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South Africanisms


weird and wonderful things about south africa and its people

“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

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

Submitted by nickyd

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

"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

"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

“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

“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

"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

“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

Submit your South Africanism

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