Posted by: thezedword | October 10, 2008

Strange New Zealand words we have learned

Designer gumboots

Designer gumboots

Jandals = Japanese + Sandal. On our first night here, I tried to ask a lady in a pharmacy if she sold any cheap sandals so I didn’t have to risk contracting any diseases from the floor of the hostel shower.  I tried to explain that they go on your feet, have little straps, make a noise like “flip-flop” and even called them thongs. She didn’t know what I was talking about. She may not have spoken English. I later learned that I should have asked for a jandal and just squeezed my feet into Stacy’s jandals for the next four nights.

Gumboots: Also knows as galoshes, wellingtons or rubber boots. They’re very popular here, like Uggs but waterproof. Other popular clothing items: scarfs, tight jeans, flats, Chuck Taylors, any ugly thing Kanye West would wear.

Chilly Bin: I kind of like the Kiwi name for this more than the American. It’s a cooler.

Ta: Rather than saying “goodbye”, “ciao”, “see ya” or “arivadercci”, people here often say “ta”. Like the first or last half of “ta-ta”.

Peckish: Hungry. I’m not entirely sure where this one came from, because when most people are hungry, they don’t peck at their food. They just kind of chew and swallow. Or at least that’s what I do.

Sallies: Salvation Army, which is also very popular here.

Togs: Not to be confused with the pogs, the best toys ever, togs are bathing suits.

Cuppa: A cup of tea. Also, if you ever hear anyone say they’re going to put on a jug, it’s literally just a jug you plug into the wall to heat up water to make a cuppa.

Dairy: A grocery store, where they sell more than dairy products.

Judder Bar: A speed bump. Because … um … it makes you judder when you go over it?

This little New Zealand travel book Stacy’s parents gave me for graduation also says a whare is a house. So, I guess a wharehouse is a househouse.



  1. Or a wharewhare.

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