As a New Zealand author, I’m afraid I’m a bit of a trial to my editors. I keep slipping Kiwi speak into my manuscripts, mainly the contemporary and paranormal ones. When I get my edits back there are comments about “head scratching” and lots of question marks. Here are a few you probably haven’t heard before.
Thirteen Examples of Kiwi Speak
1. “Haven’t seen you in yonks!” – This means ages. i.e. I haven’t seen you for a long time.
2. Sweet as – this means yes or I agree. i.e. Do you want to go for a drink? Answer – sweet as.
3. Were you born in a tent? – I heard this one often as it kid. My mother’s way of telling me I’d left the door open and was letting in cold air.
4. He’s on his OE, earning big bikkies in London now. – translation: The man is on a working holiday in London, has a job and is receiving a good wage. OE = overseas experience.
5. Come on, ref, are your eyes painted on? – the referee is making decisions that the audience don’t agree with.
6. Got any chuddy? – they’re asking if you have any chewing gum.
7. Nine girls are running under a wharf and here I am – this is the way we learn to spell Ngaruawahia, the place where the Maori King lives.
8. You make a better door than a window – this means you’re standing in the way of something the speaker is trying to watch i.e. the television or at a sports match.
9. No need to pack a sad – means that the person is having a tantrum or sulking. The speaker is telling them that there is no need to sulk.
10. Oh, give me a break – means that something has gone wrong i.e. you’d say this if you were mowing the lawn and run out of petrol with just a little of the lawn left to mow.
11. Your turn to shout – means it’s your turn to buy a round of drinks.
12. It’s puckarooed – means that something is broken and can’t be fixed.
13. You couldn’t organize a piss-up in a brewery – means the person is useless.
A bonus – Ka pai – this is Maori and means good. Puku – Maori for stomach. I often say, “My puku is full.”
Have you heard of any of these?
Source: Kiwi Speak by Justin Brown.