A kiwi is a flightless bird native to New Zealand. They are about the size of a domestic chicken and lay the largest egg in relation to their body size of any species of bird in the world (around 6 times the size of a chicken’s egg.) Kiwis are nocturnal and eat a healthy diet that includes grubs, worms, seeds, small crayfish, eels and amphibians.
The kiwi is the national symbol of New Zealand (NZ), and the association is so strong that the term, “Kiwi” is used internationally as the colloquial name for people from NZ, as well as being a common form of self-reference. It’s usage is not considered offensive. On the contrary, it is generally viewed as a symbol of pride and endearment for people from NZ.
Not to be confused with……
Kiwifruit originally came from China and were known as “Chinese gooseberries.” NZ produce growers started exporting them in the early 1960’s and began calling them Kiwifruit. Since the mid 1960’s, when the fruit was imported from NZ to the USA, it has been known here in the USA as Kiwifruit, but more popularly as “Kiwi.”
Kiwi is also the brand name of a shoe polish, first made in Australia in 1906, and named after the creator’s wife who was from NZ. It’s success in Australia expanded overseas when it was adopted by the British and American armies in World War I. It is now sold in over 180 countries and enjoys a 2/3 market share in the USA.