The people of New Zealand known as Kiwis
So what is a Kiwi? A flightless, nocturnal bird and a New Zealand Kiwiana icon – New Zealanders take their nickname from the little fellow! They are seldom seen in the wild coming out at night mostly not exactly like the people known ad Kiwi.
I have briefly written a few comments above but let’s go a little further since I feel it is very important to know what kind of people live, work and play in New Zealand. What makes them tick?
From a personal basis I have found they have great honesty and integrity and are hard working down to earth folks with big hearts. As a visitor you are welcome to share their world as long as you trat it with respect as they do. They are very sports minded and spend a great deal of time involved in sport and outdoor pursuits and as a result are generally a healthy lot but I am afraid in the cities they have taken up the fast food sport and are showing it. They are adventuresome represented by Edmund Hillary and Peter Blake for instance and the bungy jump along with other adrenalin rush concepts. They are a very intelligent and inventive lot with great discoveries to their credit and very quick to pick up on new ideas and usually improving them. It is a privilege and great fun to stop by a pub and get to know the local Kiwis. If you know and enjoy sport and especially rugby you may be there awhile.
You can just be yourself here as the Kiwi are generally tolerant and accept different ideas and views. It is a very modern society with no class system secular and democratic.
But when it comes to understanding the words they speak even though it is English you may find some phrases difficult to interpret.
Don’t be too frustrated when you hear Maori. After twenty years here I still can’t get my tongue around the majority of the words but then I never was any good at language differences. They are very forgiving people when you slaughter their words so just smile and hope for the best.
Kiwi speak – You are bound to hear the following in your travels –
Cheers - thanks
Mate – a good friend
Shout a drink – to buy a drink for someone
Bach – the vacation cabin
Tramp – hike
Bush – the woods or forest
Holiday – vacation
Bloke – a fellow
Pommie – English person (POM - stands for prisoner of her majesty)
Pakeha – a New Zealander of European descent or non-Maori person
Paddocks – fields
Smoko – coffee break
Torch – flashlight
Jersey – sweater
Biscuit - cookies
Ablution block – toilet/shower block at camp grounds
Don’t worry it will come right – (it will be okay)
And while driving:
Boot – trunk of the car
Windscreen – windshield
Petrol – fuel
Bonnet – hood
Panel beater – car body repairman
Caravan - mobile home that you tow behind your car
Ute - small pickup truck
Torch - flashlight
Greetings sound different such as ‘Kia Ora’ a Maori form of greeting or ‘Gidday’ that has a farming background.
You may be called a ‘bro’ or a ‘cobber’ or a ‘mate’ all friendly greetings.
Ordering a beer at the pub (bar or hotel that serves liquor) is a bit different. You are asked if you want a handle or a jug or a glass all dependent upon size. Then there is the tinnie (a can of beer) or a Steinie (bottle of Steinlager)
or maybe you would want spirits – (liquor)
Other words you will hear at a pub (bar) or at a piss up (party, social gathering):
Ta – thanks
Shout - to treat, to buy something for someone
Pisshead - someone who drinks a lot of alcohol, heavy drinker
Scull - consume, drink quickly
Food and drink on offer:
Banger - sausage, as in bangers and mash
Snarler - sausage
Barbie - barbecue
Cuppa - cup of tea, as in cuppa tea
Entree - appetizer, hors d'oeurve
Fizzy drink - soda pop
L&P - Fizzy soda water made in NZ
Lolly - candy
Pav - pavlova, a NZ dessert topped with kiwifruit and cream
Pikelet - small pancake usually had with jam and whipped cream
Plonk - cheap liquor, cheap wine
Pudding - dessert
Serviette - paper napkin
Shandy - drink made with lemonade and beer
Shark and taties - fish and chips
Spud – potato
Veges - vegetables
Take-aways - food to be taken away and eaten, fast food outlet
Chook – chicken.
Tea - evening meal, dinner
When you go to the supermarket or are buying food some very Kiwi products are hokey-pokey ice cream (one of my favourites) and marmite (not one of my favourites). Watties or tomato sauce is what they call ketchup.
For other words that are different how about their foot wear such as gummies (gum boots the black ones worn on the farm and the white ones worn by commercial fishermen) and the most popular summer foot wear in New Zealand the jandals we know as thongs. Togs are what the call their swim suits.
Other words and terminology you may hear:
Good on ya, mate! - congratulations
Chippy - builder, carpenter
Cockie - farmer
Crib - bach
Footie – rugby game
Arvo – afternoon
Bugger - damn!
Strapped for on cash, no money
Rattle your dags - hurry up, get moving
Rellies - relatives, family
Ring - to telephone somebody
Rubbish - garbage, trash
Dole - unemployment benefit
Scroggin - trampers high energy food including dried fruits, chocolate
Sheila - slang for woman/female
Shoot through - to leave suddenly
Dunny - toilet, bathroom, lavatory
Sickie - to take a day off work or school because you are sick
Skite - to boast, boasting, bragging
Sook - cry baby, wimp
Fizz Boat - small power boat
Flannel - wash cloth, face cloth
Sparkie - electrician
Wally - clown, silly person
Lift - elevator
Loo - bathroom, toilet
Wobbly - to have a tantrum
Wop-wops - situated off the beaten track, out of the way location
Yack - to have a conversation with a friend, to talk
And remember the last letter of the alphabet is called a zed….
And here is one for you when it comes to pronouncing some of the Maori names of communities:
The “wh” are pronounced as an “f” such as Whangarei is pronounced “F”ongara(with a long a for ei) ”
Special New Zealand Kiwiana to look out for -
The silver fern emblem – made famous by the world famous rugby players known as the All Blacks copied from the silver fern plant found everywhere in the country.
Rugby – New Zealand’s national sport probably closer to their religion. The world famous All Blacks.
Netball – second most popular sport. Played by women - top team the Silver Ferns. Much like basketball.
Bungy Jumping - AJ Hackett turned jumping off high places with rubber bands on your legs into a world wide attraction..
Sheep - The fields are full of them with 10 sheep for every one New Zealander – over 40 million
Gum boots – What is known in the US as Wellingtons and word by every farmer and commercial fisherman.
Buzzy Bee - Since the 1940’s this has been the Kiwi child’s top toy and has to be real Kiwiana.
Pohutukawa tree – Scarlet red flowers bursting out during Christmas time.
Jandals – The flip-flops of the Kiwi’s in the summer the footwear of choice.
Paua – A beautiful blue green shell known as abalone in the US. Used here by artists to create beautiful jewellery.
Fish & Chips – Every town has the local fish and chip shop. Shark and taties are what most people ask for.
L&P - This is a soft drink originally made in the town of Paeroa where today stands the giant bottle in the city square.
Marmite/Vegemite – A strong taste that must be acquired but most Kiwis find it delicious.
Kiwi fruit – Originally from China now known as the fruit of New Zealand. Great eating.
Pavlova - Arguments that this is an Australian dish but not so! Definitely a fabulous Kiwi dessert.
Meat Pies – You have to try this great Kiwi tradition. Some of the best eating in the country.
Hokey Pokey Ice Cream – Crunchy toffee Yum! Don’t miss this Kiwi favourite on your trip
A & P Shows – Rural New Zealand on show like our country fairs. Worth a stop on your travels.