Not all those who wander are lost.

Posts tagged “New Zealand slang

Kiwi Word of the Day #6 – Jandals

My understanding is that Jeggings are simply leggings that have been made to resemble a pair of jeans.  If that is the case, then what on earth are Jandals?!?!?!?

Jandals

Jandals – Kiwi for flip flops or sandals

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Kiwi Word of the Day #5 – Dairy

If you go to a dairy and come back with a hot pie, a coca-cola, and a pack of gum, you must be in New Zealand.

Dairy: a convenience store, open early and closes late. A staple of any neighborhood or small town in New Zealand. Some might even sell dairy products!

DairyDairy2


Kiwi Word of the Day #4 – Ta

The wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is Tiggers are wonderful things
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs
They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!
The most wonderful thing about Tiggers is
I’m the only one!

The Kiwi phrase “Ta” brought me back to my childhood and my favorite Winnie the Pooh character. Up until now, I believed that Tigger and my mother were the only ones to ever use Ta; and it was always a way of saying goodbye: “T-T-F-N…Ta Ta For Now!”

But I’ve come to realize that there’s an entire nation of “Ta” users!!  However, the Kiwis clearly didn’t grow up with Tigger, for they’ve put their own spin on the word.

Rather than stutter “Ta Ta,” the Kiwis use the word only once and it’s a way of saying “Thanks.”

Merv: Could you pass the butter please?

Katie: Here ya go.

Merv: Ta.

I have to admit that this is another case in which I dig my heels in the ground. For me, “ta” will forever be used in accordance with my beloved Tigger.

Tigger


Kiwi Word of the Day #3 – Panelbeater

The Warrant of Fitness. It is every Kiwi Car Owner’s worst nightmare…and if you’re a foreigner with an 18-year old van, it’s even worse.

The Warrant of Fitness (WOF) is a certificate which every vehicle must pass in order to be driven legally in New Zealand. In theory, it’s simply a safety inspection – lights, brakes, tires, suspension, fluids, etc., just to make sure you’re not putting yourself or anyone else in danger while driving. In reality, it’s a royal pain in the ass.

Our WOF expired at the beginning of October which meant we needed to pay a quick trip to the mechanic to have our van inspected. Considering the age of our vehicle, we anticipated the need for a few repairs. We had a broken steering rack boot, which the mechanic said he could repair easily, but there was some severe damage to the cross member which he was not qualified to fix.

Mechanic: “In order to get your WOF, you’ll need to get this work completed or signed off by a certified Panelbeater.”

Katie: “I beg your pardon?”

Mechanic: “A Panelbeater. I don’t do work on the body of the car, that has to be done by a panelbeater.”

Panel Beater

I suppose when you break down the word it makes sense that this repair would be completed by “one who beats panels.” But seriously?  That’s what they’re called??!?!

Kiwi Word of the Day: Panelbeater, also known as an Auto Body Shop.


Kiwi Word of the Day #2 – Chilly Bin

Katie: We’re thinking about taking a day or two to drive around the Peninsula.
Brian: Do you guys have a chilly bin?  You could borrow one of ours.

I had no idea what Brian was talking about, so I kept the conversation going to figure out what on earth was being offered…

Katie: Do you think it’s necessary?
Brian: Sure!  It’s always nice to have a cold beer in the afternoon or be able to keep some milk for brekkie.*

Chilly Bin – Kiwi term for a sealable box used to keep food cold, aka “cooler” or “ice chest”

Chilly bin

*not worth it’s own post because it’s fairly intuitive, brekkie is slang for breakfast.


Kiwi Word of the Day #1- ______ as

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.

“____________ As”

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.

Examples:

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.