South African Slang

Tomorrow is the day, we have all been looking forward for a very long time.

The start of the World Cup in SOUTH AFRICA!!

So in the spirit of anything South African,  here is a list of South African slang, to get you ready. 🙂

Ag
Pronounced like the ach in German, but with a ‘g’ on the end. Roll that ‘g’!

“Ag, no man” – sign of irritation. Many purposes.

Aikona
Never, not on your life.
Aita! (‘ai-tah’)
A greeting: “Aita brah!” – Originated in the townships among the youth,

and is still used.

Babbelas (‘Bub-be-las’)
A hangover. Normally a pretty damn bad hangover!

Bakkie (‘Buk-ky’) Pickup truck

Barnie Fight, punch-up.

Biltong
Jerky in the US, only much better!. This is specially prepared dried

raw meat, made from beef, venison or ostrich.

Biscuit
Cookie in the US. In America, a biscuit is a scone with no sugar.

In South Africa, it’s a cookie. Some favourites are Marie Biscuits,

Romany Creams, and Eet Sum Mor.

Bliksem
Strike, hit, punch: “I’m going to bliksem you!” Can also be

used as follows: “Bliksem! (Damn!)

Boerewors Farmstyle sausage or “wors”. (Literally, “Farmers Sausage”).

It is consumed in vast quantities on braais all over the country.

Braai
Barbecue (US) or Barbie (Aus). Extremely popular SA occupation.

Men take great pride in preparing this event; and is probably the

only time the average South African does something around the house!

Brah
Buddy, associate, peer, colleague, friend, etc

Catch a Tan
To suntan.
Check
Nothing to do with money! Look, do you see? – “You
check?” or “Check this, china!!” – Look at this, dude!.
Chick
Yet another typically South African sexist term for a woman!
China
A friend, buddy, mate. Very popular term, mostly in Cape Town area and Durban. Can also
be used aggressively, as in: “Are you tuning me kak, China? – are you giving me shit,
mate?”.
Chips
Means ‘look out!’ A warning.
Chuck
Depart, leave, go
Crash
Go to sleep – “Do you want to crash out at my place? – Do you want sleep over at my place?”
Dagga (‘Dag-gah’)
Marijuana, dope – the South African word for dope.
Dankie
Thank you
Dinges (‘Din-gus’)
Thingamabob, a wotzit or a whatchamacallit.
Dit ruk
It’s happening!.
Doff
Stupid, idiot. It can also be used as a
noun

Howzit (also hoesit”)
The famous, and one of the most typical, South African greeting. Short for “How is it?”
How’s your mind?
“Are you mad?!”

Isit? (Izzit?) This conversational word is used widely and in response

to just about anything. Used in place of “really??”

Just now A immense source of amusement for foreigners –

it means “very soon”, “eventually”; or “never”. If someone says he

will do something “just now” it could be in 10 minutes or tomorrow.

Or maybe he won’t do it at all.

Kak (‘Kuk’)
Shit… and used in the same way…. “Don’t talk kak – Don’t give me kak”.
Kief
Cool, or something that’s very nice.
Klap(‘klup’)
Slap – “Give him a snot-klap if he gives you kak”.
Kus
Exhausted or tired
Lank
A lot – “There are lank people at this jawl tonight, hey China??!!”
Larney
Fancy, designer clothes, snob – A number of variations on a word

denoting someone who is well-dressed, or designer clothes, or a

well-to-do function. The person can be larney, or clothes.

Lekker
An Afrikaans word meaning nice, this word is used by all language

groups to express approval.

Lightey
Youngster.
Lights out
Unconscious – “After being klapped for calling him a ‘rock spider’,

little Johnny was completely lights out”

Nooit(‘Noy-t’)
No way – Another way of saying no, but also a sign of incredulous response.
Nought
No – Used in similar situations to nooit.
Oke (ou)
Guy, chap, bloke.
Padkos
Food for a car, for a trip; on the road.
Park off
To chill out – sit down and relax – “Let’s go park off at the beach tonight.
Pavement
In South Africa this is the sidewalk.

Robot
Yes, it’s a traffic light!
Rock Up
To arrive – “What time should we rock up for the jawl? Should be bring any dop?”

Shame
Very typical South African expression; also found amusing by

foreigners. “Ag shame, look how cute that baby is!”,

or “Shame, stop making kak with the chick, man,

she’s lekker”, and “Shame, that’s really sad”.

Sif
Description of a disgusting thing.
Skeef
Crooked; provocative. A classic saying heard in bars around South

Africa is “Are you checking me skeef, China?”

– Are you looking at me funny, brah?

Skelm
A crook or thief. A street-wise operator who deals in petty crime.
Skinner
Gossip.

Skop
Kick.
Skrik
A fright.
Slap chips
When French Fries are thick and long and don’t go crispy in the oil – they are soft and stodgy
Spook and diesel
Cane spirits and coke – A favorite mixture of a pale liquor and dark Coca-Cola.
Stoep
Verandah
Stroppy
Cheeky
Stukkie
Sexist term for a woman.
Takkies
Sneakers, trainers, running shoes.
Tokoloshe
Evil spirit
The moer in – (roll the r)
Very angry

Vasbyt Hang in there, be tough – “Vasbyt, china; the kak will soon be over!”

Be awesomely blessed!

Cláudia

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1 Comment

  1. awesome!!!!


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