What is a Kiwi?

56 posts in this topic

Posted

Hey there, I am a born and bred New Zealander and until recently thought that the entire population knew that our nickname was a "Kiwi". But after using 'kiwigirl84' as a nickname recently on another website, I was amazed at how many people questioned my name. They thought I must love Kiwi fruit, and when I said "No, its because I'm from New Zealand" they just got confused, and some even asked 'Where?'.

But anyway, my questions to you are:

Have you heard the nickname 'Kiwi' before?

What is your nationality i.e. is it just an English Speaking thing?

Why do you think we are called Kiwi's? Is it because of the fruit or the bird?

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Posted

I've heard the nickname before.

American.

Didn't realize it was from either the fruit or the bird.

Kiwis do taste good though. The fruit I mean. Never tried a bird...

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Posted

(I'm american)

Before I moved to Munich, I had never heard the term. Most tourists have no idea what I mean when I say "So we've got 3 americans, 2 japanese, and 4 kiwis on the tour today".

I still feel guilty when I eat your eggs though...they just taste so good. It's weird that you're the only humans that lay eggs that others eat.

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Posted

Yes, I'd heard the nickname before, but I'm English, and, I thought it was after the bird. Our neighbours, the French, generally, wouldn't have heard of the nickname, though it is used there in some specialist sporting contexts (namely rugby league and sailing, specifically the America's Cup).

Just my 2d on a slow Saturday afternoon.

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Posted

Yes, I had heard of 1) New Zealanders being called Kiwis, 2) Kiwi fruit and 3) Kiwi birds before, and I'm American.

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Posted

Kiwis do taste good though. The fruit I mean. Never tried a bird...

You should try one; I've found New Zealand girls to be very friendly.

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Posted

I think the term originally applied to New Zealand soldiers because their uniform badges all had a kiwi bird on them. They were nicknamed Kiwis by the Brits and Aussies. It was only later that the term was widely used to mean all New Zealanders

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Posted

Yes, English, the bird.

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Posted

Canadian but of Aussie parents - knew Kiwis were from NZ, always thought it was 'coz of the bird not the fruit

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Posted

Have known for years NewZealanders are Kiwis, don't know when it started, but always knew it was because of the bird not the fruit.

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Posted

Most tourists have no idea what I mean when I say "So we've got 3 americans, 2 japanese, and 4 kiwis on the tour today".

I'm beginning to think it might be more of a Commonwealth/Well travelled thing. Its not a big deal, its just I always thought everyone knew. We are named after the Bird not the fruit. The nickname orginated in the Military during WWI, because of the Kiwi bird logo on their uniforms. And incase you're interested, Kiwifruit aren't even originally from New Zealand, they're actually a Chinese Gooseberry,

From Wikipedia

The fruit gets its name from a marketing strategy, naming it after the kiwi, the national bird of New Zealand, where the fruit was first commercially popularised in 1959 by the New Zealand fruit-and-vegetable export company Turners and Growers; previously it was known as the Chinese gooseberry, but due to the Cold War, the Chinese label seemed unfit for popularization of the fruit in Western countries. Growers gradually adopted the name and in 1974 the kiwifruit became the official trade name.
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Posted

Kiwi = NZers, UK, bird as am old enough to remember when the fruit was still called a Chinese Gooseberry.

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Posted

Be thankful you arent from Yorkshire... they name themselves after a pudding!

Yes, I know its an old one!!

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Posted

Have you heard the nickname 'Kiwi' before?

What is your nationality i.e. is it just an English Speaking thing?

Why do you think we are called Kiwi's? Is it because of the fruit or the bird?

Yes

American

Because Dodo was already taken

Next?

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Posted

Oi kiwi gurl where you living at... Im also a Special KIWI living in germany...

I havnt found any yet... Unfortuantly.. But tops for explaining the KIWI!!!

I always just keep getting called "sheep shager" ooooo!!! i KNOW!!! Sad!

But ya! Get in touch ya!!!

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Posted

There are a few kiwis around on TT, haven't found many young ones though :P

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Posted

My laptop has kiwi. I can bring it to loads of hotspots around town and use the internet without having to plug anything in. Kiwi's great!

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Posted

Oi kiwi gurl where you living at... Im also a Special KIWI living in germany...

I'm in Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt... and moving to Vancouver in a couple of weeks. Haven't met any other New Zealanders in the year I've been here, but I'm sure theres going to be a hell of a lot roaming around Whistler in Winter.

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Posted

yes, but applied in a different context. Kiwi: someone who is hairy on the outside, but a fruit on the inside. It was only after I began to spend some time with expats (native English speakers) that I found out about the New Zealand-Kiwi thingey.

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Posted

Kiwi: someone who is hairy on the outside, but a fruit on the inside.

So, Monkstown basically.

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Posted

yes, British, bird

I'm beginning to think it might be more of a Commonwealth/Well travelled thing. Its not a big deal, its just I always thought everyone knew

you're seriously over-stating the importance of New Zealand (and therefore knowledge about it) in the world to be honest. Do you know the 'nickname' for all the other nationalities in the world?

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Posted

Agree with boomtown rat.

In all honesty, I'd never heard that term for someone from New Zealand until I worked with a Kiwi in the Netherlands. It wasn't because I wasn't well traveled but because I'd never met a Kiwi before in my life. And yes, since I'd never heard of the bird before, my first association was with the fruit, and I was quickly corrected. You know, I think to this day I've never met a Kiwi in the States.

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Posted

you're seriously over-stating the importance of New Zealand (and therefore knowledge about it) in the world to be honest.

I'm really not that concerned by the lack of knowledge about my countrys nickname, it was just something that came up in conversation and I was intrigued enough to want to find out if others knew. Isn't that the point of forums?

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Posted

Besides something thats titled "What is a kiwi" is going to be mindless dribble isn't it?

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Posted

I thought everyone knew that New Zealanders are called "Kiwis".

I'm English, but have been living in Germany for the past 30 years or so, so a lot of current UK slang is like a foreign language to me.

I always assumed (correctly it seems) that it was because of the bird, since the kiwi fruit is a relatively recent invention.

Let's see, New Zealand ... isn't that the capital of Melbourne?

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