There are three kiwis that I am aware of.  Kiwifruit, kiwi bird and a New Zealander.  What do all of these things have in common?  I’ll tell you what we don’t have in common with New Zealand.  In New Zealand the kiwifruit isn’t called a kiwi at all, but rather a Chinese Gooseberry.  And it turns out that kiwis are actually from Northern China!

Kiwifruits were introduced to China when students from a girls school in New Zealand traveled to China and brought some seeds back.  The first kiwis were plucked from those plants in 1910.  They were later grown in New Zealand commercially.  They still carried their Chinese name back then, yáng táo.  Later the New Zealanders changed the name to Chinese Gooseberry.  Originally New Zealand imported them under the name Chinese Gooseberries to America.  Berries incurred extra taxes however so they decided to rename the fruit for the country they were being imported from.  Kiwi rolls of the tongue easier anyhow.

The people of New Zealand are named after the flightless bird that lives on that island, not the bird.


2 thoughts on “Kiwi

  1. Actually, it IS called a kiwifruit in New Zealand and has been for over 40 years, but NEVER a Kiwi. Whilst the fruit is named after the endangered and flightless Kiwi bird, many New Zealanders take offence if the fruit name is shortened. National pride in the bird and its unique and indigenous nature are some of the reasons why New Zealanders call themselves Kiwi’s.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: