|cackhanded||Left handed. Also known as southpaw (in boxing).|
|caf||Abbreviation for cafeteria. Generally this refers to a workplace lunchroom in a factory, office, or school.
“Christmas lunch will be held in the caf next Monday.”
|candyfloss||A sweet made from sugar that has a similar appearance to cotton wool. In the USA it is known as cottoncandy.|
|capsicum||Green bell pepper.|
|car park||An area reserved for parking cars. In the USA it is known as parking lot.|
|caravan||A mobile home that is towed behind a car or larger motorised vehicle. In the USA it is generally called a trailer. Note: In New Zealand a trailer is also towed behind a motorised vehicle but is seldom a home or house and is typically used for transporting items. It can be either flat decked, raised sides, covered by a cage or hard cover.|
|Cardi, cardy, cardie||Cardigan – woolen top, similar to a jersey/jumper, that buttons or zips up the front.|
|carked it||Died. See also kicked the bucket.|
|cheerio||A way of saying goodbye. Also a name for a cocktail sausage.|
|cheers||Used to say goodbye, thank you or good luck (often said when raising drinking glasses as part of a toast).
John: “Hey mate, here’s the $20 I owed you.” James: “Cheers mate.”
Mark: “I would like to propose a toast to health and happiness.” Everyone: “Cheers!”
“To whom it may concern; I am writing to get more information about the product you have advertised in the newspaper. What colours are available? Cheers, Greg.”
|chemist||Refers to both a pharmacy (sometimes chemist store) and a pharmacist. In the USA it is typically known as a drug store.
“I am going to chemist to buy some paracetamol (acetaminophen).”
|cheque||The British equivalent of the US word check. A form of payment typically utilising a printed blank form that is filled out with an amount to pay the receiver (e.g. a shop). The issuing bank will honour this as payment and transfer money from the bank account of the person making the payment to the receivers account.|
|chick||A slang word for woman, especially a young attractive woman.
“That chick over there is very pretty.”
|chilly bin||An insulated box for keeping food and drinks cold (often with the addition of a cooling pad or ice). Known as a cooler in the USA and as an esky in Australia.|
|chippie / chippies||A potato chip, known in the UK as potato chrisps. A word most likely to be used by children, or by adults talking to children.|
|chippy||A builder or carpenter. See also sparky for electrician.|
|chips||Deep fried slices of potato generally thicker than a french fry, although many New Zealanders call fried potatos chips, regardless of whether they are thin or thick cut. Also used to describe potato crisps. See also chippie.|
|choc-a-block||Used to describe something that is very full, and without much or any space.
“His garage is choc-a-block with old car parts.”
|chocolate fish||A chocolate covered marshmallow fish. Sometimes offered by a teacher as a reward for getting an answer correct.|
|choice||Excellent, very good, cool.
“I went skiing for the first time last weekend. It was choice!”
|chook||Another word for a chicken. Sometimes used as a nickname or affectionate name for someone.|
“The kids are all excited about Chrissy as they like getting presents.”
|Chrissy pressies||Chrismas presents.
“Finally, I’ve finished buying all the Chrissy pressies!”
|chuffed||Pleased, or happy.
“When he received the good news he was chuffed.”
|chunder||To vomit; throw up.
“The students played a drinking game called the ‘Chunder Mile’”
|clean as a whistle||Very clean; sparkling clean.
“Ahh, that was a nice shower. I feel clean as a whistle!”
|clown||A semi-polite way of saying someone is an idiot or acting in a silly manner. For example, the class clown is a student who is always misbehaving to draw attention to themselves, and perhaps make the other children laugh.
“Stop acting like a clown!”
|cockie, cocky||1. Another name for farmer, particular one who works on a dairy or beef farm – a cow-cocky.
“You should go and talk to Jim, he’s the local cow-cocky.”
2. Used to describe someone, especially a young male, who is acting overly confident.
“I think Steven is a bit too cocky.”
|cods wollop||An untrue statement or remark. Analogous to bullshit.
“I think that’s a load of old cods wollop.”
|college||A high school. Not a university, although within a university there may be a section or department called a college.|
|colly wobbles||A feeling of nausea usually associated with nervousness; The sensation often described as butterflies in the stomach.
“Giving that speech in front of the entire school gave me a dose of the colly wobbles.”
|corker||Very good. Arguably more an Australian expression.
“It was a corker of a day.”
|cornflour||Very fine ground corn, much finer than cornmeal. Cornstarch.|
|cotton buds||Short thin sticks with cotton wool ends. In the USA they are known as Q-tips.|
|courgette||The French word for the vegetable also known as zucchini.|
|cow||1. A disliked or ill-tempered person (particularly a female).
“She is such a miserable cow!”
2. A thing or object that isn’t working as one wishes.
“The cow of a lawn mower refused to start!”
|cracker||Excellent; Very good.
“It’s been a cracker of a day.”
|crash hot||Excellent; Very good.
“If you could bring some beer to the barbeque that would be crash hot.”
|crayfish||In New Zealand and Australia it refers to a saltwater spiny lobster. In other countries it may refer to a lobster-like edible freshwater crustacean.|
|creek||A small freshwater stream.|
|crib||A small holiday house, also known as a bach.|
|crikey / crikey dick!||An expression of surprise, similar to “gosh!” or “wow!”|
|crisps||Another term for potato chips – the thin crunchy variety sold in packets, as opposed to chips (French fries)|
|crook||1. To feel sick or unwell.
“I didn’t go to work today as I was feeling crook.”
2. To be angry with someone.
“When mum finds out that I wagged school, she’ll go crook at me!”
3. To put someone wrong or to give bad advice.
“John put me crook when he gave me the wrong directions!”
4. A thief.
“The guy that runs that shop is a real crook. He’s just after your money.”
|crook as a dog||To feel sick or unwell.|
|cuppa||From “cup of”. A cup of tea, coffee, or milo, etc.
“Come over on Saturday afternoon for a cuppa.”
|cuz / cuzzie||An abbreviation for cousin. Sometimes also used as “cuzzie-bro”.
“On the weekend I went to visit my cuz.”
Kiwi Slang Dictionary
- Kiwi Slang – A
- Kiwi Slang – B
- Kiwi Slang – C
- Kiwi Slang – D
- Kiwi Slang – E
- Kiwi Slang – F
- Kiwi Slang – G
- Kiwi Slang – H
- Kiwi Slang – I
- Kiwi Slang – J
- Kiwi Slang – K
- Kiwi Slang – L
- Kiwi Slang – M
- Kiwi Slang – N
- Kiwi Slang – O
- Kiwi Slang – P
- Kiwi Slang – Q
- Kiwi Slang – R
- Kiwi Slang – S
If you hear or read a New Zealand colloquial or slang word or phrase and would like an explanation of what it means then feel welcome to ask a question in the form below.