Kiwi Slang (doubleshot): the Letters K and L

Kiwi slang and phrases starting with the letter K

Keen – Top five favorite Kiwi slang words for sure. You can use it anytime you want to express enthusiasm or eagerness--basically anytime you'd say you "want to" do something, anytime you're "down" to do something, or "up for" something, you just say you're keen. Ex: "We should hang out if you're keen!" or "Wanna go get ice cream?" "KEEN."

Kia ora – Te Reo meaning hello/cheers/good luck/best wishes. Pronounce it like it's one word if you want any chance of not sounding like the most foreign foreigner that ever foreigned. (Here's a handy pronunciation example from Miley Cyrus and Jack Tame.)

Kiwi – Kiwi with a capital K is a New Zealander.

kiwi – Lowercase kiwi is the kiwi bird, the nocturnal and flightless national bird of New Zealand.

Kiwifruit – This is pretty self-explanatory, but since New Zealand has two other kinds of kiwis, if you’re referring to the fruit you always say kiwifruit.

Knackered – Tired, absolutely wiped out.

Kumara – New Zealand sweet potato, usually purple on the outside. Especially delicious in chip form.

Kiwi slang and phrases starting with the letter L

Lemonade – Ah man, this one drives me NUTS. See, to me, lemonade is squeezed lemons and sugar and water (Beyonce literally provides a recipe on her latest album.) But lemonade here is Sprite/7-Up, it’s the word used for lemon-lime soda and I think it’s the weirdest thing ever. So be warned: if you see “Lemonade” on a menu don’t expect lemonade like your mom made for summer barbecues.

Lollies – Candy. Not just lollipops, I mean all types of candy. I’ve never picked this one up, it just sounds weird to me. Imagine 50 Cent being like, “I’ll take you to the lolly-shop,” it just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Love you and leave you – What someone says to bow out, like “well I gotta go” they’ll just say “ok I’m gonna love you and leave you.” (To be honest, I'm not even sure if this is a New Zealand thing, but this is the only place I've ever heard it, so I'm just going to assume it is.)

L&P – If there were such a thing as a national soft drink (is there?), L&P would be New Zealand’s. L&P was originally made with lemon juice and carbonated water from Paeroa, a little Waikato town known for its mineral springs, hence the name Lemon & Paeroa soda. But, like all good things, it was co-opted by a multinational corporation for mass production and consumption and is now owned by Coca-Cola. Hooray capitalism. So who knows what it's made of now, but it is tasty.