Learn “Jandals” & More Kiwi Slang For Your New Zealand Holiday

22 March 2023
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House
Unsplash: Pasqualino Capobianco

No, the New Zealand accent does not sound like the Australian accent. Maybe it sounds a bit similar to the Aussie accent when you first hear it. But if you give it another listen, surely you can hear that it really, really sounds different. You can also pay attention to how the vowels are said because Kiwis typically pronounce the “i” sound to something that sounds like a “u,” just like when they say “fush and chups” (fish and chips). The letter “e” sounds like “i” so the word yes would be pronounced as “yiss” and bed would be pronounced as “bid.” Confused yet? Alright, well that’s enough Kiwi vowel pronunciation tips short for now. Just like any other place in this Blue Marble, the Land of the Long White Cloud, or Aeoteroa which means New Zealand in the Māori language, has a wide array of slang terms. The unique Kiwi phrases may not be as old as the Nu Zild mountains, but truly they have played a major role in making conversations more colorful and extra special at the bottom of the world. If you want to find out what our pals from down there are saying, keep reading.

  • Bro: a close friend
  • Chook: a chicken; can also be used as a term of endearment
  • Dunny: toilet
  • Sweet as: great; no worries
  • Jandals: flip flops
  • Stubbie: bottle of beer
  • Stubbies: short shorts
  • Heaps: a lot
  • Togs: swimwear
  • Gumboots: rain boots; rubber boots; wellington boots
  • Bach: summer house (pronounced as batch)
  • Wop wops: middle of nowhere
  • Yeah, nah: no
  • She’ll be right: it will be okay
  • Dairy: a corner store
  • Bugger: crap; damn; bollocks; urggghhh; a reaction for when something goes wrong
  • Ta: thank you
  • Snags: sausages
  • Chilly bin: cooler, portable cooler
  • Stoked: feeling happy
  • Chur: hi; bye; thank you
  • Op shop: second-hand clothing shop or charity shop