Thursday, October 30, 2008


I'm kind of a nut for accents-- I like to listen to folks and figure out where they're from. On the ice and in New Zealand, I watch the TVNZ news, just to listen to the reporters talk. I love it. I have said that I can't really tell the difference between the Ozzie accent and the Kiwi accent. Now that I've spent a good amount of time in Oz, I think I have it nailed.

The differences are pretty subtle, but I bet I can spot 'em now. The main difference is the way they say words with "I". I've asked Kiwis how they spot Ozzies, and they say Australians say Feesh and Cheeps, and most Kiwis claim that they say Fish and Chips. Ozzies claim that Kiwis say Fush and Chups. What I've observed is that given a word like "pit", Ozzies will sometimes pronounce it peet. Kiwis will sometimes pronounce it pit, and sometimes putt.

Words with an "E" are a giveaway, too. Directions in NZ are Right and Leafed. In Oz, they're Roit and Left. In my observation, an Australian will NEVER say leafed. And only a few Kiwis would say roit.

Here are some common Ozzie words, and the Kiwi equivalent (if applicable).

Beah: Favorite breakfast beverage. XXXX, VB, Toohey's. Beah is everywhere.

Bibey: Toynee person.

Bite: A small sheep. A water vehicle. (Kiwi: Boat)

Boy: Purchase.

Bye: A body of wodda.

Cah: Automobile.

Cheese: Thanks or Thanks/Goodbye.

Cheesemite: Thanks/Goodbye, my friend.

Droive: How you operate your cah.

Dola: $

Goodonya: Good for you.

Goy: Not a girl, rather a lad or a mite.

High Ya Gine?: How are you? (Equivalent to "hayadoon?" the US. No answer expected).

High Ya Gine Mite?: How are you, my friend?

Hobba: Where you keep the sheeps in the bye.

Ite: More than seven (seeven in NZ).

Noice: Good. Often an exclamation-- NOICE!

Noin: One more than ite.

Noeries: You're welcome, no problem.

Oilin': A body of land surrounded by wodda.

Pint: The colored stuff you roll on your house. Picasso was a pinter.

Point: About 16 oz of beah.

Roid: What soofas do on the wives.

Sheep: A big bite. (Kiwi: Ship)

Sooffa: Goys that roid wives on their boads.

Straila: Huge oilin' in the South Pacific.

Strailin: What they speak there.

Theeweegigh: Here it is for you.

Toynee: Very small.

Wives: Bumps in the wodda. Sooffas roid them.

Wodda: H2O

Here's a typical conversation:

Customer: G'day.

Proprietor: Highyaginemite?

C: Doyin' a hunga!

P: What'll it be then?

C: I'll have a sausage roll.

P: Foive dolas then.

C: Heeyagigh.

P: Exact change! Noice! Goodonya! Cheese!

C: Noeries.

P: Heehagigh. Cheesemite!

C: Cheese. See ya lighta.

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