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type of flightless bird, 1835, from Maori kiwi, said to be of imitative origin. As slang for "a New Zealander," it is attested from 1918. The kiwi fruit (Actinia chinesis), was so called in U.S. from c.1966 when it was imported there, but it is known in New Zealand as Chinese gooseberry (1925).
[fr the name of a flightless bird of New Zealand, fr Maori]