A quick guide to Kiwi lingo to the foreign traveller



Us kiwis sometimes forget that the kiwi language is not actually a universal one and actually only spans across the three islands that make up our fantastic little country.

It does however continue to span wherever in the world us kiwis go. This aside, if you aren’t a fluent kiwi speaker, this quick guide will hopefully enlighten you on some of the basic dialect that you may hear and witness being spoken if you are travelling around and exploring New Zealand.

To get started here are some quick words that will be good to keep in your kiwi language notebook.

Jandals: Flip flops, the most popular national footwear of New Zealand. Great for the beach.

Dairy:  A convenience store, basically a mini supermarket.

Chilly bin: Used for keeping food and drinks cold, it is a portable cooler bin.

The wops: An area that is far away and consider in the middle of nowhere.

Macca’s: Our slang word for McDonald’s.

Togs: Swimming suits.

Chocka block: If an area is crowded or really busy it is ‘chocka block.’

Bro: Possibly one of the most iconic and most used words in the kiwi language. Bro can be used to refer to your actual ‘brother’, or friend or anyone else for that matter.

As: Often used to add emphasis at the end of a statement. For example; ‘’that pie was good as’’.

Choice: Choice very simply means that something is good. For example; ‘’that was choice’’, means that was good.

All good: Often used in conjunction with ‘bro’ mentioned above. Signaling that everything is fine.

To the days: A phrase added onto a statement for general emphasis. For example; ‘’the waves were good out west to the days’’. This basically means that the waves were very good out west.

I hope this snapshot of our language will be a good pocket guide for you when you are a newbie to the country and will help you explore and immerse in our culture to the fullest!