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Cheeky Buggers and Cheeky Kea

Updated on May 13, 2009

Have you ever used the phrase "Cheeky Bugger"?

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Cheeky Buggers and Cheeky Kea

If you ever travel to the UK, Australia, or New Zealand, you may hear the phrase "cheeky bugger". I heard this phrase numerous times while on Mountain Travel Sobek's Great Hikes of New Zealand trip. Mountain Travel Sobek is awesome and I highly recommend them. The guides were great, the itinerary was excellent, and everything was well planned.

The phrase "cheeky buggers" sounds particularly cool when it is expressed to you by a lovely New Zealand girl with a cool accent. For some reason the phrase sticks and you may find yourself asking her to repeat the phrase, as I did. I enjoyed the accent so much that I wanted to learn more about these cheeky buggers, so I inquired as to what exactly a cheeky bugger is.

A cheeky bugger is basically someone or something that is up to no good. An example of a cheeky bugger, as the term was used by the New Zealander girl, is a group of partiers that were planning to build a bonfire on a beach that doesn't allow in "those cheeky buggers".

I found myself using the expression quite routinely the rest of my time in New Zealand. I seemed to seek out opportunities to use the phrase. The New Zealanders probably just thought of me as another stupid American tourist, but I thought of myself as a traveler immersing himself in the culture!

Cheeky buggers often even make the headlines. George Clooney has been described on Celebitchy as a "Cheeky Little Bugger". I'm not sure what emphasis Little has on the phrase, as I've never heard the term "Cheeky Big Bugger" or "Cheeky Medium Bugger".

A Cheeky Kea....maybe Charlie

This cheeky bugger was trying to sneak up on me!
This cheeky bugger was trying to sneak up on me!

While doing the Milford Sound hike (or "tramp" as they say in New Zealand), I found a book at the Pompolona Hut called Charlie the cheeky Kea. I became immersed in this book, even though it was written for two year olds. It took me about ten minutes to read the book, but it made me sad for Charlie, the cheeky Kea. Apparently, the Kea family of birds are also known as cheeky buggers. They will sneak into lodges, cars, houses, etc., and steal food, boots, or just cause a plain ruckus. The keas are part of the parrot family and are protected in New Zealand. A cheeky kea even tried to sneak up on me while I was taking a break from hiking. The cheeky bugger wanted to check out my cool Osprey backpack. I was ready for this cheeky bugger though, thanks to Charlie the cheeky kea.

Speight's (NZ Beer) Commercial featuring Cheeky Kea

Cheeky Keas in Action


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    • janiek13 profile image

      Mary Krenz 

      8 years ago from Florida's Space Coast

      This is the first time I have heard of keas. Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed that video as well.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Look how naturally well-camouflaged he telling how many more of the cheeky little buggers could be lurking in that treeline behind you.

    • crinkle profile image


      9 years ago from Philippines

      ahh... so that's why. yup. a pretty nice picture! :)

    • kea profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Yes, that's where my name came from, plus I happened to have a picture of a Kea to use as well!

      Thanks for the comment.

    • Randy Behavior profile image

      Randy Behavior 

      9 years ago from Near the Ocean

      So, that then, is where your profile name came from?

      I've heard this phrase on animal shows referring to critters. I guess they must have been from New Zealand or Australia.


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