Anita Hendrieka Travel blog (2023)

Last Updated on September 1, 2021

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New Zealand slang can be quite hard to understand especially on top of our fast and harsh sounding accent. Sometimes it can seem like Kiwi English is an entirely separate language! Which is why I’m going to teach you some common New Zealand phrases and lingo!

This Kiwi slang can be found just about anywhere, even in the likes of fancy restaurants and hotels. It includes some Maori phrases and Maori slang used in everyday life, and even (it turns out) a few terms popular from the UK.

Here’s a complete guide on New Zealand slang and how to use it like a real Kiwi! It may look complicated but trust me once you get the hang of it, it’s easy as bro.

Let’s talk like a Kiwi! Here are some New Zealand slang words!

1. Eh – “It was cloudy this morning eh?”

This is one of the classic New Zealand slang words is one that can be added onto just about every sentence you can think of.

2. Yeah nah – “Do you want a vanilla ice cream? “Yeah nah, I’ll be right.”

Kiwis say this when they are a little indecisive on what the heck they are trying to say.

3. Bugger all – “How much money you got? Bugger all.”

This is used when you have nothing left. I was surprised to also hear this Kiwi slang used in the UK.

4. Bugger – *Something goes wrong* “Bugger!”

You can use bugger when something goes wrong. It’s mostly heard on a farm. This NZ slang is basically a curse word.

5. Chur – “Here’s a drink” “Chur”

Wondering what does chur mean? Well, this word can be slapped around in many different ways. Sometimes the chur meaning is attached to another word or used by itself. It can mean sweet, awesome, yeah, good, cool, cheers.

6. Bro & cuz – “Chur cuz” or “How’s it going bro?”

Basically means the same thing, and is just asking how are you doing. Although it can, this kiwi slang rarely refers to an actual brother or cousin.

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7. The wops – “He lives out in the wops”

This is one of the Kiwi sayings people always find adorable, it means a place in the middle of nowhere or far from anything.

8. Carked it – “Did you know Jimmy carked it the other day?” or “The car carked it”

This is a little depressing, but it is usually used when something or someone dies.

9. Munted – “That guy is munted as” or “I crashed my car and it’s munted”

This kiwi word has two meanings: when something is broken or when someone is drunk.

10. Chocka – “Have you had enough to eat?” “Yeah, I’m chocka block” or “Can you fit this into your car?” “Nah, it’s chocka”

This is used when something or someone is full. Not always, but sometimes we add ‘block’ at the end of this New Zealand slang.

11. Sus – “He looks a bit sus” or “That’s a bit sus”

When a situation or someone is particularly suspicious.

12. Piece of piss – “Can you build this Lego man for me? “Yeah, it’s a piece of piss”

This basically means when something is easy.

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13. She’ll be right – “Are the sausages burning?” “Nah, she’ll be right”

When something is going to be okay or alright. This is one of my favourite New Zealand slang sayings.

14. Taking the piss – “Can you work for a few more hours?” “You’re taking the piss mate”

If you’re being unreasonable then this is usually what you will hear. This is another of the Kiwi sayings I heard used a lot in the UK.

15. Piss/ Piss up – “Can you grab the piss out of the Ute?” or “I’m just going to go take a piss” or “Let’s have a piss-up”

Piss usually referring to either alcohol or urine. The word piss-up refers to a party. As you can tell, ‘piss’ is pretty diverse in Kiwi slang!

16. Stink one – “Did you grab me a pie?” “No” “Aw stink one ”

Uh oh. This is one of the New Zealand sayings you don’t want to hear because it means you have just disappointed someone.

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17. Keen – “Do you wanna go to the pools bro?” “Keen”

Used when someone is enthusiastic about something.

18. Jandals – “Don’t wear sneakers, wear your jandals”

In other words flip flops, thongs (Australian) or sandals. Not only are they used for wearing purposes but also used as a weapon if someone has been a dick.

19. Skux – “You look skux today” “Thanks bro”

This NZ slang word has many meanings. The most popular is when someone looks cool or trendy. Sometimes it can be that a person is looking hot.

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20. Nek minute – “I was at the dairy, nek minute”

A true New Zealand icon is this guy. He created this famous video which has now had over 3 million views. So nek minute basically means ‘next minute’. This is one of the New Zealand words I use all the time with my Kiwi friends overseas.

21. Mare – “I’m having a mare today”

This means you’re having a difficult time.

22. Pack a sad – “That kid is packing a sad”.

Whatever you do, don’t do this. Packing a sad means you’re basically having a tantrum.

23. Gumboots – Chuck on your gumboots and let’s go on the farm”

Also known as wellingtons or rubber boots. As a kid, one of my favourite songs of all time was the gumboot song!

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24. Beached as – “I can’t get off my bed, I’m beached as bro!”

Referring to the cartoon where a whale is stuck on the beach, it means when you’re stuck somewhere.

25. Maaaate – “I forgot to buy you a bag of chips” “Aw maaaaate”

This has to be said with an extended middle of course, but the normal word is just mate. You would use this NZ slang if you’re a little bit disappointed.

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26. Choice – “I got you a pie” “Choice bro!”

Choice means awesome, cool, great, thanks.

27. Dag – “Linda is a dag”

Dag is one of the Kiwi words that has multiple meanings. The official meaning is a piece of old poo hanging from a sheep bum. But if used in Kiwi slang, as in this case, it actually means that something or someone is funny.

28. Hard case – “Oh Sharon, she’s a hard case!”

Hard case is New Zealand lingo for a person who is witty.

29. Hard out / hard – “Karen is so annoying” “Hard out bro”

Hard/hard out is a phrase used when you agree with someone.

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Looking for a good Kiwi insult?

30. Egg – “You’re an egg” or “You’re a rotten egg”

You will probably need to watch the movie ‘Boy’ to appreciate how versatile this word is in Kiwi English and how to say it in many different forms. It’s used as an insult toward someone.

31. Good as gold – “Everything is good as gold”.

Means everything is great, sweet, perfect or going great. One of the classic New Zealand slang words!

32. Bloody – “That was a bloody great night out, wasn’t it?”

This word is stereotypically British, so you might be surprised to learn that is a very common New Zealand phrase, too. Bloody is put into any old sentence.

33. Tu meke / too much – “I got you a pie” “Too much bro”

Tu meke is one of the a Maori phrases on the list. It is Maori for too much. It’s not used as you might have thought. It means awesome or good job.

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34. Yarn – “Stop spinning a yarn” or “That was a good yarn”

Yarn is NZ slang for a story or talking bull.

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35. Skull – “Skull it now!”

In other countries, you probably yell “drink” instead of skull when someone is downing a drink. In New Zealand, we yell “skull, skull, skull”. So if you hear someone yelling that in a bar, don’t worry they haven’t just found a dead body, it’s just some Kiwi drinking slang.

36. Chilly bin – “The drinks are in the chilly bin bro!”

This is a bin where you keep your drinks called. Also known as a cooler bin or in Australia it’s an esky.

37. Hungus – “Stop being a hungus!”

This refers to someone who loves food a lot.

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38. Gizza – “Can you gizza drink bro?”

This is word is short for ‘give me’. It is very common in Kiwi English for multiple words to be shortened this way.

39. No worries – “Thanks for that!” “No worries cuz”

This means no problem! If someone helps you and you say thank you they will usually reply ‘no worries’.

40. Not even ow – “Jack went to Jail” “Not even ow”

I’m not sure I can really translate the meaning of this unique New Zealand phrase as it simply is what it says. You might use this term if you are a bit surprised. ‘Ow’ is a term for you or someone. It can be added to just about any sentence and still make sense to a Kiwi.

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41. Yeah right – “Johns got a girlfriend” “Yeah right!”

A classic NZ saying that is apparent on Tui billboards. You can say this to someone if you don’t really believe what they are saying (Tui is an NZ beer). This is one of the New Zealand slang words you will hear a lot!

42. Bowl round – “I’m going to bowl round to your house” “Chur bro”.

It literally has nothing to do with Bowls being round, in true Kiwi slang style. It means when someone is coming around to visit.

43. Long drop – “Just got to go use the long drop”

A long drop is a Kiwi term for an outhouse or an outside toilet with no flushing system. Commonly found in campgrounds and out in the wops.

44. Heaps – “I have heaps of piss bro!”

New Zealanders use this word like it’s going out of fashion. Heaps means lots.

45. Togs – “I’m just gonna go get my togs on”

This is one of the NZ slang words I always get funny looks for. When a Kiwi refers to togs they mean swimming costume, swimmers or bathing costume.

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46. All good – “I forgot to wear pants today” “That’s all good bro, I understand.”

Basically means what it says. You would use this if something is all good or it can mean that’s okay too.

47. Mean as – “I got this lollipop for free!” “That’s mean as!”

This means sweet, great, cool. Refers to something being awesome.

48. Crack up –“ I got a fine for stealing a piece of grass off my neighbour’s lawn” “That’s a crack up!”

Instead of saying that is funny you could just use the iconic New Zealand slang words ‘crack up’.

49. Straight up – “Are you being straight up?”

This word can actually mean two things. Either you’re telling the truth (being straight up) or you’re agreeing with someone like you would say “absolutely”.

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50. Wanna hiding – “Wanna hiding bro?!”

This is one of the Kiwi phrases you never want to hear. If someone comes up to you on the street in New Zealand and asks this, it does NOT mean they want to play hide and go seek. It means they want to know if you want to fight them.

51. Sweet as- “This road trip is sweet as”

This phrase is probably the most common NZ slang phrase. This can be used to describe something OR as a response. Let’s say someone says they are going to be late meeting you, in response to that I would probably say something like sweet as.

52. Squizz – . “Can I have a squizz at your new kitchen?”

I’ve been told this is a very odd word in Kiwi English, and I have to agree! This means to have a quick look.

53. Ta – “Here’s a sandwich” “Ta”

It simply means thanks.

54. Pakaru – “Mum, the TV is Pakaru!”

Another of the Maori phrases commonly used throughout New Zealand. This Maori word is often used when something is broken.

55. Stubbies – “Chuck your stubbies on, we’re heading to the beach for a day out!”

One of my favourite Kiwi slang words is stubbies! It’s another word for short shorts and they’re usually especially hard on the eye if men wear them.

56. Dairy – “Let’s go to the dairy and grab a pie!”

The dairy is also a corner store where you can grab snacks, a mince and cheese pie and just about anything else you need!

As long as you have these Kiwi slang words sorted you can start talking like the locals! Just don’t ask them to say the sentence ‘my deck is very slippery’. You may get a hiding. Tell me below what is your favourite New Zealand slang words. Do you think you can master Kiwi English before your visit?

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What is the unusual means of transport in Albania? ›

This is the most popular way of travelling around Albania. Furgons are essentially minibuses that are privately-owned and not licensed. If you want a truly Albanian experience, a furgon is the most unique Albania transport option. What is this?

Can I travel Albania without a car? ›

Yes, you can easily travel around Albania without a car. Albania has plenty of transportation options available for travellers. You can travel by train, minibuses, buses, hitchhiking and even join tours to get around Albania without a car.

Why is Albania not tourist? ›

Although there are cases of pickpocketing, bag snatching, and even fraud in some places, these situations are infrequent. The history of Albania gives hesitation to tourists. The primary focus is on the civil war that took place in the late 1990s and the presence of landmines until 2009.

Why does Albania have no tourism? ›

Due to the strict regime, which actively pursued and killed citizens looking to flee, and barred entry to most foreigners, Albania did not enjoy an economic boom, or tourism development, as its Balkan competitors did during the 20th century.

Is Albania safe for American tourists? ›

Exercise increased caution in Albania due to crime. Country Summary: Law enforcement's ability to protect and assist travelers is limited in some areas, especially in remote regions. There has been targeted violence associated with illicit drug networks and organized crime countrywide.

Can I use my US driver's license in Albania? ›

Note: An International driver's license/permit can only be used for one year. If you wish to drive in Albania for more than one year you must apply for an Albanian driver's license.

How long can an American tourist stay in Albania? ›

Entry To Albania

U.S. citizens generally are allowed to stay in Albania for up to one year without a residence permit; You must have a passport that has at least three months of remaining validity (we recommend that your passport have at least six months of remaining validity from your planned departure from Albania.

What is the biggest problem in Albania? ›

Corruption is widespread in Albania and has made several official institutions dysfunctional. Nepotism is common, and most public employment is based on patronage rather than competence. Major political roles are often linked to corruption or nepotism.

What gestures should you avoid in Albania? ›

Gestures you should Avoid in Albania

Shaking or jiggling your head in Albania means “yes”, and nodding or tipping your head means “no”. This can take some getting used to. Unfortunately, some of the younger Albanians are used to the western way, so expect there to be the possibility of confusion!

Does Albania have a bad reputation? ›

Very aware of Albanians' reputation as criminals and drug traffickers, partly founded and partly due to xenophobia and lazy stereotyping, they feel torn between pride for their nationality, embarrassment, fear, and anger. But the fallout of this toxic discourse goes far beyond jibes and playground bullies.

Who visits Albania the most? ›

number of foreign citizens visiting Albania are: Morine (35 %), Muriqan (12 %) and Rinas (12 %). In the period 2014-2018, the arrivals of foreign citizens for personal purposes (holiday, visit to relatives, health, religious purposes, etc.) occupy most of the arrivals of foreign citizens, averaging 98.7 %.

Which countries don t like Albania? ›

In countries
  • Greece.
  • Italy.
  • Switzerland.
  • Montenegro.
  • North Macedonia.
  • Serbia.

What countries are friendly to Albania? ›

It also maintains strong diplomatic relations with the EU (primarily Croatia, France, Germany, Italy) Balkan countries (primarily Kosovo, Greece and North Macedonia), Arab world, Canada, China, Turkey, Israel, India, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, UK and the United States.

Can Americans drink water in Albania? ›

Is the tap water safe to drink in Albania? Tap water is drinkable but it holds a high amount of chlorine, which affects the taste. Drinking too much tap water might cause stomach cramps, therefore filtered water is recommended. To protect the environment we recommend you to invest in a good water bottle.

Can you drink alcohol in Albania? ›

The alcoholic drink of choice is raki – like coffee, this spirit is something of a way of life in Albania, and usually consumed with meals. The country also produces some good wine, mostly red, though most locals will own to a preference for Macedonian varieties; Rilindja is a good, easy-to-find local label.

Can Americans retire in Albania? ›

Can I Become a Permanent Resident in Albania with a Retirement Visa? To become a permanent resident of Albania, you are required to live for five consecutive years in the territory of the country. After five years of uninterrupted residence, you can apply for permanent residency in the Republic of Albania.

Is Albania left or right hand drive? ›

What side of the road do they drive on in Albania? Like the vast majority of European countries, motorists drive on the right-hand-side of the road in Albania.

What percentage of Albania speaks English? ›

Among the two languages ​​that are better known by Albanians, English is the language most common among Albanian citizens with 57.6% followed by Italian at 17.2%. Other languages ​​are known much less, such as German at 3.2%, French at 0.9%, and Spanish at 0.2%.

What is the legal drinking limit in Albania? ›

Alcohol. The maximum permitted level of alcohol in the bloodstream is 0.1 ‰. If the level of alcohol in the bloodstream exceeds the allowable, a fine will be imposed from ALL 2,500 to 10,000 (€ 23 - 90) and suspend driving license from 6 to 12 months.

Is Albania visa free for U.S. citizens? ›

You may enter the Republic of Albania as a tourist without a visa. U.S. citizens may stay up to one year in Albania without applying for a residency permit. If you wish to stay in Albania longer than one year, you may apply for a residency permit once you enter the country.

Do I need a Covid test to fly from USA to Albania? ›

COVID test is not required when arriving in Albania.

Is Albania visa free to USA? ›

As an Albanian citizen, you need a visa to enter the United States of America. So if you are planning a trip there, for business or pleasure, iVisa can help you with the formalities so that you can get your US B1/B2 VISA easily.

What is the best way of transportation in Albania? ›

Buses are the country's primary mode of transport, with routes connecting most towns and cities. It is easy to locate them because there are bus terminals in each main city, easily accesible. For most of the destinations there are several buses departing from Tirana each day.

What is an unusual aspect of Albania? ›

An unusual aspect of Albania is: its large Muslim population. The Western European state that is not a member of the European Union is: Switzerland.

What is the most common transportation in Albania? ›


By far the most common public transport in Albania. These Minibuses or Furgons are privately owned un-licensed public transportation. They are basically large vans that cruise back and forth between their chosen destinations which will be shown in the front window.

Can I drive in Albania with a US license? ›

When driving in Albania a U.S. citizen can use a valid international driver's permit issued in the United States. The U.S. Embassy in Tirana cannot issue, renew or extend the validity of an IDP. The American Automobile Association (AAA) issues International driver's permits in the United States.

Do you tip taxi drivers in Albania? ›

It is polite, but not required and you may have to be persistent when tipping. Taxi Drivers: Should I tip? Tipping taxi drivers in Albania is not a common practice. However, rounding up the fare to the nearest hundred lek and leaving the change is a wonderful gesture.

Is it safe to travel to Albania right now? ›

Most visits are trouble-free. You should avoid any political rallies or demonstrations and follow the advice of the local authorities as there is always a possibility they could turn violent.

What are Albanian beauty standards? ›

Albania. Albania's 'Miss' candidates each feature beautiful wavy blonde hair, with a small waist and slim physique. The facial features are some of the most similar amongst any of the countries, solidifying the beauty standards.

What is Albanian people known for? ›

Albanians place a large value on families and their ethnic heritage. In fact, they honor a traditional code called besa, which translates to “keep the promise.” It is believed that observing besa, which includes family honor and hospitality, is the foundation for a successful life.

Does Albania have toilets? ›

Toilets – sit-down flushing toilets are the most common type of toilet in Albania, although Turkish style squat toilets can be found in some places. Don't flush your toilet paper – use the bins provided. Bidets can be found in many bathrooms in Albania. Public toilets are common and are also free to use.

Why are there so many old Mercedes in Albania? ›

in Albania both tarmac and dirt, since the German luxury brand is so common, parts are readily available and cheap. plus there are many shops who specialize in Mercedes. and have a for the brand. that's why out of 740 000 cars in Albania, 212 000 of them are Mercedes.

Are there Ubers in Albania? ›

For many of us, Uber is our go-to app when we need to quickly arrange transport. However, Uber does not exist in Albania.

What is the most visited city in Albania? ›

Top 8 Places to visit in Albania
  • Top 1: Berat. The city of Berat is located at the river Osum in the middle of the country. ...
  • Top 2: Albanian Riviera. ...
  • Top 3: Apollonia. ...
  • Top 4: Durres. ...
  • Top 5: Gjirokastra. ...
  • Top 6: Kruja. ...
  • Top 7: Tirana. ...
  • Top 8: Shkodra.

What is Albania best for? ›

Archaeological sites include prehistoric mounds, as well as ancient Greek and Roman temples and forts, and medieval bathhouses. The country is also rich with lakes and rivers, forests and ancient towns that will take your breath away.

Where do most Albanians move to? ›

The largest communities of the Albanian diaspora are particularly found in Italy, Argentina, Greece, Romania, Croatia, Turkey, Scandinavia, Germany, Switzerland and the United States.


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