Saturday, December 10, 2011

New Zealand Glossary (for the Behind the Lives series).


Please note: Not all New Zealanders speak the same. Dialogue can be regional and also relates to socio-economic backgrounds. This is why some characters may use the words below while others use a clearer pronunciation. The main example is when Nike uses wuz, but his wife says was. Jess is Samoan, whereas Nike is a South Auckland Maori).

Bro – Brother or friend.

Cos – Because.
Coupla – Couple of.

Cuppa - Cup of tea.

Cuz – Cousin.
Dammit – Damn it.

Didja   - Did you.
Diff – Difference.

Dunno – Don't know.

‘em – them.
When the g is taken off the ending of  –ing words (gerunds) it still means the same thing. It is done to show pronunciation in dialogue.

Hafta – Have to.

Ja and Ya both mean - You. (The ja version is used after a word that ends in d).
Lil and li’l both mean – Little.

Mate – Friend.

Mista – Mister.
Nuthin’- Nothing.

Outta – Out of.

Prob’ly – Probably.
Sumpthin’- The way something is said by some people in New Zealand.

Wanna - Want to.
Whatcha and What’chu are both – What are you?

Wuz – Was.


Eyes bugged out – When someone is surprised their eyes go big.
Five finger discount – To steal.

Getup – What someone is wearing. This word in my book was also put together with the Rocky Horror Show. The Rocky Horror Show is both a famous play and film. Used in my book it just means Tama thinks Leila looks strange in the black veil.

Gig – Performance, usually a band performing. But, in the context Maia uses it, it means presentation.

Gunja and weed – Marijuana.
Pint-sized – Small.

To pop a cherry – To take someone’s virginity. I will not explain any more sexual terms. Google the Urban Dictionary to find out any saying that you do not understand. This online dictionary has a lot of slang.
Tui-edTui is a brand of beer that is famous in New Zealand. When Tama says he was Tui-ed out of his mind it means he was extremely drunk.

Wrapped – Rapt / Extremely happy. (Wrapped is not an error. The saying stems back from the 1990s and is peculiar to New Zealand and Australia, though not everyone uses it. Its use depends on particular people and where and whom they grew up with.)

Other Meanings


Maori – The indigenous people of New Zealand.
Marae – The land where a Maori meeting house is.

Moko – A Maori tattoo that is usually on the face. Tama deviates from the norm by putting his moko-like design on the head. This is not common.
Whanau – Family.


Junkie – Drug addict.
P – Meth (a type of drug).

When Tama uses the word pig or pigs he is referring to the police.
Ranch-slider – A sliding glass door.


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