22 Things New Zealanders Say That Aussies Just Don’t Get

22 Things New Zealanders Say That Aussies Just Don’t Get
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New Zealand and Australia are both English-speaking countries. However, New Zealanders have a long list of slang terms and colourful expressions that set their dialect apart from Australian English. Here are 23 Kiwi words that tend to confuse Aussies.

New Zealand and Australia are linked in many ways, have an intense sporting rivals and — to their dismay — often get mistaken as the same place by foreigners.

But the most obvious thing the two countries share is their language (and New Zealand-born Australian Russell Crowe).

However, the way Kiwis – the nickname they gave themselves after the country’s small, flightless bird – and Aussies speak can vary wildly.

And the New Zealand accent is a source of endless amusement for Australians with its flat vowels, which make the number 6 sound like “sux”, amid endless jokes about “fush and chups”.

When three Australians made an 80-second YouTube cartoon about a whale and seagull speaking with a Kiwi accent, known as “Beached Az”, it became a cult hit. Made for $16 worth of coffee, it has been viewed more than 9.2 million times over the past decade and given the film careers, as well as making them a fortune from merchandising.

It grew into a TV series for Australia’s national broadcaster, the ABC.

Here is the original clip:

New Zealand English is full of unique slang words and expressions that would leave most Australian speakers scratching their heads.

Taking the lead from Business Insider’s Portia Crowe, who compiled a similar list of words for Canada and America, we’ve taken the list over the Ditch and found some more examples to illustrate how differently Australians and New Zealanders speak.

Read on for 22 Kiwi words and expressions that most Australians simply won’t understand.


A holiday home.


An expression used when a person is pleased with something.

Chilly bin

An Esky.


Chewing gum


An expression used instead of thank you.


A convenience store.

An Egg

An expression used to describe a clown, or insult them.


Used at the end of a rhetorical question, or making a statement.

Hard Out

An expression used when in agreement with someone.


Thongs or flip flops.

Land Waka

The bus.

Pack a Sad

Have a temper-tantrum.


Used to describe something that is broken.

Red Bands

An iconic brand of Gumboots made in New Zealand.


A university student.


Broke, no money.


Someone who is well dressed.



Stink one

An expression used when you have been disappointed.

Tiki Tour

Taking the long way to get to a destination.



The wops

A place in the middle of nowhere.

This story had been updated since its original publication.


    • Agree ‘skint’. I use that a lot. However I’ve only ever heard Kiwi’s using ‘choice’ in that manner. And most Aussies, so far as I know, use ‘yeah’ on the end, not eh.
      Of course different parts of the country talk differently.

    • Yep Skint and Choice are definitely heavily used in Australia.

      We don’t so much use Eh like the Kiwis do, they use it in a similar way to Canadians. we use eh more as a question.

      • I love how old school North Queenslanders and Territorians drawl out the “eh” at the end of just about every sentence…like it’s too hot to elaborate further on what they’ve just said, eh.

    • Most of those “slang” terms drifted out of use back in the late 80s.

      Let’s talk about the Aussie accent.
      Why the hell is a doona and then there is the way Aussie’s always sound like they’re whining or asking a perpetual question…. What amuses me most though is the way you people swap e for I so fish and chips becomes fresh and cheeps.

      Not only is this poorly researched but you should learn not to throw stones when you love in a glass house.

      • No one else on this planet changes the I to a U like you guys do. Or E to an I. Or A to an E.

        It’s OK to have differences; it makes things interesting after all. I certainly respect your national decision to have vowel reassignment surgery. Self-respecting Kiwistanis realise, embrace and celebrate it…

        (Air New Zealand MirryChristmus ad, 2017… box of magic trucks was my favourite)

        (Flight of the Conchords, “He may be dead”)

        Don’t make out that you’re in some sort of majority in the world though. 😀

  • We might not use “Pack a sad”, but I’ve definitely heard a lot of “Crack a sad” or “Crack the sads” here in Australia. I already knew “Chilly bin” and actually prefer the term to using a brand name. I hadn’t heard before, but I really like “Tiki tour”, too, as opposed to “Scenic route”

  • Another ridiculous article, the rest of the world’s people outside Australia find it impossible to understand the way Australians have wrecked the English Language.
    Doh for door.
    Beeh for beer.
    Heeh for hear and here.
    Thay for there
    Cah for car.
    Skoy for sky.
    Mite for mate.
    Cool for everything except a temperature (Yankee speak)
    Guys for males and females. Guys are an effigy of Guy Fawkes the criminal.
    Fatha for father.
    Matha for Mother.
    Moy for my.
    Shawah for shower.
    Tub for having a shower or a bath.
    Flares for flowers.
    Esky for portable ice-box.
    Poy for pie.
    Sore for saw.
    Draws for drawers (in a desk or cabinet)
    Bucks for dollars, same as ‘odd’ Yankees (A buck is a male deer)
    Foyn for fine.
    Moyce for mice.
    Gaahdin for garden.
    Track for truck.
    Klomitta for kilometre.
    Rine for rain.
    Cap for cup.
    Sawsa for saucer.
    App for up.
    Dayn for down.
    Shuga for sugar.
    Match for much.
    Woyt for white.
    Brought for bought.
    Bought for brought.
    Ostriya for Australia.

    Handruds mo in moy book I brought in ther stoh.

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