Local is Lekker!

South Africa has its own unique,  unusual and somewhat entertaining slang.   Derived from a melting pot of 11 official languages, ‘South Africanism’ mixes  it up with a seductive menu of words and phrases drawn from the various languages.  The folks at Sure Maritime found this list to share of typical ‘South Africanisms’ – enjoy!


Ag – (Pronounced like the ach in German) – can preceded any sentence for various effects
Bakkie – (Pronounced ‘buck-key’) – a utility /  pick-up truck or Tupperware container
Baie dankie – thanks a lot; thank you very much
Biltong – dried, seasoned meat, similar to jerky
Boer – Afrikaans word for farmer
Boerewors (boerie) – spicy South African farmers’ sausage
Boetie (Pronounced ‘Boet – tea’) – South African Afrikaans for little brother;  this can also be used as a nickname.
Bokkie – a small buck, or affectionate name for a female (my bokkie)
Bra – Afrikaans word for male friend – “dude” in English
Bru – male friend
Braai – a BBQ
Droë wors (Pronounce ‘oë’ as an ‘ooa’) – dried  sausage, similar to biltong
Eish! (Pronounced ‘aysh’) – a phrase of  exclamation eg. Eish! I am so tired
Howzit – how’s it going? How are you?
Just  now – interchangeable meanings which could be ‘just now’,  ‘tomorrow or perhaps ‘never’
Kombi – a minivan
Lekker –  great / tasty
Now now – Meaning in a little bit, a bit later  (not to be confused with Just now)
Oke (Pronounced  ‘oak’) – a guy / bloke
Robot –  traffic light
Shabeen – A  local drinking establishment ( Wandi’s Shabeen is most famous in Soweto  township)
Shame – A  response for just about anything, and is normally added to the sentence ‘Ag  shame man’
Veld – bush /  grassland
Vuvuzela (Pronounced ‘Voo’ –  ‘voo’ – ‘ze’ – ‘la’ ) – Setswana for a stadium horn, used by football fans  during matches in South Africa

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