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South Africanisms


weird and wonderful things about south africa and its people

“Rooineks” Is the name the boers gave to the English settlers in the old days because their necks were always sunburnt from the harsh South African sun. The name stuck and you still see a fair amount of sunburnt necks about.

Submitted by Derrick Le Roux

“Jizlaaik” is another wonderfully descriptive word we have for “Goodness gracious!” or “Oh My!” so we might say "jizlaaik my China if South Africa wins the cricket i skeem we should have a dop or two to celebrate”

Submitted by Delarey Potgieter

"A Boer Maak a Plan" Afrikaans colloquialism meaning that no matter what the obstacles are, us South Africans can sort it out. It speaks to our no nonsense sense of the world.

Submitted by Jean De Villiers

"Toyi Toyi" (pronounced TOY-TOY) this is a traditional South African form of protest. It is a knees up dance done by protestors and can be very intimidating.

Submitted by Jaques Du Plooy

"At the Robots, turn left" We don't do traffic lights - it's too much like being law abiding. In South Africa we have robots. Much more exciting!!

Submitted by Maria Van Heerden

Eish! - Substitute any of the following: No shit! Dang! Holy Cow! Ouch! You're kidding! Bummer! Oh well. Geez!

Submitted by Mark Upton

“Poepol” is an affectionately used term to denote an idiot. so you might say “ag you poepol you’ve locked the keys in the blerry car! Now we’re really in the dwang!”

Submitted by Jeanne Watson

"Sharp Sharp" a lovely expression that can mean so many things, but all upbeat and positive. Can be a greeting, a farewell, an agreement or just to express enthusiasm.

Submitted by Shaun O'Connel

"What a chop!" A chop is a term used to describe an idiot or a moron. If someone has done something silly, or idiotic, you could call them a chop! for example: John left his car lights on and now his battery is dead... What a chop!

Submitted by Britt Ballantyne

"Yebo" a Zulu word meaning yes or used to show approval. For example: Question: "Hi there, can I get a pint in this Shebeen ?" Answer: "Yebo!"

Submitted by Sipho Mahlangu

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