Friday, July 16, 2010

Miscommunication & Mean Kiwi Slang!

I thought I’d take a moment to explain some of the fun New Zealand slang I’ve learned so far.

Here are some of my favorites:
“Sweet as” – I’ve already explained this one, how it is amazing, and how you can apply it to any situation

Choice - cool; awesome

Mean – cool
Sweet as + mean = "Mean as" – just another level of cool; super cool

Chilly bin – Ice chest/cooler

Pissed – Drunk

Fush ‘n chups – a fun way to say fish and chips (breaded/fried fish and fries)… YUM, since it’s “Fatty Friday” we get that for “tea” (see below) tonight

Tea – Dinner

"Have a feed" – Eat a meal

Lolies – candy (this makes much more sense, because then, lolipop = candy (a loli) on a stick)

Papers - classes

Sussed– all sorted out, have things figured out or settled

Shout - a round of drinks

– apartment/living off-campus

Jumper – sweater

Tiki tour – “wandering around in the car;” going for a drive around town

Full stop – a period (at the end of the sentence)

Boot – trunk (of a car)

Jandals – sandals

TOGS– swimsuit
Here is a HILARIOUS advertisement for a brand of ice cream that demonstrates this fabulous Kiwi word and how it is dangerous to wander too far away from the sand while sporting your lovely banana hammock…

Kiwifruit, kiwi, and Kiwis:
Kiwis are as plentiful here as apples and oranges at home. I’m pretty sure that I’ve eaten more kiwis in the past two weeks than I have in my entire existence (that’s a good thing, mmm.. lots of Vitamin C)!. Only problem is that there have been some mix ups in the cafeteria regarding these lovely green fruits.

Here, they call the kiwis that you eat “kiwifruit,” because if you simply say “kiwi,” that refers to the kiwi bird (the cute, long-beaked, small, flightless feathered friend of New Zealanders, which are sadly nearing extinction). Then, just to confuse us foreigners further, New Zealanders also call themselves “Kiwis.”

Every time I say “I’m going to go eat another kiwi,” or “WOW, I just love eating kiwis; I’m so glad they have them in the cafeteria at every meal,” our friends laugh and point out that I am talking about eating the bird. Now I know why they are going extinct – confused, carnivorous travelers come and eat them! Clearly, I have solved the problem of the kiwis’ extinction – inform foreigners to stop eating kiwis and pick up a kiwifruit instead!

While we’re on the topic of kiwifruit…
Erika and I made the best discovery EVER – after purchasing a box of kiwifruits at the small supermarket near school (kiwifruits are ridiculously cheap here... obviously), we found a funny-looking spoon at the bottom of the container!
Introducing the SPIFE – the awesome, long-lost cousin of the Spork.
Check out this amazing “kiwifruit spoon-knife combo,” perfect for kiwifruit eating:

Here’s another perfect example of how miscommunication can happen, even if both parties speak the same language. And here I thought there wouldn’t be any problems since they speak English in New Zealand…

So I’ve already mentioned the booths on the Village Green for Re-O week. My friend Gabe had already been by the booths on Monday morning and upon his return at lunch told Erika and I about how this one church group booth was giving out free sherbert. If you know me at all, you know of my insatiable love of ice-cream, so naturally I was excited and started talking about how much I love ice cream and needed to go find the free ice cream booth. Later, Erika and I ventured to campus to investigate. We couldn’t find any ice cream and had no idea what Gabe was talking about. At dinner, we told him how we were super disappointed that we couldn’t find the ice cream and that he shouldn’t have gotten our hopes up about free desert.

A few days later, I was hanging out with Gabe, catching some rays by the lake/Village Green, when the topic of the elusive sherbert surfaced again. Turns out, “sherbert” here is actually a powdered sugar-like treat, akin to our Fun Dip candy, which is paired with a lollipop, and like Fun Dip, you lick and dip the loli into the sweet/sour powder. They kind of have sherbert ice cream here, but that would just be ice cream with sherbert powder mixed in. I never realized how difficult it is to explain Rainbow Sherbert ice cream to someone who’s never had it, until this moment…

I also realized that just as I sometimes fail to understand a Kiwi word or two, so I just laugh and hope I didn’t miss anything important, rather than sounds stupid and question the person to repeat what they said… there must have been at least a dozen times over the past few weeks when the person I was talking to had no clue what I said and just nodded along and smiled at me. When I said: “Gabe! Why didn’t you tell me that I'd gotten sherbert wrong?! Instead, you let me ramble on about how much I love ice cream AND probably ask one or more people where the free ice cream booth was.” He said: “Well, I just thought you really like ice cream. And I was kind of upset that maybe I’d missed the free ice cream tent.”


One more funny moment – I was talking to Gabe again at lunch and said I would come by his room later to get him so we could walk to campus and buy our textbooks. “Should I just rap on your window?” I said, meaning I would "knock, knock, knock" so he would know to come outside and meet me (since our ID cards don’t allow us access into any other of the blocks in the hall). He thought I literally meant I would come to his window and rap – like, “Yo, yo, yo, I’m at your windoooow!” Haha, that one didn’t translate too well.


  1. Togs, togs, togs, togs, undies/budgie smuggler!!! Hilarious!! :)

  2. HAHA!!! I love the Trumpet Commercial!!! Hilarious!! glad to see you're having fun cous :) xox

  3. Its sussed not Sauced it prob sounds like that from our accent

  4. Oo.. thanks, I'll change it :), is that you Sam?

  5. Jeeeez get it right... jk there's a lot of good info in this one. Very PC but funny too. Btw I definitely copied your idea with putting my blog in the little FB box haha