25 YEARS
AND STILL GOING STRONG

South Africanisms


weird and wonderful things about south africa and its people

"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

“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

“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

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

Submitted by Mark Upton

"Now, Now" - When South Africans say that they will do something "Now, now"... It actually means that they will do it later.

Submitted by Ken McKenzie

"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

"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

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

“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

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