Kiwi Slang: Lesson One

After seven months in Kiwi-land I still haven't quite gotten the hang of their slang. Quite literally every day I'll have to stop someone mid-sentence for a quick translation. So now, friends, I have decided to share my accumulated knowledge for two reasons: 1) So you can be well-equipped should you ever find yourself in New Zealand (or a room full of Kiwis) and 2) Because I find slang unendingly amusing and if you're reading this blog then you probably will as well.

The way I see it, the best way to tackle this is a weekly series focusing on a new letter of the alphabet each post. So let's take it from the top.

Kiwi words and slang starting with the Letter A

Aotearoa - Okay, okay! This isn't slang, it's Te Reo. But it's pretty basic and should probably be the first New Zealand-y word you learn. It's the Maori name for New Zealand meaning "Land of the Long White Cloud."

Aye - Also seen spelled Eh. Definitely not pronounced the way a pirate would say "aye, aye, cap'n" but more like the way a Canadian would pronounce "eh." Used similarly to the Canadian "eh" that's tacked onto the end of every other sentence, or to the American "huh." Added at the end of questions, or for emphasis and/or agreement. Ex: "It's good, aye?" or "I'm pretty tired, aye."

As - Basically add this to the end of any phrase for emphasis, as if you were to follow it with an expletive. Ex: "Easy as," "Good as," "Sweet as," "Big as," "Cold as," "Hot as." You get the idea.

Arvo - The afternoon.

Boom. There ya go, your first lesson in Kiwi slang. See you next week for Lesson Two, the letter B, should be bloody good (see what I did there?)