Another Spectrum

Personal ramblings and rants of a somewhat twisted mind

How to embarrass yourself…


Use the word twink in an online forum where you’re possibly the only Kiwi.

I discovered a new use (for me) of that term today, and it was definitely not what I had in mind. Here in Aotearoa New Zealand, Twink is the leading brand of correction fluid. It’s also become a generic term when referring to correction fluid in general. It’s used as a verb to name the action of correcting a (typing) mistake much the same way as hover is used in the UK to name the action of vacuuming.

New Zealand’s most popular brand of correction fluid

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.

5 thoughts on “How to embarrass yourself…

  1. Fanny is a word that is means different parts of the human body depending where you live.

    • Most definitely! Here it refers to that part of the female anatomy that Trump likes to grab, and I don’t mean the fleshy part of the human body that one sits on. Many a North American visitor has embarrassed themselves by using this term inappropriately while in NZ. What Americans refer to as a fanny pack, we refer to as a bum bag.

      The other common faux pas often made by Americans here is using root as a verb such as in this bit of conversation between a female exchange student and her host family:
      HOST FATHER: And what interests or hobbies do you have.
      EXCHANGE STUDENT: I like reading and rooting for the school football team;
      [Stunned silence and shocked expressions, then]
      HOST’S SON: What?!! The entire team?

      I wonder how many visitors to these shores really understand the meme often seen on items targeted at tourists: “My boyfriend is a typical Kiwi: he eats roots and leaves“. Do they realise that a comma is conveniently omitted after eats, and roots and leaves are being used as verbs and not nouns? As every Kiwi knows, neither roots nor leaves are part of the kiwi’s diet.

      And I found myself in hot water while on a training seminar in the US, when I asked the lady sitting next to me if she had a rubber I could use. It took more than a little persuasion to convince the woman and the organisers that what I was enquiring about was if she had an eraser I could borrow.

      • Very good Barry, I think the term we used is eats, roots, “shoots” and leaves. I think it is only recently that Americans are understanding the term “wanker” considering they have so many of them including the president and they are constantly hearing the term it is understandable I guess.

  2. hahaha fun with words when English is the common language, only its not! I ( in the USA) told a fellow from London as part of a conversation in a forum that he needed suspenders, and he was shocked. I found out I should have told him he needed braces…. innocent mistakes…

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