kiwi dictionary

one of the few comforts i did take in moving across the world was "well, at least we both speak english."  while this is technically true, it was only when i arrived in NZ that i understood just how different our two versions of english were.

in my first few weeks here, i found myself ending almost every sentence uttered to me with "what?"  and after almost a year here, i still find myself pausing from time to time before i say certain words where i know there is a difference to make sure i know which word to use based on whether i'm talking to an american or a kiwi friend.

lucky for you, if you ever find yourself traveling to the land down under (think that's more of an aussie thing, but we'll use it as a general term in this instance), i've put together a cheat sheet of "kiwi speak" below:

sultana - raisin
kumara - sweet potato
entrée - appetizer
capiscum - bell pepper
togs - bathing suit
dressing gown - bathrobe
dairy - convenience store (like duane reade is a "dairy")
bach - beach house/summer home
washing - laundry
flatmates - roommates
arvo - afternoon
ice block - popsicle
crisps - potato chips
chips - french fries
banger - sausage
chilly bin - cooler
biscuits - cookies
bar - backslash (i.e /)
jumper - sweater
singlet - tank top
gumboots - rain boots
jandals - sandals/flip flops
heaps - a lot
cheers - bye/thanks

there are several more terms that differ between american english and kiwi english, and i sincerely doubt that you wouldn't possibly be able to survive without knowing what to call a raisin, but it's a start.  there's not much of a market that i know of at the moment for a full kiwi to american english translation manual, so until then you'll have to deal with the cheat sheet. 

or just keep saying "what?" they'll understand.

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