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New Zealand Glossary & American Translations

AnswerPhone Telephone Answering machine or voice mail.
ANZAC Australia And New Zealand Army Corps (Joint military organisation.)
Aotearoa Maori name for New Zealand. Means, "Land Of The Long White Cloud"
The Beehive Circular government office building next to Parliament, in Wellington.
Bloke Man, guy, dude
Boot (of a car) Car Trunk
Car Park Parking Lot
Chemist Pharmacy
Chips French Fries (e.g. "Fish 'n' Chips")
Chippies Potato Chips
College High school / Secondary school
Dairy Convenience store.
Dodgy Sleazy or worthy of suspicion. ("A dodgy neighbourhood.")
Dummy Pacifier (for a baby)
Flat Rented accommodation, esp. apartment
Flatting Sharing a flat with roommates ("flat-mates")
Football Soccer
Footpath Sidewalk
Gidday Hello
Governor General The Queen's governmental representative
Hire (e.g. a car or appliance) Rent
Hire Purchase Arrangement for purchasing an item with periodic payments.
Hokey Pokey

Ice cream flavour with lumps of butterscotch.

Jandals Beach footwear - "thongs" or, "flip-flops."
Jersey Sweater
Jumper Sweater
Kia ora Hello or good day (Maori)
Kiwi The national bird. Also an affectionate nickname for a human New Zealander. Not the fruit.
Kiwifruit Fuzzy brown fruit with green interior. Known as a "kiwi" in American supermarket produce departments
Knackered Physically exhausted, tired
Lemonade 7Up / Sprite
Lift Elevator
Lolly Piece of hard candy
Lounge Living room in a house or flat.
Maori Pre-European inhabitants of New Zealand, and their present-day descendants. Also the language of these people.
Marae Maori meeting ground
Mate Friend
Minister (government) Head of a major department (e.g defence or agriculture)
Motorway Freeway / Highway
MP Member Of Parliament. Equivalent to U.S. Congressperson.
Nappy Diaper
Netball Team sport similar to basketball, primarily played by women.
Note Paper currency, e.g. "A $5 note."
NZ Common abbreviation for New Zealand. Pronounced, "En-Zed."
O.E. Overseas Experience. An extended (e.g. 1-2 years) stay overseas, especially for young people. Popular destinations are America, Canada, and the UK.
Pavement Sidewalk
Pavlova Meringue-type cake, often served with mixed-fruit topping.
Pakeha Maori term for European settlers and their modern decedents. Also, any non-Maori.
Papa Maori earth-goddess
Parliament Equivalent of US Congress, but with only one house. Also the building in which they meet (located in Wellington.)
Payment Advice Bill or invoice to be paid.
Petrol Gasoline
Post Shop Post Office

Stroller or carriage (for infants)

Prime Minister (PM)

Roughly equivalent to U.S. President.

Queue A line (e.g. at a bank or a supermarket.) Pronounced, "cue"
Rangi Maori sky-god
Ring (verb) To call someone on the telephone (e.g. to ring someone up.)
Rubbish Garbage
Rugby Very popular sport (somewhat like American football.)
Southern Cross Star constellation. Only visible in the southern hemisphere. Represented on the NZ flag.
Ta Casual term for, "Thank you." (e.g. a bus driver when you show your pass.)
Te Papa National museum, located in Wellington. Means, "Our Place"
The Queen The Queen Of England, who is also the Queen Of New Zealand. Appears on the $20 note and on all coins.
Abel Tasman Dutch explorer and first European to reach New Zealand
Tomato sauce Ketchup / Catsup
Treaty Of Waitangi 1840 Peace agreement between British settlers and Maori natives.
Vegemite Yeast extract spread. Popular on toast (use sparingly!)

Family, esp. extended family. (Maori term)

Whinge Whine / Complain excessively
Zed Z (last letter of the alphabet.)


Additionally, many words use the British spelling...





tyre (as on a car)


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