How to speak South African

Vuvuzelas (pic courtesy of Vuvuzela South Africa -

Especially for World Cup tourists – a brief but handy guide to some of South Africa’s most commonly used slang (prompted by an English reader who asked me if “vuvuzela” was an obscure gynaecological condition!).
NB: If you’re asking for directions, make a special note of number 8!

 1. Dop – an alcoholic drink (as in “have a dop”)

 2. Howzit – how are you?

 3. Jislaaik  (yis-like) – wow!

 4. Jol (jawl) – party, good time (let’s have a jol; it’ll be a jol)

 5. Kief (kif) – really cool

 6. Larney – posh, smart (as in “larney neighbourhood”; “those VIP seats are just for the larnies”)

 7. Lekker – nice (we’ll  have a lekker time)

 8. Robot – traffic light (turn right at the next robot)

 9. Skinner – gossip (Did you hear the skinner about Benni McCarthy?)

 10. Takkies – sneakers (American) trainers (English), plimsolls (really old-fashioned English)

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This entry was posted by stevieg on Tuesday, June 8th, 2010 at 9:44 am and is filed under General . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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