Wellington Harbor Moonlight
City harbor lights of Wellington with lights reflection and bright moonlight too.

Kiwi-English is an amalgamation of British and US English. Here are some of the most common words and phrases.

This list is printed with thanks to romance author Rosalind James: https://rosalindjames.com/1836/


advert: commercial

air con: air conditioning

arvo, this arvo: afternoon

Aussie, Oz: Australia. (An Australian is also an Aussie. Pronounced “Ozzie.”)

bin, rubbish bin: trash can

Cake Tin: Wellington’s rugby stadium (not the official name, but it looks exactly like a springform pan)

CBD: Central Business District; downtown

chat up: flirt with

chips: French fries. (potato chips are “crisps”)

chuck out: throw away

cuddle: hug (give a cuddle)

cuppa: a cup of tea (the universal remedy)

dodgy: suspect, low-quality

duvet: comforter

En Zed: Pronunciation of NZ. (“Z” is pronounced “Zed.”)

ensuite: master bath (a bath in the bedroom).

flash: fancy

flat white: most popular NZ coffee. An espresso with milk but no foam.

footpath: sidewalk

garden: yard

get on the piss: get drunk

it’s not on: It’s not all right

jandals: flip-flops. (This word is only used in New Zealand. Jandals and gumboots are the iconic Kiwi footwear.)

journo: journalist

Kiwi: New Zealander OR the bird. If the person, it’s capitalized. Not the fruit.

knackered: exhausted

lounge: living room

munted: broken

narked, narky: annoyed

phone’s engaged: phone’s busy

plunger: French Press coffeemaker

pohutukawa: native tree; called the “New Zealand Christmas Tree” for its beautiful red blossoms at Christmastime (high summer)

Pom, Pommie: English person

shout, your shout, my shout, shout somebody a coffee: buy a round, treat somebody

sorted: taken care of

spot on: absolutely correct. “That’s spot on. You’re spot on.”

suss out: figure out

takeaway: takeout (food)

torch: flashlight

trainers: athletic shoes

tramping: hiking

Uni: University

The pohutakawa tree