Shit Kiwis Say

I spent last weekend in Wales with 5 kiwis and one Englishman, which naturally means that (despite our superiority in numbers, AND not even being in England) we all got the shit ripped out of us constantly for our accents and kiwi-isms. So, to match the recent post on Shit Londoners Say, here is the flip side of the international coin…

Sweet as Bro!

In fact, there’s a whole string of constructions ending in ‘as’, with or without a ‘bro’ or ‘cuz’ or ‘mate’ or ‘dude’ tacked on. For example, one might say “the house white’s expensive as” instead of “oh dearie me, isn’t this bottle of sauvignon blanc a tad pricey?”


No I’m not talking about wees and poos you feral readers! I mean wee as in a small amount: ‘a wee bit of wine, thank you’ (you’ll never catch me saying that – KJM knows what a ‘Shapelle Pour’ is).


The opposite of ‘wee.’ Piles, loads, a whole shit-tonne: ‘heaps of wine, please.’ Extra points for ‘freshness’ (as MS would put it) if you combine it with other kiwi-isms, e.g.: ‘heaps as, bro.’


Known by Australians as thongs (conjuring up all sorts of awkward connotations), and in UK and USA as flip-flops (fairly good onomatopaeic description that I can get behind), but jandals is perhaps the most historical name. The term is short for ‘Japanese sandals’, and while I have no idea which name came first, I do know that they became popular in the West after soldiers brought them home from Japan after World War II.


Put, place, give – ‘chuck it over there and I’ll deal with it when I’ve had a wine’, ‘chuck me a glass’, or ‘chuck that bottle in the recycling’. Now, the last one shows that it does have its connotations of trash, but that doesn’t mean it is always so. However, no matter how much obvious context I give, e.g. ‘chuck it in my in-tray’, ‘chuck it here’ (with hand outstretched) my bosses constantly double-take and query if I’m intending to ‘chuck’ important documents in the bin. *Le sigh*.


Kiwis of the wider world, and (terribly lucky) friends of kiwis, what do we say that stands out to others as an odd term or strange construction. Please dear gawd no ripping on accents, that’s just dull and doesn’t come out especially well in writing. But what words do you find are absolutely normal to you and completely unintelligible to others? Are there words that you’ve stopped bothering with and just adopted the local lingo? Do you find that you are always the one to alter your speech and accomodate others?*

*Hint hint: ranty blogpost on this on the way (if you didn’t like rants you wouldn’t be here so shut up)

9 thoughts on “Shit Kiwis Say

    1. shapelle Post author

      Urgh that’s infuriating. We’re just questioning folk who want to see if others agree with us! On everything we say lol. Though I have to admit I find it really odd when ozzies (only some) add ‘but’ to the end of sentences. I’m left waiting for the rest of the point… maybe that’s how other people feel about ‘eh’.

    2. Anonymous

      I remember being overseas and saying “twink it, meaning liquid whitener on the old typing sheets to blank out mistakes. That caused alot of hilarity, twink being nz brand.

      1. shapelle Post author

        Absolutely! In my office there’s a lot of three-way lingo going on – I say twink, colleague says white out, bosses say tippex. We’re all quoting brand names rather than a generic product name, and yet everyone thinks their name is the ‘correct’ one!

  1. Lauren

    FYI, “wee” is actually from Scotland, and really only people from the South Island say it. “Sweet as” is from the English “sweet as a nut”. You’re welcome.

  2. Pingback: Shit we all say | 1in12million

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