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New Zealanders are called Kiwis!

New Zealand landscape, Banks Peninsula

New Zealand is a beautiful place with prospects for everyone, families, professionals from all different backgrounds and industry, entrepreneurs, sporting individuals, we have something for everyone.

We also have wonderful Kiwi slang – how many people do you know call themselves after a native bird?  The Kiwi is a flightless bird only native to New Zealand and typically that is what we call ourselves when from New Zealand.

Here are some other interesting Kiwi slangs for you:


You may have heard them called flip flops or thongs. It is a bit like going barefoot, which Kiwis love!


A familiar name for a sandwich.

Shark & Taties

A jocular name for fish & chips.

See you later

Farewell comment.  It does not mean you will actually see the person later.


Swim wear, which you will need if you’re living in New Zealand!

Wop-wops or Wops

This literally means in the middle of nowhere, an example is when someone may say to you they live in the middle of the wop wops – a long way away with no one around or “in the sticks” is another thing they may say.

Tiki tour

This is the Kiwi way of saying they will get you to your destination but probably the long way around via something interesting to see or do.

She’ll be right

Kiwis are typically a laid back bunch and they have plenty of ways of expressing that.  She’ll be right is a classic way for us to say everything will be fine, don’t worry.


You might be asked to go to a ‘barbie’ which is the Kiwi slang for a barbecue / BBQ.  Kiwis love to cook outside on the barbecue, it’s part of our Kiwi culture.

Snag …

and if you are going to a barbie and you hear someone say snag that is Kiwi slang for sausage, a big favorite for a barbecue.  And if someone eats too many snags you might hear them say “I’m chocka” which means “I’m full” !

Ankle biter or Rug rat

A small child regarded as a nuisance.


Back garden of your property.


Means bring your own liquor.


Veranda or timber walkway around a house.


This means an evening meal. If an invitation has been extended for dinner, it is often wise to check the time.


Kiwis often refer to gumboots (large rubber boots for walking in mud or water) as gummies; very popular on the farm.

Spitting the dummy

Another way of saying someone is having a tantrum!


If you’re at work and you hear someone say let’s have a smoko break, that is the Kiwi slang for having a break, typically a morning or afternoon tea break.


A corner store selling day-to-day items like milk, bread, newspapers and dollar lolly bags.  Also often a great place for ice creams!


A holiday home and pronounced ‘batch’.  This is also known as a “Crib” in southern New Zealand.

Mouse Trap

Slice of bread spread with tomato relish and a mixture of beaten egg, grated cheese, chopped onion and bacon.

Take a seat

Please be seated.


In New Zealand, a hot dog refers to a battered sausage, often served on a stick, resembling what is commonly known as a corn dog in North America. Meanwhile, an American hot dog is the version served in a bun.

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