WTLC Presents: the Sweet as Thunder-Kiwi Basketball Lexicon


Broaden your minds with the Thunder-Kiwi Lexicon, v. 1.0.

One of the unexpected surprises of this very surprising Oklahoma City Thunder season is the fact that, because the Thunder drafted New Zealand native Steven Adams, we now have an entirely new cadre of Thunder fans hailing from NZ. What came about was an entirely indigenous vocabulary to describe the Thunder.

To capture the magic, we decided to crowd source the group and then compile all of these wonderful words and phrases. Here is the work product of that effort, and we encourage you to read and incorporate to the best of your ability.

(Update - I have created a library page for our lexicon so you now have easy access to these contents. Simply go up to 'Library' at the top and you'll be sweet as in no time.)


Activate the Beaver - The term was coined in honor of Stephen Donal, aka "The Beaver," who kicked the winning penalty goal for the All Blacks in the 2011 World Cup final. Whenever Kiwis  need to go H.A.M., they have to "Activate the Beaver!"

All Blacks - New Zealand national rugby team.

Awesome - Anything rated superb.

Aye - Yes, seeking confirmation.

Breakers - New Zealand professional men's basketball team in the Australian league.

Bol - Another word for 'Bro.'

Bro - A term of address toward a male friend.

Bugger - Oh, darn.

ex. "[I thought] bugger, now I have to try and get this shark off my leg."

Cheers - Goodbye.

Choice - Used to describe something you think is good.

Ex. "That jacket is choice."

Chur boi – Neat alright. "Boi" is pronounced, "booooiiii."

Chur bro - Nice one.

Chur the cuzzie – Kiwi is going really well – "cuzzie" is a take on the word cousin.

Cruizin for a bruizin – Rugby term that means ready to tackle hard.

Cuzzie - Friend or cousin.

Dairy - Local convenience store.

Dinner with white people (DWWP) -  Dining precaution. If you are going to DWWP, eat something before you go so you don’t embarrass yourself by eating everything.

Fulla - Fellow.

Eh? - Do you agree?

Ghost Chips - Phantom foul calls. See: Kiwi drunk driving ad "Legend"

Go you good thing – Phrase used by sports commentator when NZ won the America’s cup yacht race.

Good as gold - Something is very good.

Haka -  A traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand. Practiced by the All Blacks before rugby matches.

Hard case - Witty person.

Person 1: Do you like Steve?

Person 2: Yeah, he’s a hard case.

Hiding - A righteous beating.

ex. The Thunder barely beat Atlanta, but OKC gave the Nets a real hiding.

Hobbiton- The Hobbit Village built on a farmland near Matamata for the Lord of the Rings movie.

Hoha - Being annoying.

I thought he'd be more powerful - Directed toward another NBA big man after Adams muscles out a rebound.

It was a game of two halves - Famous New Zealand rugby captains used this phrase in every interview when he spoke about a game. Cult phrase in NZ since then.

Jandels - What you wear on your feet in the summer.

Ka pai - Good.

Keen - Showing eagerness or enthusiasm.

Kia Kaha - Stay strong, muscle up. To be used as a chant, which might go:

"Kia Kaha"

"Say it loud"


"Say it Proud"

"Tumeke!" (awesome!)

Kia Ora - Good Day, Goodbye, Good Health,wishing you health.

Kiwi - A person from New Zealand.

Kiwi Burger - Hamburger with a fried egg and beetroot (beets) added.

Kiwi Strange - When a Kiwi fends off a shark attack with his knife, stitches himself up on shore, goes to the pub for a beer, and only then goes to the hospital. See: Dr. James Grant.

Kiwi Strong - How to describe the natural strength of New Zealanders relative to non-New Zealanders.

Kiwi Tech - Any time a Kiwi's natural physicality provokes another player into over-reacting to him, which results in a technical foul on the other guy.


Vince Carter

Larry Sanders

Looking for the clothesline - Whenever Adams misses a free throw.

Mean - Awesome.

Mean as - Really awesome.

Mean as_________, bro - Mate, that's awesome.

Mean hops – Player can jump high. Possible variation: "the hops of doom."

Middle-Earth - New Zealand, centered on the Wellington suburb of Miramar, where Peter Jackson set up shop to film Lord of the Rings.

Nah an Yah - Yes and no.

Nek Minnit - When a situation goes from mundane to extraordinary, or between opposite extremes.


"Adams getting back on D, nek minnit, Sanders gets ejected"

"Adams on a pick, nek minnit, Leonard breaks his hand"

"The Rockets put up 72 points in a half, nek minnit, they finish with less than 100"

Nah - No.

Not even. - Disputing a statement.


Dwight Howard – "You grabbed my arm!"

Adams – "Not even, bro"

O for Awesome - Positive expression of excitement meaning 'fantastic!' or 'cool!' Expression coined by Kiwi fighter David Tua when he appeared on the New Zealand version of "Wheel of Fortune."

Ow! That you bro - Commonly used when it is dark or when pig hunting out bush.

Paru - Describing the mess that the kids have in their room.

Phwoarrr - Said when something awesome happens. Pronounced like a lion's roar but with an 'F' in the front.

ex. "Phwoarr KD's shot was sweet as eh?"

Right as rain - Perfectly fine.

Roto Vegas - Rotorua a’ la Las Vegas

Rugby - A religion of its own in NZ. There are two forms of the game: Rugby and Rugby League. Imagine having Football and then say Canadian Football as your top 2 winter sports. In the summer in NZ they take a break from Rugby and Rugby league – and play 7 aside-rugby and touch rugby and a bit of cricket.

Rugby has its own language which is quite common in the Kiwi lexicon – ‘front row’, footie, ‘All Black’ (some one who is near god-like’), ‘into touch’, scrum, are a few.

Shot bro - Thanks, cheers, well done, impressive.

Stink - anything you find offensive, unimpressive, or disappointing, like bad basketball game.

Sweet as bro - Second most common phrase in New Zealand after "awesome." Said when something is rather good instead of just "good" or "OK". Often followed by "bro."

Time for a feed - Time to eat.

Time tucker - Time to eat.

Too much - Admiration or approval.

Try-hard - Person rejected by the group because of efforts that are regarded as unacceptably ingratiating or pretentious.

Trying to fit in a small bath tub - Any time the refs call too many fouls on Adams.

Tucker - Food.

Tumeke Bro - Too much or awesome.

Two Roasts at One Time - Any time Steven Adams gets a double-double.

Togs - What you wear when you go swimming.

Undies - Beach apparel you wear when you can't see the water.

If the difference between Togs and Undies is unclear, this fantastic video should clear things up in a hurry.

Wanna get a feed, bro? - One gentleman inquiring if his colleague would like to step out and partake in a meal.

World famous - Items that are famous in NZ but unknown in the rest of the world. Term is both parochially proud and self-deprecating.

Yea bo - Yeah, bro.

Yeah Nah - No. Not really.


"Yeeahh...nah" - Translation: Yes, I can see your point... but no.

Yeah Nah Yea - Yes.

Yeah nah bro - No, bro.

You neat alright - Good one.

Yeah right -  I question your logic.

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