin.
  38. Bach hop: Traveling between holiday homes or baches.
  39. Bikkie: Biscuit or cookie, a sweet treat enjoyed with a cup of tea.
  40. Pōhutukawa: A native New Zealand tree with distinctive red flowers, often called the Kiwi Christmas tree.
  41. Wairua: Spiritual or sacred, reflecting a deep connection to the land.
  42. Pounamu: Greenstone or jade, considered a precious stone with cultural significance.
  43. Piss-up: A social gathering involving alcohol, typically a party or celebration.
  44. No worries: Similar to “she’ll be right,” conveying a relaxed and easygoing attitude.
  45. Bare: Many or a lot, emphasizing abundance.
  46. Whinge: Complain or grumble, often used humorously.
  47. Tiki: A Māori carving or pendant, symbolizing cultural identity.
  48. Bach babe: A term used to describe someone who spends a lot of time at beach houses.
  49. Waka: Canoe, reflecting the importance of watercraft in Māori history.
  50. Pikelet: A small, thick pancake, a favorite in Kiwi households.
  51. Ripper: Fantastic or excellent, expressing enthusiasm.
  52. Judder bar: Speed bump, a common feature on New Zealand roads.
  53. Brass monkey weather: Extremely cold weather, referencing the idea that it’s cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.
  54. Cut lunch: Packed lunch, typically for outdoor activities.
  55. Pukana: A Māori facial expression, often used to convey intensity or passion.
  56. Kia kaha: Be strong, a phrase of encouragement and support.
  57. Pike out: To back out or avoid a commitment.
  58. Tu meke: Good job or well done, acknowledging someone’s effort.
  59. Buzzy bee: A popular Kiwi children’s toy, symbolizing industriousness.
  60. Mozzie: Mosquito, a common pest during the warmer months.
  61. Wop-wop kick: A type of kick in rugby, often used to describe an unsuccessful attempt.
  62. Bush: Native forest or wooded areas.
  63. Blue duck day: A day with clear skies and perfect weather.
  64. Choice as, bro: A combination of “awesome” and “bro,” expressing approval.
  65. Stubbies: Shorts, frequently denim, that are shorter than average.
  66. Fluffy: A hot drink, typically a coffee or hot chocolate with frothy milk.
  67. Jafa: Acronym for “Just Another F***ing Aucklander,” sometimes used humorously to refer to Auckland residents.
  68. Pav: Abbreviation for pavlova, a beloved dessert in New Zealand.
  69. Chocka: Full or crowded, often used in reference to a busy place.
  70. Pram: Baby stroller or pushchair.
  71. Mozzies: Mosquitoes, pesky insects prevalent in certain regions.
  72. Wobbly boot on: Being drunk or under the influence of alcohol.
  73. Four by two: A piece of wood, often used in DIY projects.
  74. Haka: A traditional Māori war dance, often performed as a ceremonial expression of strength.
  75. Nek minnit: “Next minute,” a phrase used to indicate a sudden turn of events.
  76. Dag: An amusing or eccentric person, often used affectionately.
  77. Brofessionals: Skilled or professional individuals, often used humorously.
  78. Scroggin: Trail mix or a mix of dried fruits and nuts, perfect for outdoor activities.
  79. Weta workshop: A reference to the famous special effects and prop company in New Zealand.
  80. Pommy: A person from England or the United Kingdom.
  81. Aroha: Love or affection, emphasizing a deep connection to others.
  82. Weta cave: A popular tourist attraction showcasing props and sculptures from movies.
  83. Wops: Remote or isolated areas, similar to “wop-wops.”
  84. Rugbyhead: A passionate fan of rugby, a sport deeply ingrained in Kiwi culture.
  85. Stoked: Extremely happy or excited, often used to express delight.
  86. Kai moana: Seafood, reflecting the abundance of seafood in New Zealand waters.
  87. Buzzy-bee corner: A term used to describe a busy intersection or roundabout.
  88. Pōwhiri: A Māori welcoming ceremony, often performed for visitors.
  89. Chocka-block: Full to capacity, often used in reference to busy events.
  90. Daggy: Unfashionable or out-of-date, often used humorously.
  91. Hundy p: A hundred percent certain or confident.
  92. Tuakana: An older sibling or cousin.
  93. Deki: A term used to agree or confirm a plan.
  94. Wop-wop woollies: Warm clothing suitable for cold and remote locations.
  95. Taniwha: Mythical creatures in Māori folklore, often used to describe hidden dangers or obstacles.
  96. Squizzy: To take a look or have a quick glance.
  97. Sunnies: Sunglasses, essential for New Zealand’s sunny days.
  98. Dairy owner: The owner of a convenience store or dairy.
  99. Waka jumping: Politically motivated party switching.
  100. Eh: A casual way of seeking agreement or confirmation, similar to “right?” in other English-speaking cultures.

👨‍💻 Frequently Asked Questions About the Use of Slangs in New Zealand

1. What is the significance of slangs in New Zealand?

Slangs in New Zealand hold cultural significance, reflecting the country’s unique identity and fostering a sense of camaraderie among Kiwis.

They contribute to the distinct linguistic landscape and play a role in expressing New Zealanders’ laid-back and friendly nature.

2. Why do Kiwis use so many slangs in their everyday language?

The use of slangs in New Zealand is deeply ingrained in the culture, serving as a form of informal communication.

Kiwis often use slang to convey friendliness, camaraderie, and shared identity. It’s a way of expressing themselves authentically and connecting with others.

3. How do slangs contribute to the Kiwi sense of humor?

Slangs in New Zealand contribute significantly to the Kiwi sense of humor by adding wit, playfulness, and informality to everyday conversations.

Many slangs are used humorously, creating a lighthearted atmosphere and reinforcing the friendly and approachable nature of Kiwis.

4. Are there regional variations in the use of slangs across New Zealand?

Yes, there are regional variations in the use of slangs across New Zealand.

Different areas may have their own unique expressions and phrases, influenced by local culture and history. This adds an extra layer of diversity to the country’s linguistic landscape.

5. Do tourists need to understand Kiwi slangs while visiting New Zealand?

While it’s optional for tourists to understand Kiwi slangs, having some knowledge can enhance the overall experience.

It allows visitors to better connect with locals, understand the nuances of conversations, and appreciate the friendly and informal Kiwi communication style.

6. How can non-Kiwis learn and incorporate Kiwi slangs into their vocabulary?

Non-Kiwis can learn and incorporate Kiwi slangs by immersing themselves in local culture, engaging in conversations with Kiwis, and paying attention to popular media and entertainment.

It’s fun to embrace the Kiwi way of speaking and connect with the local community.

7. Are there certain situations where using slangs may be inappropriate?

While slangs are generally used in casual and friendly settings, it’s essential to be mindful of the context.

It’s advisable to use more standard language in formal or professional situations to ensure clear communication.

Additionally, being aware of cultural sensitivities is crucial when using slangs.

8. Do slangs contribute to the identity of New Zealand English?

Slangs contribute significantly to the identity of New Zealand English. They create a distinctive linguistic identity that sets New Zealand apart and reflects the country’s unique blend of cultures, history, and the friendly nature of its people.

9. Can the use of slangs in New Zealand sometimes lead to misunderstandings for non-native speakers?

While Kiwi slangs may pose a challenge for non-native speakers, Kiwis are generally understanding and willing to explain meanings in a friendly manner.

It’s an opportunity for cultural exchange, and over time, non-native speakers can become familiar with and incorporate these slangs into their own language use.

10. Are there resources available for learning more about Kiwi slangs?

Yes, there are various resources available for learning more about Kiwi slangs. Local language guides, online platforms, and engaging with Kiwi communities are excellent ways to immerse oneself in the language.

Additionally, Kiwi friends and acquaintances can provide valuable insights into the use and meaning of slangs.


Embrace the Kiwi spirit by incorporating these slangs into your conversations, and you’ll soon find yourself speaking like a true New Zealander.

Whether you’re enjoying a cuppa with a biscuit, heading to the bach for a weekend getaway, or just having a yarn with your mates, these Kiwi slangs will add a touch of Aotearoa to your language repertoire. Cheers, mate!

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