Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How do you say it and what does it mean?

One of the first things you notice when you arrive in New Zealand is the lovely, but thick accent of the people. Its quite different than the lingo of everyday American. I like it. Secretly I am hoping to pick up a little bit of the accent! Wouldn't that be nice-- although I worry what it would sound like mixed with my natural southern twang. Oh, Boy! 
There are many things that I have had to keep myself in check with as I have learned to custom and culture here. One is the difference in our talk/language. I guess I took it for granted when I came here, knowing I was coming to an English speaking country-- I just expected all the sayings and wording to be understood in the same manner. No Sir! 
This blog comes at a special request, as I have shared stories of embarrassment and humor as I have learned (and still learning) how to speak the daily language of the Kiwis. Its a fun experience. :) 
Boot: This not referred to as a shoe, but rather the *trunk* of the car. I learned this when someone asked me to "Put that in the boot!" .... Um, yeah...where exactly is the boot when Im looking at the car!?"
Bonnet: Not typically something you see on a women's head. This is the "hood" of the car or vehicle. 
Jandals: most commonly known as flip flops. I have yet to hear the word *flip flop* used or written anywhere... or even spoken. I must be a rebel! 
Dairy: this would be a Convenience store or corner store 
Togs: a swimsuit. I am still unsure how a swimsuit gets named a tog... but I go with the flow. :) 
Hot chips: american french fries. Not many places have "french fries" on their menu- you have to be in the know that *chips* or *hot chips* mean french fries. 
Jelly: Jell-0
Jam: common American jelly (like what you put on toast). You dont want to ask for a Peanut  butter and Jelly sandwich--- you will end up with a Peanut Butter and Jell-o sandwich. You might also have some pretty strange looks. 
Biscuit: any kind of cookie. This is NOT a kind of bread you but butter or jam on. 
Lollies: any form of candy. 
Candy Floss: Cotton Candy. ( I dont quite understand the ... Floss?) 
Chilly bin: Ice chest or cooler.
My shout: if you are paying for someone's meal.. "My treat!" 
Sammy: referring to any kind of sandwich. 
Sweet As: Used instead of awesome or cool. Most people put the word *as* after any kind of word to emphasize the effects of something. I personally don't care for it-- when said really fast it sounds much like anther word. YIKES! 
Mate: a friend or buddy
Flat: an apartment
Aye: most commonly used at the end of a sentence. "It was a nice day today, aye." 

There are a few words that you don't use, I have learned (some by mistake) as they have a very different meaning. 
You must use the term Mowing the lawn in reference to Yard work. I have had several people laugh when making reference to us use the term "Yard work" .... "what is that?" You can also just use the terms: gardening, etc. 
The term professional has gotten me in a couple of embarrassing situations once or twice. Using the term Professional is like referring to Julia Roberts in the beginning of Pretty Woman. I have used it as a compliment (or so I thought) a time or two--- that didnt turn out in my favor. 
This is just a short vocabulary list of some commonly used words in the Kiwi/ New Zealand culture. 
As I learn more words, I look forward to sharing them with you.... Its exciting learning a new culture and mixing it with what I have already instilled in me.