The official language of New Zealand might be English, but I swear the Kiwis speak a completely different language. We’re not just talking about accent and pronunciation here, there are Kiwi dictionaries full of words and phrases I’ve never heard before. This has inspired a new series of posts – Kiwi Word of the Day.
Most commonly heard as “Sweet as” the adjective proceeding “as” can be anything. I’ve heard “cold as”, “full as”, “fast as”, “smart as”, “steep as”, “organic as”, “Kiwi as”.
My initial response was, “as WHAT????”, thinking that I had somehow missed the rest of the sentence. But the Kiwis just chuckle, the phrase ends with “as.” It’s a Kiwi thing.
How was the concert? – Sweet as.
Can you believe this weather? It’s hot as outside.
Are these vegetables organically grown? – They’re organic as, bro.
If it sounds like surfer slang, I must say that I’ve heard these phrases from all age ranges and walks of life. A 50-year old female dairy farmer texted me, “Sweet as” when I confirmed what time we’d be arriving at the farm.
After 3 months in New Zealand, I think I’ve finally figured it out. The use of “as” is an intensifier, it makes the adjective more intense. It’d be like adding “super” or “very” before the adjective. Come to think of it, it’s functions exactly like “issimo” in Italian.
So if I can use “Bello” for beautiful and “Bellissimo” for very beautiful, then I suppose I can accept that “hot” is hot and “hot as” is very hot.
Not that I’m going to jump on the bandwagon and start using it, but understanding is half the battle.