I love New Zealand. Really, really love it.
What I don’t love is the fact that New Zealand is so bloody far away! When I left after a year, it was with the knowledge that I probably wouldn’t be back for a long time.
At the time, I felt sad, but I had other travel plans to distract me.
But now that more time has passed, and as I’m writing this in Ireland, which is one of the furthest places from my beloved New Zealand, I am longing to go back, to surround myself with the friendliest people on earth, and to breathe in that dazzling fresh air amidst the rolling green hills and those big blue skies.
In my state of Kiwi-nostalgia, I realise I have so much to share about this country. I have folders of photos stored on my hard-drive, and precious memories stored in my heart that I can begin to sift through and share with you all.
New Zealand really is sweet as.
Let me tell you one of the many reasons why…
The Kiwi Accent
Oh my, the Kiwi accent Is so good! When we first heard it, some words took us a minute to figure out what they were.
The thing with a Kiwi accent is that ‘i’ sounds like ‘u’ so
Fish and Chips = Fush n Chups.
Even the word New Zealand itself sounds different when said in a Kiwi accent.
New Zealand = Nu Zilund
If you want to talk in a Kiwi accent, or even if you want to understand what they’re saying, it’s best to remember the following.
– o becomes u
– a becomes e,
– e becomes i,
– i becomes u
Common words used in New Zealand
Aside from an unusual, and awesome pronunciation of words, the Kiwi accent also contains its own, also awesome, vocabulary.
Bro becomes a part of your vocabulary. There’s no stopping it really, not that you’d ever want to! It’s like saying mate, or else just a phrase to add on to any sentence really.
And that’s bro with a u, yeah bru?
Bro = Bru
Sweet as is another classic Kiwi phrase. It can pretty much be applied to anything vaguely positive, from New Zealand winning the Rugby World Cup, to commenting on your friend’s new pair of shoes, or even getting a seat on the bus.
It’s also a description of a mood- I’m sweet as, is the equivalent to ‘I’m grand’ in Ireland.
‘As’ alone can also be applied to most words. I’m tired as, that’s mean as, etc.
Heaps is a word that is used, well, heaps, in New Zealand. It means a lot. Heaps good, heaps of fun, heaps tasty, heaps hot. Use liberally.
Heaps = Huieps
Tinnies are cans. The word ‘tinnies’ makes my mouth water for Diesel, the mini cans of rocket fuel that are cheap as and also sweet as.
The Ausssies have thongs, we have flip-flops and the New Zealanders have jandals.
Choice means cool.
The local shop, or newsagent or corner store. This was pretty confusing for me at first.
Dairy = Dieury.
Ay is very addictive. It can be stuck on to pretty much any sentence, at all.
Said in agreement of anything. Kind of like saying yeah when someone is talking to you, like to show you’re listening.
Yeah nah is another of those phrases without a particular meaning. It’s a handy way of saying maybe, or for when you don’t really agree with something someone is saying.
Just Another F*cking Aucklander
This is used as a way to kind of put down Aucklanders by people who don’t live there. It’s kind of like how we Dubs are referred to as Jackeens by country folk, in a not-so-friendly manner.
Some of my best moments in New Zealand involved speaking in a Kiwi accent. Really. Our Kiwi friends enjoyed teaching us the language and then laughing at us as we spoke in their accents with worrying frequency.
In our hostel, actually, pretty much the entire time we were there, saying ‘awh yia bru, sweit is’ never failed to make us happy.
And I was told that after leaving New Zealand I had picked up the ‘fush and chups,’ something that I hadn’t realised at all. I didn’t even notice that every time I said fish or chips, I was pronouncing it more like ‘chups’
Even now, long after I’ve left, when I say chips, I can notice that it feels like my mouth is about to go for a u sound, and I have to stop myself!
But the thing is, I would be heaps happy if I had a Kiwi ikcint, it really would be sweet as!
Have you ever been to New Zealand?