Glossary done!

Thanks to your feedback, I’ve ended up with a pretty good list. This blog is going to provide potential Australian immigrants with some useful information if it kills me, and by golly, this is a small but significant step in bridging the language barrier.

A few entries are still marked as contentious, so will try to find evidence either for or against those asap.

But I swear my old New World had a trundler bay.

And I’ve heard the term click-clack. In a furniture store. And what noise do futons make when you fold them out?


The link’s up there at the top of the page.

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  1. Elle said

    Maybe clickclack is just somebodies personal nickname for a futon, like me calling things thingamabobs and whatchamacallit because I can’t actually remember the name for something … maybe? I have certain never heard it either in person or anecdotally.

  2. Colin said

    The New World in Eastridge, Auckland has trundler bays…

  3. admin said

    Thanks Colin! I’ll mark trundler down as FACT.

  4. Larz said

    I really love this blog, sooo funny, as everyday observations can be. Personally I think rivalry is a waste of time, us aussies and noo zulanders need to stick together! The rest of the world is so damn jealous of our beautiful countries and what they call behind, but I call unaffected, lifestyles, they can hardly see straight!!! haha!
    Long live the LANDS down under!!! Let’s just keep it to ourselves okay??

  5. admin said

    Added “dub dub dub”.

  6. Marita said

    Re glossary, some comments:
    - on twink, I find Kiwis (and Poms) completely aghast when I call it liquid paper
    - I’d love to know whether mufti day stands for anything, is it a military term?
    - never heard of wop wops but I wonder if it has a similar derivation to the term “woop woop” which means the same thing in Victoria.
    - surely dub dub dub is universal, even Stephen Fry jokes about how silly it is in his podcast (same number of syllables as world wide web, so why do we bother?)
    - never heard of futon being called a click clack (but does anyone use futons anymore?)
    - bach is more correctly I think a “humble (but not always) form of holiday house”, not really a shack as such
    - And a new one: kerb (Aussies call it a nature strip, which is pretty weird when you think about it, Poms call it a verge)
    - Another new one: “wee”, meaning ‘small’. It might be more of a Sth Island thing, and a kiwi-ism I really like. Oddly enough, people here seem unaware that it is Scottish.
    - cell – mobile phone
    - “aussie” for Australia (eg; “we’re going to Aussie”), rather than Australia or OZ (drives me nuts)
    - Godzone (term for NZ, not sue if meant to be ironic)
    - okay, a phrase, not a word, but anytime there is a conversation about New Zealanders they refer to “number 8 wire kiwi ingenuity”. If Kiwis (bless ‘em) are that ingenious, can’t they think of another bloody way of saying it!!!!

  7. KiwiKaz said

    Sorry for my ignorance, but I thought a click-clack was a type of container that I took my lunch to school in, similar to Tupperware. It was the name of the brand and we always referred to them as click-clacks’. I was devastated when mine broke…

    Love the blog. I also found it through the media, but am now reading it frequently. I am a kiwi who lived in Australia for some years and is now further abroad and appreciate the points that you have raised (though don’t always agree with them!)

    On another random and obscure point, Kiwis in Oz be careful with the word ‘deck’. My Australian friends thought it was hilarious when I was gesticulating wildly one night at the pub trying to describe the ‘great enormous deck’ that I would like sometime in the future – at my dream house.

  8. admin said

    Hi KiwiKaz,

    A few people have said they thought click-clack was tupperware. I think this one warrants further investigation!

    And also, regarding “deck”, yep, Kiwis, it might be wise to use “balcony” or “patio” in Aus. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  9. Robert said

    I too was perplexed by a (male, religious) NZ traveller telling me about the top deck on the bus. Figured it out quickly though.

    I believe “nature strip” is used in only some Australian states. Victoria being one of these. It is not the kerb/curb but the strip of grass or a plantation between the road and the footpath. Found in suburbs but not all inner city areas.

    The first name I knew for correction fluid was “Liquid Paper”. It is a brand name, and a brand name used by the originator of the product [].

    My ancient dictionary lists mufti: 1. Mohammedan priest or expounder of law. 2. plain clothes worn by one who has right to wear uniform, esp “in mufti”. [Arab. part. of _afta_ decide point of law]

    It is not only New Zealanders who use the word “Aussie” to mean “Australia”. Australians themselves don’t say this.

  10. maxine said

    lol.. So what’s an Australian?

    ” A white punk who stole a Country and a whole Generation from the Indigenous People, and then had a big Ceremony many many years later to say SORRY”

    be sure to add that to your glossary lmao

  11. Marita said

    re Robert, yes that’s what I meant by nature strips but in NZ I don’t know what people call them, maybe there is no precise term.

    Another one for parents:
    fluffy (NZ) – baby-ccino (OZ)

    BTW, I don’t think it matters whether a word originated from a company name, as long as its a commonly understood term for an object (like esky or liquid paper).

  12. skamp said

    What about ‘popper’ (in Aus), being in NZ ‘a small carton of juice’? Don’t know how widespread its use is though, possibly a little obscure.

  13. Marita said

    Have just learnt of a difference in understanding of the tern “hard case”. In NZ it is a broadly complimentary term for someone who is a bit out there, has a strong personality, is an individual (eg; that kids a hard case). In OZ, unless I have misunderstood it all these years, I would take a hard case as being a negative term, being someone who is difficult, obstinate, pig-headed.

  14. Sarah said

    LOL hardcase, definitely a compliment, can be applied to jokes and events as well as people.
    A word on the definition of potluck – “bring a plate” is also a valid item of NZ terminology – Potluck means bring a dish, or course for dinner over to someone’s house (lazy dinner party). “Bring a plate” at home means bring sweet food (biscuits or baking) usually to a local school event, fair or fundraiser.
    Cellphone definitely needs to be in there – I got ruthlessly mocked when I moved from NZ to Australia for not saying “mobile”.
    Also “txting” for “smsing”.
    Saying “ay” (A, aye, eh) at the end of sentences to mean “don’t you agree” still makes my Australian friends laugh.
    Kerb only ever means something concrete. My dad says “shoulder” for the verge/side of the road, but I don’t know if that is widespread.
    “AP” = Automatic Payment – consistent periodic payment from your bank account generated automatically by your bank, which you can vary, or cut off at your whim – as far as I can tell they don’t exist in Australia – everything here seems to be done by direct debit.
    “Emergency/Afterhours Doctor” – Private Doctors Surgery open 24 hours – also doesn’t seem to exist in Australia – visiting the emergency department in NZ for non-lifethreatening injuries is actively discouraged.
    WINZ = Centrelink

  15. Sarah said

    Also, curlies???? I’ve never in my 29 years of living in NZ eaten a curly but I ate plenty of twisties, although burger rings are much better. And Plunket only has one “t” (sorry compulsive inbuilt spellchecker)

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