Us kiwis are an interesting bunch when it comes to kiwi slang. We love to use slang words and do so with many different phrases. One word we tend to use alot is Yeah nah. This has been a kiwi slang word that doesn’t really make sense but it’s used everyday. Yeah nah is a non-committal statement, you are acknowledging what someone is saying but you don’t agree. A bit of an oxi moron I guess.
Yeah nah is the conversation you have with your mate at the pub. You might be asked a meaningful question, like ”Do you think you’ll ring the Misses and ask her if it is ok to stay for another pint?” You could difinitively say, Yeah, nah!
The word is always said in jest and it takes a foreign ear to pick it up as it really is part of the New Zealand culture. It means indecision, no or maybe. So in short, yeah means yes and nah means no. If you were talking with someone and you want to avoid conflict, then yeah nah is the perfect phrase. I hear what you’ve said but no I don’t agree.
So next time you are undecided on how to answer, yeah nah is a good bet.
As a photographer I’ve always had a passion for creative art and recently I have started to feature some Kiwiana digital prints with sayings, words, phrases and colloquialisms in my Etsy store.
If you’re a home sick Kiwi living abroad, my artwork may just be an ideal solution for a dose of New Zealand artwork to decorate your home or office.