May 29, 2010
Howzit bru? Let’s waai possie and gooi a dop (and other strange South Africanisms)
Although KwaZulu-Natal-based, Christine Marot never passes up an opportunity to head south and sample the many delights of the Mother City.
Despite having visited many of the world’s continents, she believes there’s no place like home, and enjoys promoting Cape Town’s mix of cultural, historical, natural and adventure tourism opportunities.
She believes current tourism trends reflect a greater reliance on bloggers’ first-hand experiences, which more often than not contain nuggets of useful information.
With a love of the outdoors, Christine is happiest visiting the penguins at Boulders Beach, catching waves at Kommetjie, hiking up Table Mountain or sipping a chardonnay under massive oak trees in the winelands.
A truly laduma moment. Photo courtesy colm.mcmullan
Officially, South Africa has 11 languages, second only to India, with 22.
Many more languages are spoken in the country besides, from Greek to Gujarati and a number of local creoles and pidgins.
There are, however, some sayings that are commonly used and understood across our country, despite (or perhaps because of) its polyglot nature.
Here’s a brief introduction to some South Africanisms adapted from local languages.
|ja, nee||(ya-neer)||yes, no (well…)|
|ungaas||(un-garse)||I don’t know|
|eish||(a-sh)||a sigh of sympathy|
|ke nako||(kay-na-co)||it is time|
|bafana bafana||(ba-far-nah)||SA soccer team|
|smiley||(smi-lee)||boiled sheep’s head|
|eThekweni||(eh-tek-weh-nee)||the city of Durban|
|now, now||(now, now)||any time soon|
|vuvuzela||(voo-voo-zeh-lah)||plastic horn blown at soccer|
|possie||(por-zee)||where you live|
|my china||(my chai-nah)||my friend|
|my bru||(mai-broo)||my mate|
|cheers||(chee-az)||thanks or a toast|
|gooi a dop||(goiy a dorp)||pour a drink|
|Klippies and Coke||(clip-eez an’ coke)||brandy and Coke|
|jislaak||(jiss-laaik)||expression of outrage|
|biltong||(bill-tong)||smoked beef strip|
|siestog||(sees-togh)||an expression of endearment|
|ag shame||(agh-shaime)||an expression of sympathy|
|spook and diesel||(spook-en-dee-zil)||cane spirit with Coke|
|catch a doss||(catch a dors)||get some sleep|
|catch a wake up||(catch a wake up)||pay attention|
|snotklap||(snort-clap)||a smack across the face|