Kiwi Slang – C

cackhandedLeft handed. Also known as southpaw (in boxing).
cafAbbreviation 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.”
candyflossA sweet made from sugar that has a similar appearance to cotton wool. In the USA it is known as cottoncandy.
capsicumGreen bell pepper.
car parkAn area reserved for parking cars. In the USA it is known as parking lot.
caravanA 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, cardieCardigan – woolen top, similar to a jersey/jumper, that buttons or zips up the front.
carked itDied. See also kicked the bucket.
cheerioA way of saying goodbye. Also a name for a cocktail sausage.
cheersUsed 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.”

chemistRefers 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).”

chequeThe 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.
chickA slang word for woman, especially a young attractive woman.

“That chick over there is very pretty.”

chilly binAn 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 / chippiesA potato chip, known in the UK as potato chrisps. A word most likely to be used by children, or by adults talking to children.
chippyA builder or carpenter. See also sparky for electrician.
chipsDeep 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-blockUsed to describe something that is very full, and without much or any space.

“His garage is choc-a-block with old car parts.”

chocolate fishA chocolate covered marshmallow fish. Sometimes offered by a teacher as a reward for getting an answer correct.
choiceExcellent, very good, cool.

“I went skiing for the first time last weekend. It was choice!”

chookAnother 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 pressiesChrismas presents.

“Finally, I’ve finished buying all the Chrissy pressies!”

chuddyChewing gum.
chuffedPleased, or happy.

“When he received the good news he was chuffed.”

chunderTo vomit; throw up.

“The students played a drinking game called the ‘Chunder Mile’”

clean as a whistleVery clean; sparkling clean.

“Ahh, that was a nice shower. I feel clean as a whistle!”

clownA 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, cocky1. 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 wollopAn untrue statement or remark. Analogous to bullshit.

“I think that’s a load of old cods wollop.”

collegeA high school. Not a university, although within a university there may be a section or department called a college.
colly wobblesA 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.”

corkerVery good. Arguably more an Australian expression.

“It was a corker of a day.”

cornflourVery fine ground corn, much finer than cornmeal. Cornstarch.
cotton budsShort thin sticks with cotton wool ends. In the USA they are known as Q-tips.
courgetteThe French word for the vegetable also known as zucchini.
cow1. 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!”

crackerExcellent; Very good.

“It’s been a cracker of a day.”

crash hotExcellent; Very good.

“If you could bring some beer to the barbeque that would be crash hot.”

crayfishIn New Zealand and Australia it refers to a saltwater spiny lobster. In other countries it may refer to a lobster-like edible freshwater crustacean.
creekA small freshwater stream.
cribA small holiday house, also known as a bach.
crikey / crikey dick!An expression of surprise, similar to “gosh!” or “wow!”
crispsAnother term for potato chips – the thin crunchy variety sold in packets, as opposed to chips (French fries)
crook1. 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 dogTo feel sick or unwell.
cuppaFrom “cup of”. A cup of tea, coffee, or milo, etc.

“Come over on Saturday afternoon for a cuppa.”

cuz / cuzzieAn abbreviation for cousin. Sometimes also used as “cuzzie-bro”.

“On the weekend I went to visit my cuz.”

Kiwi Slang Dictionary

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.

One Response

  1. Tommy
    Tommy June 27, 2013 at 4:31 am |

    You’ll never hear crisps being used in nz, thats a pommy thing.


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