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South Africanisms


weird and wonderful things about south africa and its people

“Bilksem” is a wonderful South Africanism that basically means "we’re going to give them a hiding” Often a way to explain the punishent we’re going to mete out on an opposing sports team.

Submitted by Charles Williams

"Shebeen" - a township tavern or drinking hole. Once illegal and frequently raided by the fuzz, shebeens are now pretty groovy hangouts in the townships. Note- AMEX not accepted here.

Submitted by Justice beeba

“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

"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

"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

"Kwaai" South-African street slang for cool. "I climbed table mountain today and it was Kwaai.

Submitted by nickyd

in some parts of South Africa we have a pretty heart stopping collection of creepy crawlies. We call them “Goggas” which comes from the Khoi San word meaning creeping things.

Submitted by Zollie Tshabalala

“Mzansi” has of late been really popularised by our national broadcaster. it has come to mean South Africa and comes from the Xhosa word for South.

Submitted by Jakes Madala

“laaitie” is an affectionate word for a younger person particularly a son so you might say “My laaitie is taking his bokkie to a flik tonight. “Bokkie” in this context would mean his sweetheart and not his pet Springbok.

Submitted by Eric Van Staden

“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

Submit your South Africanism

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