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Image by Thomas Habr
  • Writer's pictureKirsten

Kiwi Slang: A Guide to Speaking Like a True New Zealander

G'day, mate! Welcome to the land of the long white cloud, where the sheep outnumber the people and the slang is as sweet as the pavlova. That's right, we're talking about New Zealand, Aotearoa, the place where the word "mate" is thrown around more often than a rugby ball on game day. So grab yourself a cuppa, chuck on your jandals, and let's dive into the wonderful world of Kiwi slang!

Sweet As

Let's kick things off with a classic Kiwi phrase: "sweet as." This versatile term can be used to express agreement, approval, or satisfaction. Whether you're enjoying a cold one with your mates or admiring the stunning scenery, everything in New Zealand is "sweet as, bro!"


Another gem of Kiwi slang is "chur." Short for "thank you" or "cheers," this word is the ultimate expression of gratitude and appreciation. If someone shouts you a pie at the dairy or lends you a hand with your DIY project, a simple "chur, bro" is all it takes to show your thanks.


Ah, the humble jandal—a quintessential piece of Kiwi footwear. Short for "Japanese sandals," jandals are the go-to choice for Kiwis during the summer months. Whether you're hitting the beach or firing up the barbie in the backyard, you can't go wrong with a trusty pair of jandals.


No, we're not talking about Johann Sebastian Bach; we're talking about the Kiwi holiday home. Pronounced "batch," these rustic retreats are a Kiwi institution, offering a laid-back escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether it's a beachside bach or a lakeside crib, nothing beats a weekend away in your own little slice of paradise.


When a Kiwi says they're popping down to the dairy, they're not talking about buying milk from a cow; they're referring to the corner store or convenience store. From grabbing a cold can of L&P to picking up a packet of pineapple lumps, the dairy is your one-stop shop for all your Kiwi cravings.

Chilly Bin

Need somewhere to keep your cold ones cold? Look no further than the chilly bin. Known as a cooler or an esky in other parts of the world, the chilly bin is a Kiwi essential for picnics, BBQs, and beach days. Just chuck in some ice, load it up with bevies, and you're good to go!

Kia Ora

Last but not least, we have "kia ora,"  the Maori greeting that's become a Kiwi staple. Meaning "be well" or "good health," kia ora is a warm and welcoming way to say hello in New Zealand. Whether you're meeting someone for the first time or catching up with old friends, a hearty "kia ora" is sure to put a smile on their dial.

So there you have it—a crash course in Kiwi slang that'll have you talking like a true blue Kiwi in no time. Whether you're chilling at the beach, throwing some snags on the barbie, or just kicking back with your mates, these Kiwi expressions are sure to come in handy. So don't be a wally; get out there and give 'em a burl! Cheers, mate!


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