Nz south island queenstown kawarau bridge bungy jumping
Nz south island queenstown kawarau bridge bungy jumping

Classic New Zealand sayings

Did you know that New Zealand has three official languages? New Zealand English, Māori, and New Zealand Sign Language. However, Kiwis are also renowned for their New Zealand slang which is a language of its own. Before you embark on your journey to New Zealand, it is essential to prepare yourself so that you can understand what the locals are saying!

Are you ready for some classic Kiwi sayings?

What is New Zealand slang?

Back in 2019, New Zealanders won an award for having the sexiest accent in the world. This is combined with their unique sayings, and your trip to New Zealand should be 'sweet as'. This means no problem or no worries in Kiwi slang!

Here are a few more classic New Zealand sayings to help you along your way:

She'll be right - A classic way of saying that everything will be okay

Chur - A way to say thank you or show gratitude or appreciation

Bro - Like Aussie use the word mate, bro is used the same way to address a friend

I am pretty chocka - I am pretty full

Wop Wops - In the middle of nowhere

Stoked - Extremely happy

No sweat - Don't worry about it

He's a hard case - He is funny

Snag - A sausage

Togs - The Kiwi way to say swimmers or bathing suit

Yarn - A friendly chat

Dunny - Another way to say toilet

Far out - Oh wow that's awesome!

Dairy - The corner store

You right? - Is everything okay?

Yeah, nah - No

Ay - A word that Kiwis love to throw-in at the end of a sentence

Bugger all - There's nothing left

Fush and chips - Fish and chips

Jandals - Thongs

Chilly bin - Esky/ Cooler

'My car carked it the other day' - My car died the other day

Māori phrases to learn

As well as Kiwi slang words, there are many Māori phrases to learn before you embark on your trip to Aotearoa (the Māori name for New Zealand). Did you know that the Māori created the longest name for a place in any English-speaking country? Can you say, Taumata­whakatangihanga­koauau­o­tamatea­turi­pukaka­piki­maunga­horo­nuku­pokai­whenua­ki­tana­tahu? It is a mouth-full but this is the name of a hill near Porangahau, south of Waipulurau in southern Hawkes Bay.

Here are some more Māori phrases (that are a little bit shorter):

Haera Ra - Goodbye

Mōrena - Good morning

Ka Kite Ano - See you later

Kia ora tatou - Hello everyone

Kei te pehea koe? - How's it going?

Kei te pai - Good

Nga mihi - Greetings to all

Haere Mai - Welcome/ enter!

Manuhiri - Guests/ visitors

Haka - A traditional chant with a dance

Koha - A gift or present given by guests to hosts

Mā te wā - See you next time

Kia ora is used as an informal greeting throughout New Zealand. This phrase is used to say hello, express gratitude, send love and make a connection. It is a good phrase to start with if you would like to practice the Māori language.

Do you have any more Kiwi slang words or Māori phrases to add?

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