Local terms & slang

There are 11 official languages in South Africa. English is widely spoken, being the language of choice for official and commercial purposes. It only ranks 5th of the 11 official languages however, in terms of those for whom it is their first language, with isiZulu as the highest, being the mother tongue of approximately 24% of South Africans.

Below are listed some local words and phrases that you will probably hear in Franschhoek and as you travel around:

Local language and slang terms
Bafana Bafana : National soccer (football) team (isiZulu for "The Boys")
Bakkie : Pick up truck
Bergie : A tramp/vagrant
Biltong : Dried spiced meat (called jerky overseas)
Bobotie : Cape Malay food (curried mince with egg sauce topping)
Boerewors : Long sausage (usually beef) cooked on a braai
Boet : Brother - term of endearment (Afrikaans)
Boks : See Springboks (below)
Braai : Barbecue (traditionally over wood fire)
Braaivleis : Barbecued meat
Bredie : Cape Malay mutton stew
Circle : Traffic roundabout
Cooldrink : Soft drink (soda), such as Coca Cola
Dankie : Thank you (Afrikaans)
Dorp : A very small town or village (such as Franschhoek)
Gatvol : Fed up (Afrikaans)
Is it? : A reply to a statement (meaning "Is that so?")
Jol : A good time/party
Just now : Soon (ish)
Howzit : Common greeting (how is it?)
Lekker : Very nice (Afrikaans)
Madiba : Affectionate name for Nelson Mandela
Naartjie : Tangerine (fruit)
Oke : A male (guy)
Potjiekos : A traditional stew, cooked in a cast iron pot, over a braai
Robot : Traffic lights
Rooibos : South African tea-like drink
Samoosa : Triangular, curry-filled pie
Sarmie : Sandwich
Slops (slip-slops) : Sandals
Snoek : Local fish, often cooked on the braai or smoked
Spanspek : Sweet melon
Sosaties : Kebabs
Springboks : South African national rugby team
To die for : Expression of great approval ("It's to die for")
Tokoloshe : Mythical creature (supposedly a very short, nasty man)
Van Der Merwe : Afrikaans surname. Used as the butt of jokes, like 'Paddy', in Irish jokes
Veld : The bush, scrubland
Yebo : Yes (isiZulu)