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South Africanisms


weird and wonderful things about south africa and its people

"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

“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

"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

“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

"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

“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

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

Submitted by nickyd

“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

"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

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

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