Kiwi Translations


I’m pretty sure this list will get longer. Here it is for now though. It’s funny because although New Zealand is a country where everyone still speaks English, I m constantly amazed how different the meanings are of some simple words and phrases!


In England this is a small glass building whee you might grow vegetables – a greenhouse. Here in New Zealand it might also be used for hanging your clothes to dry on a cold rainy day! It may be glass, or plastic.


In England this is a small metal and wooden trap to catch pests in the home. Here in New Zealand it is cheese on toast, usually with some type of relish beneath the melted cheese!


This is a Vacuum cleaner. Although lux is not a dominant brand here in NZ, all vacuum cleaners seem to be called a lux, regardless of brand. You will, in a similar way, be doing the luxing, not the vacuuming!


This is a simple translation – an eggplant. The Americans seem to call it this too. I always wondered what it was!


In new Zealand they love their Kumara (Sweet potato) and they come in several different varieties!


In England, this is a sweet treat with a wooden stick inserted. You might suck, lick or chew it till it is dislodged from the stick. Here in New Zealand this is a ‘sweet’. This could include boiled, chewy, ones in wrappers. The variety with a stick is called a Lollipop, and the Kiwis are quite particular about the subtle yet significant difference in name and description!


A simple translation, a capsicum is what the British call a pepper.

Chips and HOT chips

Not to be confused with HOT chips. Chips are what Kiwis call ‘crisps’. Hot chips, are what we in England would simply call chips. I was completely thrown when I was first asked ‘would you like hot chips?’ I thought well they would be rubbish if they were cold!


Tramping is what the English would know as hiking. The thing is you can go tramping almost anywhere here. It’s a term that is used as loosely as ‘walking’ but might also describe ‘hiking’.

Chinese gooseberry

Who would have known that the Kiwis have another name for the famous ‘kiwi fruit?!

Glad wrap

I thought it referred to some type of outfit you might wear for a night out. No, glad wrap is in fact ‘cling film’!!


Whereas the English would think this is a city in the north of England, here in New Zealand Manchester is a term that describes household soft furnishings!


Is not a smoking break, its in fact the general term for a scheduled break in your working day.

Author: Melanie Magowan

I am a massage therapist and part time athlete

%d bloggers like this: