A Travellers Guide to New Zealand Slang

A Travellers Guide to New Zealand Slang

Written by Kimberly

English and Te Reo Maori are both official languages of New Zealand. But there’s a definite twist to speaking the Kiwi language. If you’re making your way to Aotearoa — that’s the Maori name for New Zealand — here are some New Zealand slang words that will come in handy. Rent a campervan in New Zealand and uncover the Kiwi culture.

Speaking Like A True Kiwi

First of all, New Zealanders are called Kiwis. Becoming fluent in Kiwi won’t happen overnight. You may want to practice these common New Zealand slang words before you start your journey with a campervan rental in New Zealand.

Anklebiter – a small child

Arvo – the afternoon

Big smoke – a large town or city

Buggered – tired

Chilly bin – a cooler

Chocka – totally full, full of

Chuddy – chewing gum

Cockie – a farmer

Dairy – a convenience store or corner store

Fizzy drink – a soda pop

Footpath – a sidewalk

G’day – hello

Good on ya, mate – congratulations or well done

Greasies – fish and chips

Happy as Larry – really happy

Hot chips – French fries

Jandals – flip flops, sandals

Judder bar – a speed bump

Jumper – a sweater

Kai – Maori for food

Knackered – exhausted

Loo – bathroom, toilet

Mince – ground beef

No wakas – no problem

Pack a sad – to become moody, a bad mood

Pudding – dessert

Rattle your dags – hurry up

Scull – to drink really fast

She’ll be right – everything will be okay

Snarler – sausage

Squiz – to look, examine

Sunnies – sunglasses

Ta – thanks

Throw a wobbly – to have a tantrum or fit

Tiki tour – to take the long, scenic route

Togs – bathing suit

Torch – flashlight

Tramping – hiking

Whinge – to complain or whine

Yeah, nah – to say no without offending

Maori Phrases

Becoming familiar with a few basic Maori phrases before you travel, is helpful. Kia ora is a common greeting meaning hello, and haere mai is welcome. Haere rā, or goodbye, is often seen on exit signs. Mōrena is good morning, and Ka pai means good job or well done!

Navigating your way around New Zealand is easier when you know some common slang words and phrases. Want to be happy as Larry? Start planning your adventure now. At Mighway, we make campervan rental in New Zealand easy. Travel our roads like a Kiwi and contact us today for your motorhome hire.