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The Godzone Dictionary of Favourite New Zealand Words and Phrases by Max Cryer


Language expert Max Cryer has been answering questions on English language for over two decades. His updated edition of The Godzone Dictionary is an essential guide to understanding the words and phrases that make New Zealand language unique.


Having lived abroad for a decade, when I was met with puzzled looks, I learnt very quickly which words were New Zealand specific. What surprised me most is that so many of my seemingly everyday words form the New Zealand dialect. For example, bach, bush, BYO, chilly-bin, chips, cuzzie, dairy, duvet, dummy, flying fox, footpath, gumboots, holiday, jandals, judder bar, jug, kumara, lift, lolly, mum, nappy, op shop, OE, slippers, takeaways and togs.


Then there’s iconic phrases like choice, munted, pack a sad, pretty dear, sweet as, she’ll be right, stoked, chokka, scroggin, squiz, ya’reckon? Whaddarya? Max’s definitions also include the origins of most words, which makes for particularly interesting reading.


However, for hundreds of years, only the Maori language was spoken in New Zealand. During the 1800s when settlers from Britain began to arrive their influence extended to social structures and language. A few decades later radio began broadcasting international content and then television from 1960. These influences combined and over the years, a distinctive national language style has emerged.


The Godzone Dictionary is the perfect gift for visitors to New Zealand or family and friends living abroad.


Reviewer: Andrea Molloy Exisle Publishing, RRP $29.99


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