Hello lovely family and friends
‘Tis summer down here in Kiwiland, so on Christmas day
we were stoked to take a tiki tour to a bach in the wop wops, for lunch with the cuzzies. We pulled a pommie with the kai, rather than tossing a couple of snags on the barbie. We had Christmas pud rather than pav, although we did take along some hokey pokey in the chillie bin. In the arvo, after we were chocka, but not crook, we put on our togs, stubbies and jandals and went for a tramp on the beach. Bro, it was sweet as.
we were excited to take a long drive to a holiday home in the countryside, for lunch with the cousins. We had British food, rather than barbequing some sausages. We had Christmas pudding rather than pavlova, although we did take along some New Zealand honeycomb ice-cream in the cooler box. In the afternoon, after we had eaten enough, but not so much that we felt sick, we put on our swimsuits, shorts and slip on shoes and went for a walk on the beach. It was fabulous.
If Latin is a dead language, kiwi English is at the pubescent teenager stage of life, sprouting in all directions. English itself is a mongrel language, and I deeply pity anyone learning it as a second language. It’s tough enough for us native speakers, particularly in the spelling department, but perhaps that is just projecting my own linguistic underenhancement. I know a lot of fancy words, just not how to spell them.
And, of course, the way we use words keeps on changing:
British high praise: “It’s not half bad, old chap.”
Scottish praise: “That’s pure tidy!” (I think the Mums came up with that one)
American praise: “That’s awesome!!”
Kiwi praise: “Good as gold, mate.”
South African praise: “It’s baie lekker!”
Teenage praise: “That’s sick.”
We first came across the use of the word ‘sick’ as a praise adjective from the lips of a British teenager many years ago on holiday in the UK. We were puzzled, because the context and the tone of his voice implied that he was admiring something, but our only previous experience of the word ‘sick’ as an adjective was in the phrase ‘sick in the head,’ which was not generally considered a compliment. Naturally, teenagers are at the cutting edge of change, in language as well as in clothing. I recently heard a teenager say “lol” which was a first. One of these days I will write about skatepark / gangsta speak. Now there is a whole other subculture.
English is indeed alive and growing.
I, too, am alive and growing a bit too much after all the Christmas feasting. Oh well…
So lovely friends, may you find something to praise and use interesting terms to do so! May you learn something from a teenager! And may you enjoy some rest during this post-Christmas season!