The 10 Best New Zealand Slang

10 New Zealand Slang Words To Sound Like A Local

New Zealand slang words can be tricky to get the hang of. Sure, it’s technically English, but it can sound like a different language. Arriving to New Zealand without a grasp of the lingo can be confusing, especially if English isn’t your native language.

Kiwi slang is so much more than just an accent. Different areas across the country have different slang words, but there are a lot of phrases that people use across the entire region. Basically, the ‘i’ becomes a ‘u’ (ie. fish and chips becomes fush n chups) and the ‘e’ becomes an ‘i’ (ie. pens become pins). Add ‘eh’ at the end of every sentence and you’re halfway there.

Here’s a list of 10 commonly used slang words in New Zealand. You’ll be speaking like a local in no time.

10 common New Zealand slang words

Say these following phrases and you’ll fit right in with those sexy Kiwis…

1. Sweet as, bro!

This basically just means amazing, and you’ll hear it all the time.

2. Knackered

Not just tired, but really tired.

Knackered Slang

3. Jandals

Flip-flops. Japanese sandals = jandals.

Jandals Slang

4. Bugger all

Very little eg. “This beer cost bugger all”.

Bugger all Slang

5. She’ll be right

This just means everything will be fine. They’re not even talking about a ‘she’ in particular.

She’ll be right

6. The Wops

Middle of nowhere.

The Wops

7. Piece of piss

Super, super easy.

Piece of piss

8. Mare

You’re having a tough time ie. a nightmare.

Mare slang

9. Gumboots

Wellington boots!

Gumboots slang

10. Gidday

G’day/hello/howdy (all of the above).


Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

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