Meg Amor

Sensuous Romance,

and Mystery, Crime Fiction Writer


Pohutakawa Flower - New Zealand Christmas tree

This fabulous Kiwiana artwork is painted all over the town of Otorohanga in the North Island, near Hamilton.

Kowhai flower, buzzy bee, fish, jandals, basket?, Pohutakawa flower, (New Zealand Christmas tree) Er, something else, Paua and old one cent coin with Maori tiki on it.


Ya what?


Arvo - Short for afternoon.  


Bugger - This is a multi-tasking word and can be used in a variety of ways. 

~ Bugger - Damn
~ Bugger off - You can bugger off - get lost
                     - To bugger off - to leave a place
~ Bugger me - Well, blow me down, what a surprise!
~ It's buggered - It's no longer working
~ You're a bit of a bugger - Usually said in a somewhat nice way to someone, describing them as a ratbag. (See - ratbag. :-))
~ Well, bugger that - I won't be doing that then.

Bench - Counter
Berky - to cause a scene. "I threw a bit of a berky." 
Bloody and bloody hell - an everyday mild swear word, like damn, though usually said with slightly more emphasis than bugger. We Kiwis swear like sailors. Example: This bloody thing won't start. The bloody cat's eaten the roast leg of lamb for tea, the wee bugger. (See - tea)
Brassed off - Not very happy with something, fed up, pissed off
Brekky - shortened form of breakfast. All sorts of words get habitually shortened.
Bugalugs - a good all round word when you can't remember someone's name. As in - "What's bugalugs doing for tea?"
Bum - Backside, bottom, arse
Bush - Usually refers to untamed natural forest

Chilly Bin - A cooler you take to the beach
Choc-a-block - You're rather full
Choice - Fine, good quality, good value, excellent. "Crikey dick, how choice is that!"
Clappers - "Going like the clappers." Meaning to go, hell for leather. Very fast!
Convo - Short for conversation. "I had a bit of a convo with old bugalugs." See ~ bugalugs
Crook - Not feeling very well
Crikey or Crikey Dick - Roughly equivalent to Wow.
Cross - "I was very cross with old bugalugs." Mad, angry, pissed off, slightly annoyed, irritated.   
Cruft - one of my made up words - a cross between crap and stuff.

Drongo - Someone who's a bit of a twit. 

Energy for Africa - It means you have energy to spare, BIG time, lots of it. "He has energy for Africa." It's another of those multi-tasking phrases. "He can drum for Africa." When used like this, it means you can drum really well. 

Dodgy - A wee bit suspect. Can be used in a number of ways. "Bob's a wee bit of a dodgy character." "That pizza was a bit dodgy." 

Face Cloth - wash cloth
Flat tack - to be going like the 'clappers.' (See - Clappers)

Get Cracking - To get a move on. Hurry up. 'You'd better get cracking, mate.' (See - mate)
Giddy Aunt - "Oh my Giddy Aunt." - it means you can't quite believe something is happening. You might feel a bit 'gobsmacked.' 
Give someone a bell - Ring or call them 
Gobsmacked - flabbergasted
Grotty - Feeling unwell, sick, hung over or have the lurgy. Or something looks grotty, awful, unpleasant. "Those toilets were a wee bit grotty."  

Handbag - purse. A purse in New Zealand is like a wallet.
Hit the sack or hit the nest - it means to go to bed

Jandals - flip-flops, thongs, slippers

Lemonade - 7up or Sprite.
Looks like she's been pulled through a gorse bush backwards - they look a mess
Lurgy - as in "the dreaded lurgy" - a bug that's going around

Mate - A friend, usually refers to males. "How's it going, mate?"
Morish - Something that's tasty, or toothsome and you want more of it. Can refer to anything. 
Mozzies - mosquitoes

On the rantan - "To go out on the rantan." To go out and have a good time, drinking and partying, often picking up (or trying to) eligible members of the opposite sex. 
On the trot - on the go or "Making something up on the trot." Winging it, making up bullshit, as you go along.

Paua - New Zealand abalone, the brightly colored shells make great jewelry and knick-knacks
Pissed as a chook - Completely trolleyed and can barely walk. See - trolleyed.
Postie - Postman or mail carrier.
Pottering - Puttering. 'I pottered around in the garden all day.'
Pottle - container, usually round, you might get a 'takeaway' in. (See - takeaway)

Rark Up - have fun, party. 'He got on the turps last night, had a real rark-up and got trolleyed out of his brain.' See - trolleyed. See - turps
Ratbag - someone who's fairly lovable, but you might not fully trust them
Ratshit - another multi-tasking word. "I got on the turps last night, now I feel ratshit." "I got dragged through a gorse bush backwards, now I look ratshit." "I've had a ratshit day." General translation: bad, awful, ghastly, grotty. See ~ gorse bush backwards. See ~ grotty.
Rubbish Bin - trash can

Stonkered - You've completely gone over your alcohol limit and should probably go to bed. "He's absolutely stonkered."
Stroppy - in a bolshie mood. Agitated and ready to pick a fight
Stuck in - "To get stuck in." Meaning to get into something, whether that's a meal or to have a go at someone.
Stump - Not as grumpy as stomp. When you're a bit irritated and you walk heavily.

Tantie - Short for tantrum. 'To throw a tantie.'
Takeaway - Take Out. You take it away from the shop. (store)
Tea - This has two meanings. Check which one you're getting. One means dinner. The other a cup of tea.
Tea Towel - dish cloth
Tipple - 'To have your daily tipple.' Your alcoholic beverage of choice
To take the Mickey - tease someone.
Trolleyed - when someone's been on the turps, gets absolutely boozed out of their brain and is completely legless. See - turps 
Turps - "He looks like he's been on the turps." Drunken some gut rot alcohol and is very seedy now.

Waffle - Not the kind you eat. To ramble on about something. "He waffled on all night about nothing in particular."
Wanker - Someone who is being a bit of a jerk.
Wee - little or tiny. "We had a wee bit of tea out of the takeaway pottles." 
Whinge - Like whine, but probably slightly more irritating. You can whinge on, be a whinger, sound whingey, have a whinge.
Wobbly - to throw a tantie. See - tantie. To throw a berky. See - berky. To get upset and make a scene.
Wouldn't have a bar of it - to not want to have anything to do with it. "When I suggested we have takeaways for tea, he wouldn't have a bar of it." 


New Zealand words and phrases I use in my books!


Yes, I have one of those cute accents. :-) And some funny words and phrases that go with it. Our accent is very similar to the Aussie one. That's Oz-zee. Not Auss-see. To the Americans, our vowel sounds are shorter, and we speak like parrots on speed. You can tell the Kiwis and Aussies apart (even I have to hear a few sentences now to get where someone is from.) We're more monotone and flat. Whereas the Aussies are more nasally and higher pitched.


We're not named after the little round, brown, fuzzy fruit, but our national bird 'The Kiwi.' A flightless, flea ridden, blind, nocturnal brown bird. Not as grand as the American eagle, but unique like New Zealanders, none the less. :-)  


Sometimes it sounds like we don't use a R or we put it in funny places. When I first moved here, I was ringing up about the cah for sale. After much confusion ~ I adopted an American accent and asked about the Carrrrr. :-) (getting a good roll on those 'r's.) We don't roll our 'r's, unless we're from the deep south of Otago, in the South Island. A hark back to our large Scottish ancestry down that way. I come from Christchurch in the South Island and all us Southerners have the 'wee' in our speech. Even my dad, originally from Auckland at the top of the North Island, has it. Then we throw the 'r' in at random. Our chance and dance sounds slightly plumier. Charnce and Darnce. To make up for the added 'r,' we miss a few vowels out of words. Battries instead of batt-er-ries. These are just a few of the ways we 'bugger people up.' (Bamboozle them. :-))

The New Zealand Dairy made from lollies with the Tip Top Ice Cream sign on the roof. 

Pavlova - New Zealand National Dessert

Ches and Dale, the Chesdale Cheese Slice Men
Hokey Pokey Ice Cream - a Kiwi institution
Kiwifruit, jandals, hokey pokey ice cream, gumboot, Watties tomato sauce, Maori greenstone Edmonds baking powder, Paua
The Goodnight Kiwi with his puss on his satellite dish bed
Kiwiana magnets - lamb, bush shirt, kiwi bird, Watties tomato sauce, All Blacks jersey, tiki, Four Square man, jandals kiwifruit, NZ flag, silver fern
Silver fern symbol -New Zealand 'All Blacks' rugby team - rugby is as close to a religion as we get
Maori design jandals
KIwiana tea towel
The Goodnight Kiwi and his cat played every night as TV broadcasting ended for the day
The New Zealand flag
Dick Frizzell's work - the Four Square man. Four Square was a small local grocery shop
NZ Paua shell - abalone - makes lovely jewelry and decorations
Kiwiana - buzzy bee, Swandri bush shirt, Maori carving fish hook, jandals, Paua, Maori tiki

Dick Frizzell, Kiwi artist, who does some great renditions of NZ Kiwiana - the Four Square man