Monday, 5 December 2016

New Zealand vs. United States: Differences

Wow, there really are lots of differences between New Zealand the United States. (I'm talking about things that are less obvious than population or geographical size.) I knew about a lot of them because of American movies, American books and American acquaintances, but I was still surprised by some!

Here is my non-comprehensive guide to some of the many differences I have so far discovered between our two cultures. I enlisted the help of a friend (Thanks Laura!) in writing this... because two minds are better than one :P.

Firstly, in things they say. Here is a list of differences in words they say. 

Kiwis  Americans 
Kiwis New Zealanders
Shop Store
Lollies Candy
Petrol  Gas (the fuel you put in your car)
Jandals Flip flops
Footpath Sidewalk
Surname Last name
Toilet/ bathroom/ loo Restroom
Lift Elevator
Flat Apartment
Nappy Diaper
Dummy Pacifier
University/ uni College/ University/ School
Holiday Vacation
Tramps Hikes
Tomato sauce Ketchup
Smoko Morning tea/ coffee break
Postman Mailman
Rubbish Trash/ garbage
Biscuit / bikkie Cookie
Soft drink Soda pop/ soda/ pop
Capsicum Bell pepper
Candy floss Cotton Candy
Togs Swimsuit/ bathing suit

In NZ, gumboot and jandal wearing is massive. A lot of people survive their entire existences in jandals (these are often students at uni, funny that). Gumboots are also quite widely worn. In rural towns especially.
American women wear lots of makeup. Kiwi women are more relaxed about that.

The classic Kiwi gumboot

Kiwis can talk quite fast. Americans talk in a more laid back way and often can't understand us. :P Also Americans don't understand the difference between New Zealand and Australian accents. Aussies say 'i' as 'ee'. There you go. Example: "ship" I would say "sh-i-p". They say "sh-ee-p".

Kiwis call each other friendly words of endearment such as "homie", "gee", "mate" and "bro".

Kiwis make a big deal of kiwi birds when they really aren't hugely exciting. (Seriously though they are nocturnal - they don't even come out during the day and they are ridiculously hard to find in the wild anyway).

"Bro" "Homie" "Mate" - we really set the standard when it comes to terms of endearment

Kiwis eat staples such as pavlova and pineapple lumps. We LOVE sausage rolls, fish and chips, meat pies and chocolate fish.

Americans eat staples like Reese's peanut butter cups (which I can now officially tell you are actually amazing), pumpkin pie and cinnamon spice EVERYTHING. I suppose I did come over here on Thanksgiving time so what should I have expected? :P

Americans don't eat yams (we'll pray for them!). They only use pumpkins for carving and sweet foods (cookies, pumpkin spice everything, pies) and don't really use it as a vegetable. Most Americans don't roast pumpkin or make soup out of it!! They really are missing out.

Also of course Americans eat lots of takeaways such as burgers and pizza. New Zealanders survive on fish and chips. :P Well some of them do anyway.

Also, kumara and sweet potato are actually slightly different things. I know, surprising right?

The pavlova- basically a giant meringue cake covered with whipped cream and fruit.

Interested in any other info about New Zealand or how it differs from America (or the rest of the world)? I did another post on it a while back you can find here.

What differences between New Zealand and your country have you noticed?

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  1. This post is too great! One of my best friends was born in New Zealand and grew up in Australia, and we're always debating about which word is right :P We specifically argue over biscuit vs cookie and bin vs garbage can. haha! I'm totally showing her this post.

    1. Haha that's awesome Elizabeth! Where in New Zealand was she born?

    2. I totally agree with you Elizabeth! I have a friend who's family moved to Wellington, NZ. They are originally from California but they came from Abu Dhabi and I'm always telling her that cookies are actually biscuits!

      I love the post Bonnie!

  2. Such a cool post!! I hope you are enjoying your stay in America!! :) ♥


  3. What an interesting post! I loved seeing what you thought of America, and all the comparisons, especially with the words (and I'm so glad that you got to try a Reese's cup! :D)
    I must ask- what are chocolate fish? They sound intriguing. :D

  4. Ah, this was awesome! IT'S SO FUN LEARNING ABOUT YOU/YOUR COUNTRY! :D
    And, uh, what are "chocolate fish"????
    See ya later homie! (That was just really weird)😞😕

  5. This is beautiful! Thanks gee! ;P

  6. Haha! I love this post! :)

    Hope you're having a fun time in America!

    With love and all joy,
    Allie D.

  7. This is a very interesting post!! I love it.


  8. What interesting thoughts, Bonnie! I had a good chuckle at these! :) It would appear that us South Africans are a pretty good mix between the two...we are unique, that is for sure! Haha!
    So glad you're having a good time, learning lots and doing well! You are in my thoughts SO often even though I fail at keeping up with email, letters and blogging! {{blushes}}
    Happy New Year to you, Bonnie!

    1. Oh that's so interesting! :) I tell you what... I LOVE LOVE LOVE the South African accent!
      I still haven't received any letter from you. :/ These things take time unfortunately! The post is likely very slow over the Christmas period.
      You are too in my thoughts! Blessings to you and your lovely family. Happy new year!


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