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Decoding the "kay-weay eksent"

Being one of the younger countries, its understandable that New Zealand spoken English has taken on its its own unique dialect.  A conglomeration of accents including sprinklings of English, Irish, Scottish, Maori and dare I say it - Australian (probably because the first settlers to New Zealand other than the Maori were seal hunters "from across that ditch") and can make it hard for the untrained ear to decipher.

The flattened vowel, which turns "fish and chips" into "fush en chups", and many other colorful colloquialisms can make communicating in Kiwi vastly different to speaking any other kind of English. What follows is a "New Zillund Speak" dictionary to help you understand the subtle differences.

Please read each word before the hyphen out loud, to understand how the word sounds in true "New Zillund Speak"

  • Peck - to fill a suitcase
  • Moulk - drink fresh from a cow
  • Min - male of the species
  • Milbun - capital of Victoria
  • Pigs - for hanging out washing with
  • Pug - large animal with a curly tail
  • Nin tin dough - computer game
  • Munner stroney - soup
  • Mess Kara - eye makeup
  • McKennock - person who fixes cars
  • Mere - Mayor
  • Leather - foam produced from soap
  • Lift - departed
  • Kiri Pecker - famous Australian businessman
  • Kittle crusps - potato chips
  • Ken's - Cairns
  • Jumbo - pet name for someone called Jim
  • Jungle Bills - Christmas carol
  • Inner me - enemy
  • Guess - vapour
  • Fush - marine creatures
  • Fitter cheney - type of pasta
  • Ever cardeau – avocado
  • Fear hear - blonde
  • Ear - mix of nitrogen and oxygen »
  • Ear roebucks - exercise at the gym
  • Duffy cult - not easy
  • Day old chuck - very young poultry
  • Bug hut - popular recording
  • Bun button - been bitten by insect
  • Beard - a place to sleep
  • Sucks Peck - Half a dozen beers
  • Ear New Zulland - an extinct airline
  • Beers - large savage animals found in U.S. forests
  • Amejen - visualise
  • One Doze - well known computer program
  • Brudge - structure spanning a stream
  • Tin - one more than nine
  • Iggs Ecktly - Precisely
  • Earplane - large flying machine
  • Beggage Chucken - place to leave your suitcase at the earport
  • Sivven Sucks Sivven - large Boeing aircraft
  • Sivven Four Sivven - larger Boeing aircraft
  • Cuds - children
  • Pits - domestic animals
Table explaining how to speak New Zealand


New Zealand
Brent Narbey
Submitted by
Brent Narbey
: 5 Apr 2011 (Last updated: 8 Dec 2017)

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