Not only are we a Rainbow Nation but we also have our own unique Rainbow Lingo. We had some fun at the office putting the A – Z on speaking SAFFA together.
Awe – A form of greeting (similar to Howzit) “Awe, Ma se kinders.”
Ag – An expression of irritaton “Ag, I am so bleak that Bafana Bafana lost again.”
Braai – More commonly known as a barbecue/barbeque. The art of cooking meat on an open fire
Bliksem – To hit someone
Bakkie – A small truck or small plastic (tupperware) container
Boet / bru – Affectionate term for a friend/mate
Biltong – dried meat (also known as jerky)
China/Cine/Chomma – a friend/mate
Chakalaka – Spicy relish normally put over pap
a Checkers – a plastic carrier bag
Dop – Alcohol or drink “Howzit my bru, let’s go for a dop.”
Dos – A snooze, a sleep, a nap
Eish – This is a very versatile word, can used when happy, sad or irritated (similar to jislaaik). Works well to always start a sentence with it “Eish! Can’t believe Parnell dropped that catch.”
Frikkadel – Typical South African meatball
Gees – Spirit, energy, vibe
Gatvol – Had enough
Howzit – Standard South African greeting. Works really nicely by following it with other SAFFA words like: boet, china, chomma, okes
Ja – YES. You will go far to find a SAFFA who doesn’t say JA
Jislaaik – This is a very versatile word, can used when happy, sad or irritated (similar to Eish). Works well to always start a sentence with it “Jislaaik, did you see that kiff try Burger scored?”
Just now – This refers to something that will happen soon, usually within a few minutes but also within in a couple of hours (same as “now now”).
Kiff/Kief – Expression of approval (similar to Lekker). “That was a kiff surf I just had my bru.”
Klippies – This is short for Klipdrift which is a popular brand of Brandy. Klippies and coke is a very popular drink in SA. Klippies goes hand in hand with “braai’. It is illegal to braai in SA without having Klippies or wors present.
Kombi – Mini bus / people carrier
Lank – Lots of/plenty. “I am lank tired, wish I could have a dos here.”
Lekker – This is a popular one, SA’s best expression of approval (similar to Kiff). “That was a lekker steak we just did on the braai.”
Madiba – An affectionate name for former President Nelson Mandela, and the name of his clan.
Moegoe – Idiot
Miff – Not nice “That milk tastes miff, it must be off.”
Mzansi – Term for our beautiful country
Now Now – This refers to something that will happen soon, usually within a few minutes but also within in a couple of hours (same as “just now”).
Oke/s – A guy or guys. same difference as chomman/china/boet/bru
Papsak – The foil bag inside a box of wine
Quagga – Extinct brownish type zebra
Robots – Traffic light. So when you get given directions in SA and are told to turn left at the robot, don’t look for R2D2, just look for the traffic lights.
Swak – Direct translation is weak. Used when things don’t go well. “It is so swak that I failed my test.”
Sharp Sharp – Another versatile one. Can mean hello, good-bye or I agree.
Takkies – Trainers / Sneakers. “I like to squeak some takkies on the dance floor.”
Ubuntu – Human kindness. All SAFFA’s like to thing they have the gees of ubuntu in them.
Vaalies – Term used for people from up North, Gauteng area (the old Transvaal)
Voetsak – Politely put, it means go away.
Wors – A savoury sausage that goes well with anything from pap & chakalaka to just as is on the braai. NB!! Just as with Klippies, this is a must have at a typical SAFFA braai.
Wena – this means YOU!
Xhosa – One of our 11 official languages
Yebo – Another expression for YES!
Zef – Common person, kitsch person