Kiwis are a nation of drinkers. We love our top-quality wines and our craft beers. Summer is a time for a crisp sauvignon blanc or a tasty cold bevvy. We like a few drinks but unfortunately that sometimes leads to more and more and before you know it we are past the point of return. When you drink alcohol in rather large quantities it is known as getting on the turps.

If you go to the pub and get on the turps you are partaking in drinking and quite often it will be heavy drinking. The kiwi slang term, on the turps was used in its early days by referring to drinking spirits such as rum or gin. It has morphed in modern times to any kind of alcoholic drink, especially beer and wine. This phrase means inebriated and getting drunk from being on the turps or ‘turpentine’.

Turps is the shortened version of turpentine and was recorded as drinking alcholic liquor to excess. It refers to the use of spirits such as methylated spirits for on the street, homeless alcoholics and turps as in turpentine. An instance of the term would be used as: “John is getting on the turps and having a big night tonight as he has had a raise”! The phrase first came into existence as far back as the 1860’s.

Kiwis also refer to having a blinder, this is a similar term and can be used interchangeably with being on the turps. When you’ve had a blinder you have drunk so much you are intoxicated and you can hardly stand, let alone talk! So next time you go out and have a drink, don’t have a blinder on the turps as you will definitely regret it the next morning.

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.