Friday, July 24, 2009

Katie Nuttall Language Usage #6-8

My New Zealand Language Experiences:

6. I was chatting on facebook with a friend from New Zealand on Saturday (July 18) morning. It was 3 in the afternoon my time and 8 in the morning on Sunday her time. I never quite get over the time difference. But she was ended our brief conversation by saying “Well I must go and get sorted.” Or as we would have said, “go and get ready.” It made me think of all the different cultural sayings that we have or other countries have.

7. When I lived in New Zealand in 2004-2006 I was amazed by all the different words and phrases One in particular was “Sweet as.” When I first heard it I thought: “Did they just swear at me?” I would hear it everywhere I went. From friends, random people, at the store, or in church. But I soon came to understand that it is a version of “cool” or “awesome.” In fact it means “better than sweet.” The “as” term is often attached to other words to change the meaning to mean a grater amount. Examples include: I am…sick as, tired as, happy as, mad as. It grew so much on me that I started using it...ALL the time. SO much that when I communicated with people in the U.S. they thought, "Did you just swear at me?" It was an interesting reversal.

8. The third New Zealand difference came with food. What we would call a “fast food” restaurant was called a “take-away.” In fact you would say, “I am going to get “take away,” instead of “take-out.” Other language food references are when someone told me to “bring a plate.” I took this literally. I thought it was a bit odd. And I did feel foolish showing up to the social gathering with an empty plate in my hands. Then I found out that to “bring a plate” means to bring a side dish, dessert, salad, etc to the party. Oops! From fish & Chips (french-fries), to biscuits (cookies), to L&P (a carbonated soda brand) it was like a whole new language world.
Some other interesting New Zealand words and phrases:
Good on ya: Well done, congrats!
Kiwi: A New Zealander (not to be confused with the Kiwifruit)
Barbi: barbecue
Tele: Television
Gummies: Rain boots
Flat: Apartment/House you are renting
Petrol: gas
Postie: A mailman
Tea: light dinner

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