Story: Speech and accent

New Zild and how to speak it

New Zild and how to speak it

New Zealanders have distinctive accents which set them apart from people living in other English-speaking countries. There are also differences within New Zealand, based mainly on region, class and race. Arch Acker's book New Zild and how to speak it (1966) is a light-hearted 'dictionary' of the way some New Zealanders pronounced certain words and phrases at the time it was written. It opens with 'Air gun?' – a humorous pronunciation of the common colloquial greeting 'how are you going?'.

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Penguin Random House
Reference: Arch Acker, New Zild and how to speak it. Wellington: A. H. Reed & A. W. Reed, 1967.

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How to cite this page:

Elizabeth Gordon, 'Speech and accent - Early New Zealand speech', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 18 October 2021)

Story by Elizabeth Gordon, published 5 Sep 2013