Wednesday, September 10, 2008


In the interest of cultural exchange, here are some Kiwi slang terms and expressions. Impress your friends.

"Good on ya!" -- "Great!" or "Good for you!" (I heard you won the lottery. Good on ya!)

"Sweet as!" -- "Great!" or "Cool!" (I heard you won the lottery. Sweet as!) I also heard it in place of "thank you" at the grocery store the other day, although I'm not sure what that was all about. (Me to the checkout girl: Thanks! Checkout girl: Sweet as! Me: ??????????)

This one is just weird. Sweet as what, exactly? Nobody knows! It's just an incomplete thought! The other problem with this expression is that, coupled with the Kiwi accent, I sometimes think people are saying "sweet ass" and I get temporarily disoriented by the impropriety of it until I remember what's going on.

"Flash" -- Fancy or expensive. (He got a new car with really flash rims.)

"Mate" -- Buddy. Can be used to describe an actual friend (We watched a movie at my mate's place.) or just as a term of comraderie with a stranger or acquaintance (You dropped your keys, mate.). I always kind of suspected the whole "mate" thing was just an act that Australians put on to charm Americans during the "Crocodile Dundee" era, but in fact it turns out that both Kiwis and Aussies really do use it all the time. I also thought it was more of a guy word, but women use it too.

"Nutter" -- Crazy person. This just rolls off the tongue when Kiwis say it -- "nah-tah" -- but it does not work with my accent. With my accent, it sounds like "nudder." Not as nice. Also, it reminds makes me think of those little peanut-shaped Nutter Butter cookies they feed you when you donate blood at the Red Cross.

Those little cookies were all right.

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