Monday, June 7, 2010

Local Lingo You Should Know

The Johannesburg Times has compiled a list of 40 South Africanisms you should know.

These are intended for World Cup tourists ... but for those of us who will be following the event, it doesn't hurt to know what they mean. And maybe toss a few of them at the TV, now and then. Like, "I need a 'dop' or 10 because we played so badly. And I don't care if I have the 'babbelas' to end all 'babbelas' in the morning."

It strikes me that The Times could be making all of these up. But they should legit ... a sort of mix of Afrikaans and black African words.

A few other interesting usages:

BLIKSEM (BLUK-SEM): If you're in a pub and you accidentally spill a beer belonging to a man with a thick neck, he may say: "Do you want me to bliksem you?" Don't respond. Just run. Run for your life. It's the Afrikaans word for hit or strike or punch.

DAGGA: Again pronounced with a harsh "g". Marijuana. Illegal, but admittedly very easy to get hold if you're so inclined.

DOF: Stupid.

EISH (AYSH): Common term that denotes a wide range of emotions from joy and surprise to confusion and anger. When in doubt, use it.

HUNDREDS: Normally repeated twice in a sentence as in "Hundreds, bru, hundreds." It expresses either total agreement with what someone has just said, or confirmation that your life is all good (eg: "How are you?" "Ah, hundreds, man, hundreds"). Can also be used as a way of simply saying yes.

JOL: Party. Can be used as either a noun or verb, as in "That was a lekker jol" or "I went jolling last night and ended up in Fabio Cannavaro's hotel room. It was great. We set fire to it."

LANK: Beyond cool is lank cool. Also means a large amount of, as in "There were lank vuvuzelas at the game last night."

LEKKER (LAKKA): Great, awesome, amazing.

NOOIT (NOYT): Expression of disbelief or disdain. As in "Aah, nooit! There's chewing gum on my seat!" or "When I saw that advert with Ronaldo striking a homoerotic pose in a pair of tight underpants, I just thought 'Nooit, bru!'"

ROBOT: When you're asking for directions and someone says: "Left at the third robot," it is not because our streets are overrun with menacing cyborgs made by Japanese scientists. No. A robot is simply our word for traffic light.

SIFF: Gross, disgusting. "Check, that guy is picking his nose." "Siff, boet."

If you want to see the entire list ... follow the link, up in the first line.

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