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Monday, March 12, 2007

Kiwi-English Dictionary, Collegiate Edition

Here at Brooksie we're always hard at work on our next post. Our writers are always trying to make the most streamlined, entertaining, and memorable posts ever known to mortal man. We want you to come away from a spell at Brooksie feeling refreshed, enlightened, and - gosh-darnit - just all-around scintillating.

Well, until that happens, you'll have to settle for a post like this: a shameless re-hash of a previous missive which I hope you'll enjoy. I cannot guarantee that it'll leave you feeling all fizzy-like. Effervescent, even. But perhaps you'll feel a little sparkle, and that's all I'm gonna promise.

And no, I (we) do not have a multiple personality disorder or anything, so when I (we) write something like '...we're always hard at work' or 'our writers', I mean 'we' and 'our' in that universal, literary sense of 'me'. As opposed to the fractured-psyche/'talk amongst himself' sort of way.

Steve is the only crazy voice inside my head, and right now he's asleep.

So ssshhhhhhh.

I am sure you're waiting breathlessly for this next lesson in Kiwi slang! I, as your own personal ardent observer in the world of Kiwi, have broadened my knowledge of all things New Zealand. I have learned new (but not necessarily improved) terms, phrases, and lingo. I do it all for you.

So sit back (but not too far back), relax (but not too much - try and stay awake!), and enjoy (OK go for broke on this one) these new words for your vocabulary!

See also!

Kiwi-English Dictionary the First

Kiwi-English Dictionary 3: In 3-D!

Kiwi-English Dictionary 4: The Final Chapter of The Return of the Dream Master

snog and pash - as far as I can tell, these mean more or less the same thing. That is, to make out. Kiss. Heavy petting, for you Baby Boomers (heh). Snog seems like the verb, and pash is the noun, as in "Brooksie was spotted in a trendy nightclub having a bit of a pash with Jennifer Love Hewitt." Or, "Did you see those two snogging at the party? They didn't care who saw them."

chocka-block - or just 'chocka'. Filled up to the max. Packed. "The streets were just chocka this weekend with people at the Carnival!"

can do - A Kiwi response to something when you ask for help, usually in reference to work. Reflects the Kiwi 'can-do' attitude faithfully. "Could you help me with the nail trim on this German Shepherd?" "Can do, yeah."

fingers crossed - as if to say, 'good luck'. I like this one! It's rapidly become a part of my everyday speech, dontcha know.

bit of a worry - in typical understated Kiwi fashion, this phrase deceptively describes a situation that is quite a lot more than just 'a bit' of worry. "Did you hear about Dave? Lost both his arms in that freak farming accident." "That's a bit of a worry, ay?"

ay - often added to the end of statements, sometimes with a rhetorical question mark, at others as a prompt for agreement. Not quite the same as the Canadian 'eh' in pronunciation, but very similar in context. As far as this yank can tell, ay.

all up - in total. "But you said it was only going to be four hundred dollars all up for my new rims! Beyotch!*"
*(They don't say 'beyotch' over here. I just added that cuz we Americans love to say it so much. Dave Chapelle rules.)

stoush - conflict, disagreement, often with fisticuffs but not always. "There was a bit of a stoush going on at the Sevens last year, but this year everybody got on really well."

cruisy - easy-going, relaxed, adventurous, fun. I've only heard it used by women, and then only to describe either (a) guys, (b) their day, or (c) a club. Have yet to hear a guy use this term, including yours truly.

harden up - in America the definite equivalent is 'suck it up' or 'quit yer bitchin' or 'wah!' or a million similar phrases. Very often followed by the term...

softcock - wimp, whiner, wussy. You get the idea. Persistent whingeing (I refer you to the first edition of this dictionary for that one!) will almost certainly earn a 'Harden up, softcock' comment.

sook - noun, similar to wally so I'm using it here as well. Closest I can think of is 'crybaby' or perhaps someone who's overly sentimental. "My partner always likes those movies but then she's such a sook when it comes to Disney."

soppy - heard when describing something sooks often like, like sappy (how's that for a synonym!) or mushy films or novels. Interestingly, many films held dear by many Americans and Brits (like "Love Actually" or "The Princess Bride") are seen as way too soppy by many Kiwis. But then again they love the game of cricket, so go figure.

won't be tidy - like saying "It's not gonna be pretty!", in that sort of context. "Sure, I'll come and help you tranquilize and capture those two wild horses, but it won't be tidy!"* *(Mad props to my vet friend Dave, whom I met on the fishing trip and this is from a true story he was telling me. Cuz that's what guys do on fishing trips. They tell stories. And drink.)

figjam - I have a suspicion this one isn't Kiwi in origin, but I had never encountered it until reading the sports section one day. It usually means 'F**k I'm Good, Just Ask Me' and is the unofficial nickname of Phil Mickelson, an American golfer (who can't carry Tiger's jock, but I digress). This particular paper, though, was reporting on Phil's latest collapse in a tournament, when he squandered yet another victory on the final day, and they thus dubbed him 'F**k I'm Gumby, Just Ask Me'. Haha. That's really probably only going to be funny to my fellow sports fans in the audience. Gosh, I sure hope there are some sports fans in my audience...

tucker - food, glorious food! "Milly's getting really fat, you know. Time to cut back on the tucker a bit." (Milly being an overweight Labrador Retriever, by the way).

packing a sad - something a sook would do. Like throwing oneself a pity party. Nauseating.

have a squizz - although it has heavy urinary overtones (now doesn't that sound smelly), it actually means to have a quick look at. "I'll have a squizz at the directions, see if I can't figure out how to get that timer to stop flashing '12:00'."

nutter - crazy person, usually in an eccentric way. But sometimes just downright ga-ga. "You think emo bands are the best? You are such a nutter!" Sounds awfully much better with the Kiwi accent ('nut-TUH') than it would in, well, American (as in, rhyming it with 'butter'. Although, the Nutter Butter is one damn fine cookie).

nappy - baby diaper. Short for 'napkin' which actually means the very same thing, although they are coming around on this. So when you ask for napkins at the restaurant, be prepared for a bit of confusion and laughter at your expense! They call what you'd use to wipe your mouth after eating a 'serviette' round here, so remember you read it here first. Also, while I'm on the subject of word confusion, do NOT ever refer to that touristy little velcro and nylon satchel you wear around your waist as a 'fanny pack'. Fanny is a dirty word down here and it refers to a woman's... well, woman-y place. Big difference. Again, you read it here first.

aluminium - read that word carefully. Notice the extra 'i' towards the end? Well I didn't at first. And I still forget. But dammit, we Americans say this one right and the Kiwis have it wrong! Saying 'aluminium' just sounds so stupid. But trust me, to the Kiwis, so does saying 'aluminum'. If I want a cheap laugh from a Kiwi, all I have to do is say 'aluminum' in my white-boy, Virginia accent. Gets 'em every time.

All right, I think that ought to hold you for now! Go on out and start using these words and phrases, it's the only way you'll ever learn them for good. Besides, don't you want to practice up for your trip down here to see me?

There will be a pop quiz sometime next week on these new words. But don't worry - it's 'open browser'.


Blogger Beechball said...

Another greta one by the great Brooksie. It's so neat to hear all the weird words that people use down there, and it's awesome that you're teaching the world to never say the word fanny in NZ because it might get me slapped. lol. Some of those words are pretty obvious, like nutter (you're nuts, and can do, because well.. it's kinda of self explanatory, and even fingers crossed is something we say here all the time. I'd say, "i'll cross my fingers for you" or "I got my fingers crossed that I'll win that car!" but yeah.. anywho, awesome nonetheless. I would love to write one of these myself but I can't because I've lived here forever and don't know what is considered weird! lol And just because I am Canadian doesn't mean I say EH all the time, I do use it, but it's not at all like they show in movies and stuff that make fun of us, lol. EH!? Sorry, this comment kinda sucks, I had a loooong night and it always leaves me feeling pretty retarded the next day! Hope you had an awesome weekend! :)

2:38 PM  
Blogger Brooksie said...

First of all, your comments never suck! And I hope I don't sound like I'm stereotyping you guys too much when I say Canadians go 'eh' all the time. I guess to my American ears, anytime anyone says 'eh' or 'ay' at the end of a sentence, it sounds different. But I like it, eh! I say 'ya'll' all the time so I'm sure I sound like a hick to these Kiwis. Hope you've gotten some rest after your long night, Lyndsay!

9:56 PM  
Blogger Beechball said...

I noticed that when I went down to FLorida that A LOT of people said HUH at the end of their sentences and we Canucks do with eh. It sounded so stupid, lol, but it's the same thing as eh! I said ya'll once at work, caught myself saying it, then got laughed at and it was just funny all around! That's definitely one thing we don't say here... do you have an 'accent' at all? like.. didn't you say you're from Georgia or something? I don't have an accent, lol, but I bet you'd think I did! :P

7:21 AM  
Blogger Brooksie said...

I do have an accent, a slight Virginia one. Enough to get mocked for it in New England or on the west coast. Down here, all the Kiwis say I have an American accent, which is true, but it is so weird for me! THEY have the accent, not me!! But it's gotten to the point where I hardly notice the Kiwi accent anymore and when I (rarely) hear anything in 'American', I do a double take. Cool, eh? :D

8:56 PM  
Blogger Beechball said...

Awww, I wish I had an accent... I think it's funny that in my mind, I have no accent, and everyone else in the world does. It's like Canadian English is the base, and everyone else shakes it up from there, :P You should post a video so I can year ya talking... if I can come up with something to post, then i'll post it up for ya too! :P

12:24 AM  
Blogger Brooksie said...

You are so right about how it seems like you have no accent and everyone else does! But for once, over here sometimes it is a real plus - many Kiwi women find the American accent irresistible!

I just need to meet those women ...

Good call on a video! I'll do it if you do it! I'll come up with something soon, then let you know :D

4:14 PM  

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