*  AG  This is one of the most useful South African words. Pronounced like the "ach" in the German "achtung" it can be used to start a reply when you are asked a tricky question, as in "Ag, I don't know." Or a sense of resignation "Ag, I'll have some more
mieliepap then." It can stand alone too as a signal of irritation or of pleasure. 

* DONNER  A rude word, it comes from the Afrikaans "donder" (thunder).Pronounced "dorner", it means "beat up." Your rugby team can get donnered in a game, or your boss can donner you if you do a lousy job. 

* EINA  Widely used by all language groups, this word, derived from the Afrikaans means "ouch." Pronounced "aynah", you can shout it out in sympathy when someone burns his finger on a hot mealie at a braai. 

* HEY  Often used at the end of a sentence to emphasise the importance of what has just been said, as in "Jislaaik boet, you're only going to get a lekker klap if you can't find your takkies now, hey ?" It can also stand alone as a question. Instead of saying,
"excuse me?"  or "pardon?" when you have not heard something directed at you, you can say   "Hey?"      

* ISIT? This is a great word in conversations. Derived from the two words "is" and "it", it can be used when you have nothing to contribute if someone tells you at the braai "The Russians will succeed in their bid for capitalism once they adopt a work ethic and respect for private owner-ship." It is quite appropriate to respond by saying, "Isit?" *

*JAWELNOFINE This is another conversation fallback word. Derived from the four words "yes", "well", "no" and "fine", it means roughly "how about  that?" If your bank manager tells you your account is overdrawn,  you can say with confidence   "Jawelnofine."

* JISLAAIK Pronounced "Yis-like", it is an expression of astonishment. For instance, if someone tells you there are a billion people in China, a suitable comment is   "Jislaaik, that's a hang of a lot of  people, hey?" *

*KLAP Pronounced "klup" - an Afrikaans word meaning smack, whack or spank. If you spend too much time at the movies at exam time, you could end up catching a sharp klap from your pa. In America, that is called  child abuse. In South Africa, it is called
promoting education.

* LEKKER An Afrikaans word meaning nice, this word is used by all language groups to express approval. If you see someone of the opposite sex who is good-looking, You can exclaim "Lekkerrr!" while drawing out the last syllable.

* TACKIES These are sneakers or running shoes. The word is also used to describe automobile or truck tyres. "Fat tackies" are big tyres, as in "Where did you get those lekker fat tackies on your Volksie, hey?"

* DOP This word has two basic meanings, one good and one bad. First, the good. A dop is a drink, a cocktail, a sundowner, a noggin. If  you are invited over for a dop be careful. It could be one or two sedate drinks or a blast, depending on the company you have fallen in with. Now the bad. To dop is to fail. If you dopped Standard Two (Grade 4) more than once, you probably won't be reading this.

* SARMIE This is a sandwich. For generations, school children have traded sarmies during lunch breaks. If you are sending kids off to school in the morning, don't give them liver-polony sarmies. They are the toughest to trade.

* HOWZIT This is a universal South African greeting, and you will hear this word throughout the land. It is often used with the word "no" as in this exchange   "No, howzit?". "No, fine.", "No, isit?".

* WHAT'S POTTING Local vernacular for " Whats happening " or " What's up" . This term  has no gardening connotation whatsoever.

* BIOSCOPE A local word now losing a little fashion meaning movie theatre, cinema, flicks or pictures, depending on which part of the world you come  from.

* JUST NOW Contrary to it's apparent meaning, ' just now ' can mean anytime from now right  through to the next millennium.Asked to do a job you  don't particularly like, you would reply "Ja, I'll do it just now"            

* NOW NOW In much of the outside world, this is a comforting phrase   "Now, now, don't cry - I'll take you to the bioscope tomorrow." But in South Africa, this phrase means a little sooner than soon. "I'll clean my  room now now Ma.", knowing that you
will receive a well deserved ' klap if  you don't do it at once. It is a little more urgent than "just now".

* BOET This is an Afrikaans word meaning "brother" which is shared by all language groups. Pronounced "boot" as in "foot", it can be applied to non-brother. For instance a father can call his son "boet" and friends can apply the term to each other too.
Sometimes the diminutive "boetie " is used. Don't use the term with someone you hardly know - it would be thought patronising.

*PASOP From the Afrikaans phrase meaning "Watch out!" This warning is used and heeded by all language groups. As in   "Your ma hasn't had her morning coffee yet Boet so pasop and stay out of her way." Sometimes just the word, "pasop!" is enough without further explanation. Everyone knows it sets out a line in the sand not to be crossed.

* VROT Pronounced "frot". A wonderful word which means "rotten" or "putrid" in Afrikaans, it is used by all language groups to describe anything they really don't like. Most  commonly it describes fruit and vegetables whose shelf-lives have long expired, but a pair of tackies (sneakers) worn a few times too often can be termed "vrot" by  unfortunate folk in the same room as the wearer. Also a rugby player who misses important tackles can be said to have played a vrot game-but not to his face because he won't appreciate it. We once saw a movie review with this headline  
"Slick Flick, Vrot Plot."

* JA-NEE Afrikaans for "Yes/No" in English. This expression's origin is  believed to have originated when a family member starts talking politics what else do we talk about in South Africa?) and you don't want to cause a political  argument and get klapped or donnered, then every now and then you mutter, "Ja-Nee." (pronounced yah - near).

* GRAZE In a country with a strong agricultural tradition, it is not surprising that farming words crop up (pun intended) in general conversation.  Thus to graze means to eat. If you are invited to a bioscope show, you may be asked "Do you want to catch a graze
now now.

* CATCH A TAN This is what you do when you lie on the beach pretending to study  for your matric exams. The Brits, who have their own odd phrases, say they are getting "bronzed". Nature has always been unkind to  South African school children, providing beach and swimming pool weather  just  when they should be swotting for the mid-summer finals. If you spend  too much time "catching a tan" at exam time, you could end up catching  sharp "klap" from your pa.

* ROCK UP To rock up at some place is to just sort of arrive. You don't make an appointment or tell anyone you are coming - you just rock up. Friends can do that, but you have to be selective about it. You can't just rock up for an interview or at a five star
restaurant. You give them a bell first, then you can rock up.

* BELL South African vernacular for telephone call as in " Ja Boet, I'll  give you a bell just now " which means phoning anytime from now to  eternity.

* SCALE To scale something is to steal it, A person who is "scaly" is not nice, he's a scumbag and should be left off the Christmas party invitation list 

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