South African Slang And Other Afrikanerisms

23rd May 2011

Ag man - oh man: ag as the Afrikaans equivalent to "oh", man pronounced as in English.

antie - an older female authority figure. (Word used most often by Indians. Derived from the Afrikaans word for "aunty")

anties - breasts, as in "check die lekker anties op daai girl!"

aweh/awe (pronounced AAAH-WHERE --> not rolling the "R") - said in excitement, as in: Aweh; my boss said I can go home early today.. The word has many meanings or uses: "hello", "goodbye", "yes". Also associated with prison use. (Greeting) "Aweh my bru" (Hello my friend). Compare: howzit, yooit, hoesit, yo.

baas - boss

babbelas - hangover (of Zulu origin)

bakgat - cool; expression of appreciation for something very well accomplished

bakkie - a utility truck, pick-up truck, now a mainstream word in South African English. Can also refer to a small bowl.

bakvissie - (goldfish) a giggly teenage girl

bale - (tv) used to signify annoyance (pronounced barlee)

befok - really good, exciting, cool; as in "The rock-show was befok." [Do not confuse with gefok.] Can also mean "crazy" in a very strong sense, as in "Are you befok?" — derogatory (err:definitely not a polite enquiry). Ek het daai ou befok - meaning I cheated that guy in a transaction. Profanity - the base fok meaning to have sex.

bek - derogatory term for mouth (Afrikaans: an animal's mouth); hou jou bek - "shut up" (literally" "hold your [animal's] mouth"). This translates well into British English as "Shut your gob."

bergie - from berg, mountain, originally referring to vagrants who sheltered in the forests of Table Mountain; now a mainstream word for a particular subculture of vagrants, especially in Cape Town. When used as slang refers to anyone down-and-out

bill - used to ask for the cheque; as in: "Can I have the bill, please?", identical to British English

biltong - dried meat, similar to jerky (a mainstream word)

blerrie/bladdy - damn

bliksem - strike, hit, punch; also used as an expression of surprise/emphasis (rude; many consider the word a profanity). It derives from the Dutch word for "lightning", and often occurs in conjunction with donner. Used as a curse in Afrikaans: Jou bliksem!

bioscope, bio, fliek - cinema, movie theatre (now[update] dated), originally a international English word that became defunct elsewhere, it has survived longer in South Africa as a result of the influence of the Afrikaans cognate bioskoop. Also related to the Dutch word "bioscoop", which still means "cinema" in Netherlands usage.

blou - being sad as in the English language feeling blue

bloutrein - literally "blue train", referring to methylated spirits, sometimes used for drinking (filtered through a loaf of white bread). Also refers to the Blue Train, a luxury train that travels from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

boer - literally "farmer" in Afrikaans. English-speaking people use the word to indicate an Afrikaans farmer, especially in a derogatory way, like "country bumpkin", "boorish"; but Afrikaners use it with much pride, indicating a person with a deep love of the soil of Africa, a provider of food.

boerewors - spicy sausage (Afrikaans) farmer-sausage, used as a mainstream word in South African English
boet - male friend (synonym for broer meaning brother, see also bru and bra below); compare American English: "dude"

bokkie - (diminutive of bok, literally meaning "goat" or "doe") a popular term of endearment, comparable to "sweetheart", "honey", etc.

bompie - A fat girl that is easy to get into bed. (For example: "Rico het 'n bompie vasgedruk gisteraand.")

boom - Literal translation is "tree" but is commonly used to refer to marijuana

bosberaad - strategy meeting held outdoors, for example in a game reserve
boskak - to defecate out on the veld (then using a handful of bushes or leaves to wipe the behind) (bos=bush; kak=shit)

bossies, or bosbefok - crazy, whacko, mad. Also a term to describe one who has shell shock. Refers to the time of the South African Border War where soldiers spent time in the bush ("bos/bosse") and would return home suffering battle flash-backs (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

brak - mongrel dog, can also refer to brackish water.

broekie - panties or ladies underwear. From Afrikaans: broek, meaning "trousers". Common usage: "Don't get your broekies in a knot" = "Calm down".

bra - male friend compare American English: "dude"

bru - A term of affection see also "bra" and "boet", shortened from Afrikaans broer, meaning "brother". An example would be "Hey, my bru, howzit?"

braai - a barbecue, to barbecue (from braaivleis), used a mainstream word in South African English
cheekyprawn - a term of foul abuse

china/chine - a friend; as in the greeting howzit china (likely origin: Cockney rhyming slang "China plate" (meaning "my mate"); from early British immigrants.

chommie/chomma - a friend (compare English "chum"); also refers to the perineum area between vagina and anus

choty goty - beautiful girl

chrisco - a party/disco where Christian music mainly features. A combination of the words 'Christian' and 'Disco'

cuiter - a word used to describe somebody if one has a strong dislike for that person. It has a similar meaning to the word cunt in the English language e.g. daai cuiter pronk toe nog so lekker toe donner ek hom

dagga - most common word for Marijuana.

dik bek - grumpy, in a huff (literally: "thick mouth" (pout), with an image of puffed-out cheeks like a bullfrog)

domkop - idiot (lit. Dumbhead), same as German "dummkopf"

donner - to beat up. Used together with "bliksem". Derived from "donder" (thunder, related to Thor). Amounts to an ancient curse.

doos - idiot (more likely an "asshole"; can also mean "female genitalia") (profanity)(rude). For example: "John is the biggest doos to walk the planet!" From the Afrikaans word for box as used in common everyday language. Though people trying to speaking Afrikaans in a pure form still use the word doos when referring to a small box.

dof - stupid or slow to understand.

dop - alcohol, to drink alcohol, to fail. For example: "Come and drink a dop (a drink) with me" or "I'm gonna dop that test."

dorpie - small town

doss, dossing - Sleep or nap.

Droë wors - (Afrikaans) 'dry sausage', similar to biltong

dronkie - drunkard

draadtrek - masturbation, pulling your wire.

druk - to embrace (not necessary sexually)

eina! - ouch! used as a mainstream word in South African English

ek sê - I say!

entjie - Cigarette. For example, "Awe ou. Steek 'n ent!"

flaterwater - correction fluid (e.g.: Tipp-Ex, Wite-Out) [comes from flater (mistake) and water (water)

floue - an unfunny (weak) joke (used by Gauteng Indians, from the Afrikaans word for weak), can also refer to weak coffee or tea or weak alkoholic drink. A person that is weak. (Die man is te flou "The man is too weak").

gatvol - fed up, had enough. (Afrikaans - asshole-full).

gees - Literal translation it means spirt, for something to have spirit. (daai ou het nou groot gees gevang)

gesuip - very drunk, intoxicated, plastered. Original Afrikaans meaning for an animal drinking (water) - of course.

goffel - Ugly girl/woman. For example,"What a G!". Also a degrading term for a person or coloured origin.

gomgat - bumpkin, redneck. (in the US sense, not to be confused with rooinek, the literal translation of redneck.)
goof, goef - swim, dip

gooi - throw, chuck or to "tune" (see below) someone.

gwar - vagina (vulgar).

"heita" - heita, meaning "hello" or "hi".

hoesit, hoezit, howzit - derived from "How is it going? - contracted to how's it?_In English SA context, howzit is more a greeting of "hello" rather than "how are you?", similar to SA black slang's "eta" or "ola"

hoer - whore

hotnot/hottie - derogatory term for a Coloured person (The Oxford English Dictionary notes use of "hotnot" as recently as 1992.)

in sy moer - badly damaged, destroyed (rude, often considered profanity due to 'moer')

ja - yeah (literally "yes" in Afrikaans)

jags - Meaning "horny". For example, "Jinne meisie, jy maak my nou sommer lekker jags."

ja-nee - Literal translation : Yes No. Example : Dis warm vandag. (It's hot today) : Ja-Nee. Agreement, but not enthusiastically so.

jislaaik! - expression of surprise, can be positive or negative. Often used when you get a fright, but equally often during particularly exciting parts of a rugby game.

jol - to have fun, to party, can also refer to a disco or party, to commit adultery or even dating or courting'

kaffer or kaffir - derogatory word for a black person; as in "Don't call me a kaffer". Equivalent in offensiveness to "Nigger" in USA. Derives either from the Dutch word "kaffer" meaning ill-mannered or clumsy, or the Arab "kafir" meaning infidel.

kak - Literal translation : Shit. Crap, rubbish, nonsense (profanity), of very wide usage. Also used as a way of further expressing one's feeling in language, for example, instead of "that girl is pretty" one can say emphatically "that girl is kak pretty!"

katkop - half a loaf of bread hollowed out and filled with chips (i.e. French fries, not crisps) (Literal translation from Afrikaans = cat head or cat's head)

khaki - (from the colour worn by British troops) derogatory term for an English person

kêrels - police (Original Afrikaans meaning: guys). "The kêrels are coming, watch out!" (Dated). More commonly referring to boyfriend or Literal translation : Guy or young man.

kiff, kif, kief - (adjective) poisonous, wicked, cool, neat, great, wonderful. The word derives from the Afrikaans word for poison: gif. Coastal pot-smokers used the term to describe Durban Poison: "Gifs"([locally-grown marijuana). The word evolved into kiff, an adjective for "cool", amongst English-speaking people on the east coast.

klankie - unpleasant smell. Also said as just "Klank". Pronounced as in "Clunk"

klap - to smack. (From Afrikaans). "He got klapped in the bar". Like a "bitch-slap".

koffie-moffie - a camp male waiter or air steward. See "moffie".

krimpie - old person

kwaai - cool, excellent (Afrikaans: "angry". Compare the US slang word phat.)

lag - to laugh. For example: They lag at the joke.

laaitie, lighty - a younger person, esp. a younger male such as a younger brother or son

lank - lots/a lot

laanie, larny - (n) boss, used in a deferent tone. (adj) fancy

lekker - nice, good, great (lit. tasty)

loskind - a really slutty girl, usually wears revealing clothes and is easy to get with (For example: "Nicola is 'n loskind!")

maat - friend (OED), also your partner (wife, girlfriend)

mal - mad, crazy, insane

mamparra - stupid, silly

muggie - bug, especially a little flying gnat

moegoe - stupid person, coward, or weakling

moffie - male homosexual (derogatory). Can be compared to "fairy".

moer-toe - stuffed up or destroyed (my car is moer-toe)

mompie - retard. ("Liesl, you are such a Mompie!")

mos - Afrikaans, implies that what has been said is well known or self-evident (a formal part of grammar, the closest English equivalent would be "duh!"). "Ek drink mos tee." ("I drink tea, duh!"). Used at the end of a sentence, as in "...Jy weet mos." ("...You know then.")

naai - slang for sex (In Afrikaans, naai actually means to sew).

N.A.A.F.I. - (pronounced NAAFI) acronym for: "No Ambition and Fuck-all Interest"; (originated from the (still existing) British military "Navy, Army and Air Force Institute") used to describe a lazy person. Used extensively during the days of National Service.

nè? - do you know what I mean/agree?, oh really?, is it not so?, e.g. "Jy hou van tee, nè?" ("You like tea, don't you?") (informal)

nogal - of all things. Term expressing a measure of surprise

nooit - never, no way, unbelievable!

oom - an older man of authority, commonly in reference to an older Afrikaans man (Afrikaans for uncle)

pap - traditional maize porridge similar to grits; can also mean "deflated".

plaas - Literal : Farm. .

platteland - rural area

piel - penis

poep - fart. Also: "spuitpoep", literally a "squirt fart" for "diarrhoea" (not used in polite company)

pomp - to have sex (from Afrikaans word for pump) (rude)

pommie, pom - derogatory term for an English person (borrowed from Australia)
rooinek - ("red neck") Afrikaner derogatory term for English person or English speaking South African. Derived in 19th century due to native British not being used to the hot African sun and getting sunburnt, especially on the neck. Almost the exact opposite to the American usage of "redneck".

sies - expression of disgust, disappointment, annoyance, as in: ag, sies, man.
scrompie - slang for "hobo" or bergie. (Liesl told her 7-year-old son, Karl, to walk away from the scrompie walking towards them.)

skeef - crooked, gay, as in: hy het 'n bietjie skeef voorgekom (he seemed a bit gay)

skop, skiet en donner - literally "kicking, shooting and beating people up". A colloquial description of an action movie of the more violent kind. (Think Jean-Claude Van Damme.)

skelm - crook, or mistress, secret lover

skinner, skinder - gossip

skort - watch out, be careful or something is wrong here.

skyf - cigarette

smaak - to like another person or thing

smaak stukkend - to like very much or to love to pieces (literal meaning of stukkend). "I smaak you stukkend" = "I love you madly".

smeerlaken - Afrikaans lit. "spread" + "sheet" i.e. an Excel or Lotus worksheet

sommer - for no particular reason, just because

steek - stab, poke (with knife); have sex. "He/she steeked her/him" = "He/she poked her/him".
steekmoer - someone who looks like a woman from the back but a man from the front. Used as a derogatory term for males with long hair

stukkie, stekkie - a woman (from the Afrikaans meaning "a piece") - mostly used when referring to a woman that you have/have casual encounters with

stoep - porch, verandah, like American English stoop, but pronounced with a shorter vowel
stompie - a cigarette butt, a short person or impolite term to refer to the remaining arm/leg/finger after an amputation.

tekkies - sneakers. (The Anglicised pronunciation tackies has become mainstream in South African English.)

tiet - English equivalent Boob or Breast

vaalie - mildly derogative term used by people on the coast to describe a tourist from inland (Root: Old Transvaal province)

vellies - veldskoens, traditional Afrikaans outdoors shoes made from hide

verkramp - politically conservative or pessimistic, the opposite of verlig, or enlightened
voetsek/voetsak/voertsek - get lost, buzz off, go away, run, scram, stuff off, bugger off (it can be considered rude, depending on the context)

vrek - derogatory term for dead. (Original Afrikaans meaning for an animal dying)

vrot - bad, rotten, putrid, sometimes drunk

vrotbek - someone who swears a lot or is swearing a lot at the moment.

vry - to make out or courting (equivalent to American "necking", British "snogging" or Australian "pashing")

woes - wild, untidy, unkempt or irreverent. A general term pertaining to either a person, behaviour or situation

zol - a homemade cigarette rolled with old newspaper or rizlas (likely marijuana-filled) joint (equivalent to American "doobie")

gogga - bug (from Khoe xo-xo, creeping things, here the g is pronounced like ch in Scottish loch)

chaile - time to go home

donga - ditch of the type found in South African topography. (From Zulu, "wall"; this has become a mainstream word for such a feature.)

eish! - an interjection expressing resignation

fundi - expert (from Nguni 'umfundisi' meaning teacher or preacher) - used in mainstream South African English

gogo - grandmother, elderly woman (from Zulu, ugogo)

haw! - expression of disbelief

indaba - conference (from Zulu, 'a matter for discussion'); has become a mainstream word in South African English
inyanga - traditional herbalist and healer (compare with sangoma)

jova - injection, to inject (from Zulu)

muti - medicine (from Zulu umuthi) - typically traditional African

sangoma - traditional healer or diviner

spaza - an informal trading-post/convenience store found in townships and remote areas

toyi-toyi - protest-dancing; used in mainstream South African English

tsotsi - gangster, layabout, no gooder

yebo - Zulu meaning yes

bonehead - derogatory term for an Afrikaner

bra - male friend (shortening of brother)

cherps or chips - "Watch out!", as in "Chips chips everyone, here comes the teacher!" (distinct from the food or snack). Also often used when something gets thrown. Compare "heads up!".
chop - idiot, doos

connection - a friend, mate, chommie

cozzie - a swimsuit, short for swimming costume

doff - stupid. "Are you doff?"

dop - Drink or to drink, primarily when talking about alcohol

now now - an immediate but not literal declaration of impending action, may be past or future tense. From the Afrikaans expression "nou nou". (as in 5–60 minutes)
Dutchman - derogatory term for a white Afrikaner.

isit - (pronounced: izit) the words "is" and "it" put together. Short term for "Is that so?" (For example: John: "Bra, I just found out I have a million dollars!" Charles: "Isit?"; or: John: "Bru, you would not believe how amazing it felt to footskate in front of all those people." Charles: "Isit?") Also, it can mean "really?"

lift - elevator

location - a Bantu township

packet - a plastic bag

scheme - to think that (e.g. "I scheme we should go home now"; usage evolved from the hyperbole "What are you scheming?" asked of a person deep in thought.)

siff - if something is gross or disgusting or ugly. "Did you see her oufit? It was totally siff!"
slops - flip-flops

swak - carrying out an action resulting in an undesirable or negative outcome; "when you chaffed my cherrie the other day, it was swak oke. Totally swak"; "Moderating a list of slang words is impossible and totally swak oke"

Skommel (draadtrek) - to masturbate

tune - to give someone lip ("Are you tuning me?")
voetsêk - impolite way to say "go away", commonly used with animals or as derogatory term. (from Dutch voort seg ik)

zaamie - a sandwich

chow - to eat

shebeen - illegal drinking-establishment (from Irish sibín), synonymous with speakeasy. In South Africa it refers in particular to unlicensed bars in the townships, and has become a mainstream word. During the apartheid era laws prohibited non-whites from consuming any alcohol except traditional sorghum beer, and taverns selling 'hard-tack' became the centre of social activity.

tom - money or cash, as in "I must earn some tom". From Cockney rhyming slang where "tom" comes from "tomfoolery" ("jewellery")

befok - "mad"; also possibly "super cool"

duidelik - direct from Afrikaans, meaning "clear"; used to express clarity on something or excitement about something.

eksê - from Afrikaans, translated it means "I say".

lekker - "nice" (from Afrikaan). The first form occurs more commonly; the second predominates in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
lappie(pronounced *luppee*)- "cloth", "dish towel" "face cloth"

maader - "the best", "excellent"

naai - "sex" (Western Cape) Also used as a noun "Jou ou naai" (literally "You screw") and used in the plural: "naaie" (literally more than one "screw"), meaning an undesirable person rather than the sexual act. Definitely not polite language.

posie/pozzie - "home". Afrikaans-speakers tend to use the first for; English-speakers the second.

Stukkie - "girl" or possibly "girlfriend"

Tannie - "aunt", used by Afrikaans-speakers

Toppie - "old man", used by Afrikaans-speakers

Vrou - my wife, as in 'Ek sê, I must first ask my Vrou'; from the Afrikaans word for 'wife"/"woman".

swak - bad

aspriss (pron. arse-priss) - to intentionally do something ("I closed the door on him aspriss")

flim - mispronounced filim

slaat - action like hit. For example: Don't choon me what what an' all, I slaat you one time laanie.

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