|voetsek – foot-sack|
(sometimes spelled ‘foot sack’ or ‘voetsak’) get lost or bugger off. usually not said in a nice way.
|cafe – pronounced the french way, but completely different|
“corner” shop or superette where you can buy absolutely anything, except alcohol.
Afternoon, e.g., we’ll pop round for tea sometime this arvie.
An expression of disgust, can be used to refer to something yucky or gross. e.g., sis, check that squashed frog on the road.
Arrive, pitch up
|tannie – tunnee|
Aunt, often used to refer to any older women.
|braai – brr-rye (roll that r)|
Barbecue, when women spend hours in the kitchen preparing salads, meat and puddings and men spend hours getting a fire just right so that they can cook the meat and give the women a “day off”. alc...
|donner – don-ner (roll the r)|
Beat up, e.g., i’m going to donner you if you don’t stop checking me skeef.
Brother, usually used in reference to friends, or any male companion. e.g., hey boet, did you bring the biltong for the big game tonight?
|jol – jo-rl|
Can refer to a party, or to a general good time. e.g., i’ve been invited to a lekker jol tonight. and, did you have a good time at the beach? ja, it was a jol.
Cool, exciting, wild, crazy, e.g., that motorcycle stunt was befok. and, steve has had too much sign, it’s made him befok. given its origins (fok – english fuck), it’s not used in polite company.<...
|kif (or kiff or kief)|
Cool, lekker, nice, e.g., that was a kif jol last night. and, i just bought a kif pair of takkies.
|lus – lis|
Craving for, e.g., i’m lus for some fish and slap chips.
|mal – mull|
Crazy, mad, nuts, e.g., are you mal? you can’t eat butternut at a braai.
|skollies – skoh-lie|
Criminals, unsavoury characters.
Damn, e.g., i can’t believe the bladdy referee gave that penalty.
|vetkoek – fet-cook|
Deep-fried ball of dough that is excellent filled with syrup or mince.
|koeksister – cook-sister|
Delicious, syrupy deep-fried dough plaited into knots.
|droewors – droo-ah-vors|
Dried sausage, similar to biltong.
|nooit – noyt|
Exclamation of no or never. e.g., did you check the game last night? nooit bru, i was having a jol knocking back shots with sharlto copley at shimmy beach club at the waterfront.
|yo – yoh|
Exclamation of surprise, e.g., yo, i didn’t think that you were going to drink that 11th dop.
|jislaaik – yis-like|
Exclamation of wonder or surprise, e.g., jislaaik, i couldn’t believe bafana scored a goal. and, jislaaik, don’t give me such a bliksems fright!
|kak – kuck|
Excrement, crap, usually used as an expletive, e.g., he’s talking kak! i never said the spingboks would lose!
|yussus – yuh-siss|
Expression of surprise, revelation or objection, e.g., yussus man, you don’t know what you’re bladdy talking about!
|larny – larn-nee|
Fancy pants, e.g., that restaurant is too larny for me, i’d rather go to spur.
Flirt, e.g., check that china charfing my chick.
Fright, e.g., i got such a skrik when the shark siren went off.
|eish – aysh|
General exclamation that can be used in positive and negative contexts.
|sjoe – shoe|
General exclamation, e.g., sjoe it’s a hot day! and, sjoe, you look tired. and, sjoe that’s a big bladdy drink.
Greeting, often used instead of hello. combines hello and how are you, so it saves time.
Grumpy, upset, sulky, e.g., he’s dikbek because his team lost last night.
|babelas – bubba-luss|
Hangover, often the consequence of a really good braai.
|gat – ghut|
Hole. can be used to refer to an actual hole, e.g., watch out for the gat in the road. and, my bliksemse new pants have a gat already. can also refer to the buttocks and is used to denote misfortu...
|poephol – poop-all|
Idiot, moron, doofus. it’s the afrikaans version of arsehole (asshole), e.g., did you see that poephol cut me off in traffic?
Is it? usually used to indicate surprise or incredulity.
|sommer – soh-mer|
Just or because, e.g., why did you klap joe? he was sommer annoying.
|sosatie – soh-sah-ti|
Kebab, usually found on a braai next to wors and steak.
|slap chips – slup chips|
Like french fries but without the golden crispiness – goes well with fish.
Lost or loss of concentration, e.g., i was in a dwaal and didn’t see the red robot.
|vuvuzela – voo-voo-zeh-lah|
Loud trumpets blown at sports events, made famous (infamous) at the 2010 soccer world cup.
|pap – pup|
Maize porridge, a staple for many south africans it can be eaten as breakfast, lunch or supper. often accompanies a braai.
|muti – moo-ti|
Medicine, usually traditional medicine from a sangoma, but can refer to anything from headache tablets to antibiotics.
|kaalgat – kaal-ghut|
Naked as a newborn babe. literally, naked hole.
|lekker – lack-err (roll that r)|
Nice, delicious, fun – anything good, really. e.g., the new bruce willis movie is lekker. and, that was a lekker koeksister.
|bosbefok (or bossies or bos)|
Nuts, crazy, insane, usually used to refer to someone who has gone nuts or lost the plot. e.g., she went bos when she saw what the muddy dog did to her white sofa.
Oh man, with more than a hint of frustration, irritation or annoyance; e.g. ag man, what did you go and do that for?
|eina – ay-na|
Rotten, bad, or blind drunk. e.g., that meat is so vrot it’s got maggots. and, alan was so vrot drunk last night the bartender had to drive him home.
|roff – ruff (roll the r)|
Rough, especially do with character, e.g., you don’t want to mess with her bru, she’s roff enough to chew you a new poephol. it can also indicate feeling under the weather, especially when hung ov...
Second meaning for now. it also means sometime soon, although sooner than just now, like within the next 30 to 60 minutes.
Shame is a south africanism for pity or sympathy, but it can also be used to indicate cuteness. e.g., ag shame, did you hurt yourself? and, ag shame, he got his exam results today and they weren’t...
|tassies – tus-sees|
Short of super cheap red wine called tassenberg, favoured by students and anyone hard up for cash.
|windgat – vind-ghat|
Show off, usually recklessly, e.g., those teenage boys are windgat in their dad’s new bmw.
Sideways, usually used as a way to look at someone oddly, e.g., why are you looking at me skeef?
|bru – brew|
Similar to boet.
|oke – oak|
Similar to china, bru and boet.
|klap – klup|
Slap, smack, e.g., i’ll klap you if you check me skeef.
|dorp (or dorpie)|
Small town, usually in the back of beyond.
Snacks for a road trip.
|takkies – tack-keys|
Sneakers, sports shoes.
|boerewors – boo-rah-vors (roll the r) (wors for short)|
South african farm-style sausage commonly braaied and eaten on a roll with tomato sauce and mustard.
|bakkie – buck-key|
South african version of the pickup truck. also used to refer to plastic containers like tupperware, e.g., what must i do with the leftovers? sommer stick them in a bakkie.
Spiced, cured and dehydrated meat, similar to (but much tastier than) beef jerky. it’s usually made from beef, game and ostrich. a favourite tv snack, and almost essential for any rugby match.
|tune – choon|
Talk, provoke, spin a yarn, e.g., what’s this kak you’re tuning me? are you tuning me grief (are you giving me trouble)?
There are three versions of now in south africa. just now means sometime soon, roughly within the next 1 – 3 hours.
|dinges – ding-us|
Thingy, whatzit, random item whose name you can’t remember.
Third meaning for now, this one means immediately or at least within the next 5 – 10 minutes.
|moer – moe-rr (roll that r)|
To hit or beat up, e.g., steve moered alan for checking his chick. also used for emphasis, e.g., that was a moer hard hike up table mountain.
|bliksem – blik-sim|
To hit or punch, e.g., i’ll bliksem you if you eat my biltong. also used derogatively, like bastard; e.g., that bliksem stole my bakkie. it can also be used for emphasis, e.g., a bliksems high bui...
|shebeen – sha-been|
Township or informal pub
|sangoma – sun-gor-mah|
Very derogatory for stupid idiot, pretty much equates to female genitalia. only use it if you’re comfortable with the english equivalent – the c-word.
|gesuip – ghe-sayp|
|woes – voos|
Wild, extreme, crazy, e.g. that chick’s so woes she’ll drink you under the table and sell your car to the skollies.