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South Africanisms


weird and wonderful things about south africa and its people

"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

"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

“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

"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

“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

"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

“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

We South africans like a bit of a party, and “Epic” denotes a pretty fab party. If its even better than fabulous we may throw in “flipping” before “Epic” . so ... "That Afrika Burn jol was flipping Epic my Bru”

Submitted by Hlumela Masha

"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

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

Submitted by Mark Upton

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