Learning the Local Lingo

Learning the Local Lingo

Posted on 21. Mar, 2011 by in Blogs

Haere mai, Welcome! Thanks for checking out another post for Blog4NZ. This post is to help you along the way when you visit this beautiful country!

There’s something to be said for going to a new country and having to learn the language. I didn’t anticipate any problems in New Zealand but have come across some rather amusing episodes due to simply not understanding. I’m even picking up some Maori words along the way. So let me introduce you to some of the obvious and not so obvious words…

Capsicum: Seeing this on a pizza menu I had no idea what I was in for so avoided it…and found a few of my Pitta Pit’s being empty of one of my favourite salad ingredients. Ladies and Gentleman this is a bell pepper
Choice: Commonly heard to describe something – pretty much means ‘awesome’
Dairy: I’m not ashamed to say it took me 3 months before I worked this out. A dairy is a newsagents or corner shop. It was first mentioned to me in the Catlins along the lines of ‘All we have is a dairy’. As I don’t eat dairy that didn’t really appeal to me and so I continued believing a dairy only sold dairy products until recently.
Eh: Added on the end of every other (if not every) sentence. You’re not expected to reply to everything, save your voice!
Hard Out: I’m taking this to mean ‘Hell Yeah’ from what I’ve heard.
Jandal: The lesser known flip flops! When someone says you can’t wear jandals somewhere, think twice!
Kia Ora: Hello! It’s a bit of an all-rounder
Lolly: Sweet/Candy/Sweetie. I can only bring myself to use this word when it’s a lolly on a stick – which is a lolly to everyone!
Mean: Total opposite in the right context, it’s nice or great
Sweet-As: This seems to be used in place of ‘cool’
Wop-wops: Out in the sticks/middle of nowhere

All of these words will help you through but there’s one vital piece of information no-one departed on me before I left. This will make the world of difference to you. Anywhere you see Wh in the name of a place it’s actually ‘fff’, ie: Whangerei and Whatawhata.
The number of times I managed to get it wrong before a kind soul took pity and corrected me!

There’s your quick run-down, I’m sure there’s more out there but these are the ones that I come across almost every day. This means I now get peppers in my sandwiches and am able to get my chocolate fix when I want it because I know there’s more than milk in a dairy. Now lets not get started on my favourite chocolate bar…Black Forest!

4 Responses to “Learning the Local Lingo”

  1. Mark H

    21. Mar, 2011

    And how about “tramping” for hiking or trekking and my personal Kiwi fave “chilly bin” for a portable ice-box or a place to keep things cold.

    Reply to this comment
    • Dayle

      05. Apr, 2011

      Yeah I’ve found myself saying tramping – but I tend to use it in difference sense – tramping describes bad types of walking! It’ll always be a cool box to me. I’m a little worried I used ‘sweet’ the other day and was not describing food!

      Reply to this comment
  2. Kerry

    23. Mar, 2011

    ‘Kia Ora’ – Brilliant I have only just realised after reading this you were playing the game and I totally misunderstood!!

    Reply to this comment
    • Dayle

      05. Apr, 2011

      Ah well I’m glad you read this post then! I forgot to play with my email today, I’ll be back in the game next time!

      Reply to this comment

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