Passengers had to break up a fight on board a bus after one man took issue with the pronunciation of a Taranaki place name and was in turn accused of dressing like Lady Gaga.

Christopher O'Carroll, a 48-year-old house husband of Waitara, admitted a charge of assault when he appeared in New Plymouth District Court yesterday, the Taranaki Daily News reported.

Following a work function last month O'Carroll and his victim were both getting on a courtesy bus when the victim asked the driver if he could be dropped off "just before Waitara".

O'Carroll took offence to the victim's pronunciation and told him he was white trash, police prosecutor Sergeant Lewis Sutton said.

The victim responded by telling O'Carroll: "Well I may not be able to speak Maori but at least I don't dress like Lady Gaga", and a punch up ensued.

Judge Robert Murfitt said both men were drunk and there was an element of provocation. O'Carroll will be sentenced on September 7.

- NZPA