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How to Speak Aussie and Kiwi!

How to speak Aussie and Kiwi
Map not to scale!

I’m a bit of a logophile. A word nerd, if you will. I like interesting words. I’m also a New Zealander (Kiwi). That means I talk differently to most of my readers.

For quite some time I’ve been sharing some of my nerdy word finds on social media. A bit of a non-health-related quirk. And then, early this year I’ve received some feedback that you would like to see more colloquial words and expressions in my word shares.

Happy to oblige, I started doing just this – sharing Aussie and Kiwi words and expressions. For the fun of it. And, so that if you ever visit, we’ll understand each other!

But first some background…

I am a Kiwi. As in I hail from New Zealand, that teeny-tiny country at the bottom of the world. The one with circa 5 million people and around 27 million sheep. Famous for our rugby team, A2 milk, Lord of the Rings, and Sir Edmund Hilary. It’s pretty picturesque. It does rain a bit, though.

People say we talk funny. We shorten our vowels and are known for saying ‘sex’ when we say ‘six’.

I live in Australia, that rather large island about 2,154 kilometres (or 1,342 miles) to the west of wee New Zealand. Australia is vast but relatively unpopulated with 25 million people (and, around 66 million sheep). It is the 6th largest country in the world. Famous for the Sydney Opera House, kangaroos and koalas, Great Barrier Reef and poisonous spiders.

People say Aussies talk funny, too. Aussies like to abbreviate – thus, Sharon becomes Shazza,  service station becomes servo’, and afternoon becomes arvo’.

Aussies and Kiwis are like Americans and Canadians. People think we’re the same, but really we’re quite different.

And now, How to speak down under!
You beaut
You beaut
You can’t get more Aussie than this.
‘You beaut’ is something new, snazzy, or fancy. Awesome, even!
The newest model.
As in “I’ve got a you-beaut broccoli sauce that you can use instead of tomato sauce on your pizza. If you can’t do nightshades, that is. Or, even if you can.”
One of my favourite ‘you beaut’ things about Sydney is the plethora of ocean pools along the coast. Like the one at Bondi (pictured). They are salt-water pools by the beach.
So Aussie! Just like ‘you beaut’, really.
Raspberry and Mango Gummies
A thing that is particularly good (like my RIPPER raspberry and mango gummies. #justsaying)
Because this week we’re all about adding choices that serve you. One at a time.
What RIPPER thing will you add today?
As in tired or exhausted.
As in rendered useless.
That’s me. Today. Due to lack of sleep.
Nuff said. Night, night.
Rip your nightie
Down Under Vernacular
“Well. Doesn’t that just rip your nightie?”
I say this a lot. I really do. I hadn’t realised how often until I was on a live call with my Mentorship crew and even the Australians didn’t know what I was talking about. They rather thought that the ripping of one’s nightie might have a different meaning entirely.
So, I’m calling it a Kiwi thing.
And, there’s a bit of a drawn-out explanation.
My research suggests it originates from a saying that was first coined in the1930’s – “Well, doesn’t that just rip the fork out of your nightie?”
It was used by rural oldies when something bad happened to them.
And here’s the slightly convoluted bit: Back in the olden days, dudes wore pyjamas that were all-in-one – the original onesie if you will. (Picture those old western movies with ranchers in all-in-one long johns) A male version of a nightgown, even.
And a `nightie’ is short for a nightgown.
Now picture having the fork (the bit between the legs, she says wiggling her eyebrows) ripped out. It would be a bad thing, no?
“Well, doesn’t that just rip (the fork out of) your nightie?”
There you go. This week’s little bit of down under vernacular!
She’ll be right
Down Under Vernacular
As in, it will all be ok. Or, it will work out.
She’ll be right.
As in, I’m having a no good, really bad day.
She’ll be right.
As in, my bloody website is misbehaving.
She’ll be right.
As in the kea* ate the window wipers and mud-flaps on my rental car.
She’ll be right.
*Kea (pictured) are an amazing parrot that are endemic to the Southern Alps of New Zealand. They are one of the most intelligent bird species in the world and really cheeky. They have a penchant for eating anything rubber on your car, which is a smidge annoying and potentially expensive if your windows fall out!
Yeah, nah
Down Under Vernacular
It’s a Kiwi expression that the Aussies claim as theirs.
Yeah, nah. It’s not.
As in, I don’t want to offend you by openly disagreeing with you so I’m going to say yeah… but, nah. Not really.
As in – you should eat more mushrooms because they’re full of nutrient density.
Yeah, nah.
As in – it’s possible that you should consider giving up that daily coffee.
Yeah, nah.
As in – have you noticed all the meditation you’ve been doing lately has made you calmer?
Yea, nah.
Got it? Nah, yeah!
Ka Pai
Down Under Vernacular
How was your meal? – ka pai.
Better yet, ka pai kai – good food to you non-Kiwis. And it’s part of the vernacular in New Zealand.
How’s your day? – ka pai
Do you like the music? – ka pai
How are you? – ka pai
Got it? – ka pai!
Down Under Vernacular
Nope – not homeless.
Nope – not selling my sexual services (<– insert eyebrow wiggle)
Rather, the Kiwi expression for hiking.
Yeppers – when a Kiwi tells you they are going for a tramp over the weekend, they mean a bit of a serious bushwalk.
Just in case you’re ever caught out in the middle of a conversation with a New Zealander.
Down Under Vernacular
One of my favourites.
A squizz is a look.
As in, “Take a squizz at this.”
As in, “I’ve got a new blog post for you to take a squizz at.”
As in, “Take a squizz at what that dude is wearing!”
It’s a good word.
It’s one I use often.
Down Under Vernacular
I’m almost embarrassed to admit that this is a Kiwi expression that I use with alarming frequency. And it is a uniquely Kiwi thing. Australians don’t say, “chur.”
You can take the girl out of New Zealand and all that…
David: Shall we go out for dinner tonight?
Me: Chur. What a bloody fabulous idea.
David: isn’t ScoMo (<— Aussie Prime Minister) being a plonker about the such-and-such issue?
Me: Chur, but what else is new?
David: Do you like these troosers on me?
Me: Chur. Sure do. You look spiffy.
You get the picture.
Mate’s Rates
Down Under Vernacular
Mate’s rates.
A generous discount, cobber.
What you give your friends (or mates)
Sounds a bit friendlier than ‘early bird discount’, too.
Well, I think it does.
Everybody loves a mate’s rate, don’t they?
Dead set
Down Under Vernacular
Technically, an idiom.
This is such an Australian saying about being all in.
And it is Australian. Kiwis don’t really use this one. At least, this Kiwi doesn’t.
“I am dead set about nutrient density on this AIP health caper!” (<– see how I snuck that one in? Meh. Doesn’t roll off the tongue for me.)
Fair Dinkum
Down Under Vernacular
A quintessentially Aussie expression (so not Kiwi), and Australians really do say it.
A lot.
“Are you fair dinkum?” is to ask, “Are you telling me the truth? Do you really mean that?”
Is that fair dinkum? It really is!
Down Under Vernacular
A word that spans both Aussie and Kiwi vernacular.
‘Cactus’ is broken.
‘Cactus’ is sick.
‘Cactus’ is beyond repair (but not always).
“How are you feeling?”
“I feel cactus.”
Here’s hoping YOU don’t actually feel cactus today…
Down Under Vernacular
As in the Australasian word for ‘very’. Possibly British, too. As in, “You bloody legend!” As in #bloodyfabulous! (<– I say this so often it even has it’s own hashtag!)
It must be said this is one of my favourite words. I’m a bit of an enthusiastic speaker (in case you weren’t aware!) and ‘bloody’ is a very satisfying addition to my repertoire…
Hope you’re having a bloody good day in your neck of the woods.
Bring a plate
We’re talking about the idea of generosity this week. Especially when it comes to food. Receiving food that has been prepared by somebody else’s hand – as a gift or around their table is a pretty warm ‘n fuzzy feeling.
Down under, in New Zealand and Australia, ‘bring a plate’ is a common saying. When you’re invited to an event and you ask, “What can I bring?” – “Bring a plate” is often the response you’ll receive.
Whatever you do – don’t just bring an empty plate! Ideally, prepare something yourself. But at the very least, pop some store-bought cookies on that plate!
Sweet As
Down Under Vernacular
SWEET AS (sweet-az)
As in: “It’s sweet as, bro’, whenever works best for you”
This is a real corker of a bit of Kiwi lingo. It’s super versatile and concise, and it can be used whenever you’re at a bit of a loss.
It can mean:
  • thanks
  • that’s okay
  • \no worries
  • you’re welcome
  • nice one
  • congratulations, and
  • that’s awesome.

See what I mean by versatile? 99% of the time when a Kiwi says, “sweet as”, it will be accompanied with a grin, too.

Down Under Vernacular
In New Zealand, whānau is one of those Māori words that is in common usage.
It means family. But it extends beyond simple biological ties.
Whānau includes physical, emotional and spiritual dimensions and can be multi-layered, flexible and quite dynamic. It is through your whānau that your values, histories and traditions are adapted for the contemporary world.
I’ve chosen it for today’s word because of my AIP whānau – all the people around the globe who have come to mean so much to me, and in ways I could never have imagined. My AIP family, even.
Have you got an AIP whānau?
Tāne Mahuta
Down Under Vernacular
A little New Zealand culture for you today!
The kauri trees of New Zealand are among the world’s mightiest trees, growing to over 50 metres tall, with trunk girths up to 16 metres. They live for over 2,000 years.
The greatest of these living beauties is named after the Māori god of the forest, Tāne Mahuta. In the story of creation in Māori legend, at a time when the earth and sky were joined, Tane used his shoulders to push hard against his ‘mother earth’ (Papatuanuku) and his feet to stretch his ‘sky father’ (Ranginui) to the heavens.
As the greatest of all the kauri trees, Tane Mahuta continues to separate the two.
*Sadly, there is now a threat to the kauri. Kauri dieback is a fungus-type disease which is having a devastating effect on New Zealand’s kauri forests There is no known cure for kauri dieback.
Down Under Vernacular
When you’re in the nuddy around these parts, you’re nuded up. You’re nekid. You’re sans clothing.
It’s a good expression (I think) because in AIP land, we want to consume food that is in the nuddy.
NUDE FOOD, if you will…
Food without any additives or preservatives.
Hence, in the nuddy!
Good as gold
Down Under Vernacular
I know. ‘Good as gold’ isn’t a uniquely Kiwi expression, but it is one that we Kiwis use often.
And I feel like ‘good as gold’ is a good one for the autoimmune community. Those of us with chronic issues. At least, it is for me. It’s the, “I’m fine” response.
Translated: “I’m not really fine but that’s what I’m going to tell you. Actually, I’m experiencing a flare and I’m in all sorts of pain but I’m pretty sure you won’t understand and it’s all too much to go into so I’m not even going to bother.”
Good as gold, me.
“Let’s knock the bastard off”
Down Under Vernacular
First coined by the late Sir Edmund Hillary (affectionately known as ‘Sir Ed’ in New Zealand), as he and Tenzing Norgay, came close to reaching the summit of Mount Everest. They were the first to do so.
Since then, this phrase has become synonymous with, let’s finish the job; get it done.
It seems a fitting one for the current climate, as we all pull together to beat this global pandemic. Because to knock THIS bastard off, we need to rely on each other.
You’re such an egg
Down Under Vernacular
You’re such an egg!
Not to be confused with calling someone a ‘good egg’, this Kiwi phrase means you’re being a clown, or being silly.
I kinda like the idea of a world with a few more eggs.
I reckon we should embrace the silly.
How about you?
Bowl Round
Down Under Vernacular
Time for a wee dose of Kiwi.
As in, “Why don’t you bowl round to my place around 3ish this arvo’ for a cuppa?”
Come around. Come over, Come for a visit. Head over.
You get the idea.
Are you starting to feel more proficient the art of speaking Aussie and Kiwi yet?
Box of fluffies
Down Under Vernacular
When you ask a New Zealander how they are and they respond with, “I’m a box of fluffies!” – you know they’re ok.
This is such a quintessentially Kiwi expression. I’ve never heard anyone else use it and when I try saying it to Australians, they look at me askance. Well, to be fair – Australians often look askance at New Zealanders, but especially when you tell them you’re a box of fluffies!
And, just in case you think I’m making this up – I called a family friend back home during the week. When I asked how she was, she responded with… Yep – you guessed it. “I’m a box of fluffies”!
Kind of lovely, no?
May you be a box of fluffies today, x
Down Under Vernacular
Oy. Who else is a smidge buggered. As in knackered? As in tired out. Pooped, even. Who’s fajizzle is frazzled?
Mine is.
I’ve got to the end of this week and hit a bit of a wall.
Time for a bit of R & R. A little calming of my fajizzle…
How about you?
Down Under Vernacular
As in, “I’ve had a bit of a ‘mare of a week.”
It happens to the best of us. We start out with the best of intentions and then. the wheels start falling off.
That’s been my week this week. Next week’ll be better…
I hope.
Down Under Vernacular
I know – not Kiwi or Aussie, but a great word that I want to adopt.
I love the German language. It has SUCH great words and you really have to wrap your laughing gear around the language to enunciate, don’t you think?
My Mum is originally from Germany. My partner David purports to speak fluent German with her (admittedly a very rare dialect) and in reality, makes up German words because he likes the sound of them.
Schwellenangst is a REAL German word that sounds like a made-up one.
And, I’ve chosen it this week because we’re talking about releasing perfectionism when it comes to diet and lifestyle changes, specifically when following the Autoimmune Protocol.
Don’t let YOUR schwellenangst stop you from embarking on AIP (or, from starting again if you’ve fallen off the wagon!)
Do we like this word?
Down Under Vernacular
Again, not from down under but I like it!
Don’t you love a word that sounds rude (but isn’t) and is really fun to say?
Call me childish, but I do. I REALLY do. I’m officially adding this to my list of favourite words.
I reckon my mission (as your AIP Mentor) is to UN-bumfuzzle this health caper by providing strategies and rituals to help you bed it into your day to day life.
And – if you’ve been following along this week, you’ll know that my LUCKY DIP Green Sauce Equation number is one of the ways I UNbumfuzzle my dietary choices!
What think you of BUMFUZZLE?
Back of Bourke
Down Under Vernacular
This one can only be an Australianism!
Based on an actual place in north-western NSW, Bourke is a remote country town known for farming and dust storms!
The ‘back of Bourke’ refers to any place that is remote or inconvenient.
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