Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Things that are different here, Part 2

The language in New Zealand, of course, is the same down under but kinda different in a parallel universe sort of way... Stuff like the "bach" (vacation home) I mentioned in my previous post. A lot of it has British roots, but there's also quite a lot of Maori influence and various other linguistic twists and turns.

Just a few of the many phrases I'm getting used to uttering so I don't utterly stick out 'round here:
courgettes = zucchini
capsicum = peppers
whanau = Maori for "extended family" basically
pakeha = a non-Maori New Zealander
petrol = gas
lolly = candy
torch = flashlight
jandals = flip-flop sandals
whinge = to whine

"Punter" is a word I'm still trying to exactly define. You hear people called "punters" a lot and it's a vaguely dirty sounding word but actually apparently it's kind of colloquial version of customers (i.e. "Lot of punters in the bar tonight eh?") and has roots in gambling.

There's a particularly great guide online here -- it includes swear words, kids! There are some slang there I and my wife have never actually heard anybody utter but I am eager to work into my daily conversation:
my arse is a red cabbage: expression of confidence, as in 'if he can do that, my arse is a red cabbage'
sammy short of a picnic: brick short of a load, a bit thick or crazy
you think you're a flowerpot because you've got a hole in your bum: you love yourself

Say one of these to your co-workers today! G'day, mates!

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