Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

New Zealand 6, Australia 0


Over the last week I seem to have come across an unusually large number of blogs discussing the oddities of the English language. So here is my little contribution to the discussion relating to regional dialects.

Most English speakers from outside the antipodes are unable to distinguish the difference between New Zealand and Australian English. But there are differences, particularly in vowel shifts. In Australian English (Strine) The “I” sound in hit has moved to sound more like heat. In New Zealand English (Nyu Zild), Vowels have moved further but in the opposite direction, resulting in hit sounding more like hut.

Nyu Zild has also seen shift in “e” in red and pen so that it sounds like rid and pin to British and American speakers. A similar shift has occurred with the “a” sound as in mat and sad sound like met and said.

So If I were to say “Peck the pack of pickles“, an American might hear “Pick the peck of puckles“. If I said “Fix the bit that’s bent” they might hear “Fucks the but thets bint“.

A New Zealander can sound like Lyn of Tawa:

Or like Member of Parliament Maurice Williamson during his speech supporting the the final reading of the Definition of Marriage Bill:

Oh what a beautiful sound!

So what’s the relevance to the Title of this post?

A Kiwi was driving on an Australian motorway, and noticed some graffiti on a overpass, which read NZ sux (New Zealand sucks). A few days later, he passed under the overpass, but now someone had added AUS nil. Get it?

Author: Barry

A post war baby boomer from Aotearoa New Zealand who has lived with migraines for as long as I can remember and discovered I am autistic at the age of sixty. I blog because in real life I'm somewhat backwards about coming forward with my opinions.

9 thoughts on “New Zealand 6, Australia 0

  1. Honestly, that passed above my shoulders.
    That speech, was awesome, I heard a while back and it resonated with me in a big way.

    • Maurice Williamson was a fine politician but he had an unfortunate end to his political career.

      I’ve heard more than one looney say that it was God’s way of punishing him for supporting gay marriage.

      • That was quite an unfortunate end.
        If someone believes that is god punishing him, how does the same person believe the same god is all loving and merciful or what does the believer mean when they use such words

        • That is something one would need to ask of those who make such claims. Some people seem to be able to make cause and effect connections where the those of a more reasonable mindset cannot. As Williamson mentioned in his speech, he’d even been told that the reason NZ was suffering a drought at the time was because the Parliament was considering the gay marriage legislation. While it might be the belief of a few religious extremists, almost all NZ Christians would disagree. I can’t speak for the rest of the world.

  2. I didn’t understand a word Lynn said, but I thought the speech by Morris Williamson was outstanding.

    • Both Lyn and Maurice Would be cross at your misspelling of their names 🙂

      That clip by Lyn of Tawa was made back in the late 1970s. That accent was less common back then and heard mainly from young females in lower to middle socio-economic groups. It has been been gaining traction ever since. Linguists tell us that the best way of predicting how accents will change is by listening to a population’s younger women.

      Maurice’s accent is close to the way my parents speak, and I’m probably closer to him than to Lyn, although many Americans get confused by my “i”, “a” and “e” vowel shifts.

  3. Bwahahaha! Funny graffiti Barry. The two videos are great – hilarious.

  4. Hahaha… You went through a lot of trouble to help us understand that one joke.. 😉

  5. As an Aussie I loved the graffiti joke lol 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s