A quick guide to Kiwi slang that can be misconstrued in America

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Steven Adams grabs the rebound against the Golden State Warriors. Photo / Getty Images
Steven Adams grabs the rebound against the Golden State Warriors. Photo / Getty Images

Steven Adams learned very quickly that certain Kiwi colloquialisms just don't translate in the US. Like "little monkeys".




As the Herald's digital sport editor, Cam McMillian, said, credit to Adams for realising his faux pas and apologising quickly. It was clear to this American his intent was never to insult anyone, but he understood how it may have sounded that way.

That phrase is not the only one that doesn't translate. The US and New Zealand are two countries divided by a common language. Here are some of the other phrases that may land a Kiwi in an interesting situation in the US:

Sweet as: First time I heard this, I thought it was a catcall. After hearing what it meant, I was waiting for the rest of the phrase. Sweet as ... what? So that's the complete phrase? Cool. Awesome. Sweet as.

All Blacks, All Whites, Tall Blacks: Americans who aren't familiar with New Zealand sport may do a double take when hearing these names for the first time. Until it's explained, and you Google the teams to show that these are their actual names.

Tramping in the bush: Sounds like a bit of a sexcapade to an uneducated ear. But hey, I'm looking forward to a tramp in the bush this weekend out along the West Coast. Gonna bring my husband and some protective gear for it.

Even if one of these terms is used stateside, the Kiwi ability to have a fruitful dialogue about slang and what it means often impresses, if not charms, others. It leads to better cultural understanding of both countries. It's quite an admirable skill Kiwis have, and something I hope to emulate when I say something here that comes off awful, like "fanny pack".

- NZ Herald

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