Word list

In South African English more often British words are preferred above US variants for example with: lift rather than elevator;

The spelling is also closer to the British way of spelling, for example: colour (instead of color); neighbour (instead of neighbor)

SAE Word Meaning Word origin
Amabokoboko South African national rugby team  
amandla power Xhosa word (used as 'Amandla awethu')
babelas/babbelas hangover Afrikaans word
Bafana Bafana South African national soccer team Literally means: 'boys boys'
bakkie small truck Afrikaans word
Batho Pele People first Sotho motto used by the government
biltong jerky (salted dried meat) Afrikaans word
bobotie Cape Malay meat dish Afrikaans word
Boer Name used for Afrikaans speakers
(has political connotations)
Afrikaans word meaning "farmer"
boere Slang name for the 'police' Afrikaans word meaning "farmers"
boerekos home cooked meal Afrikaans word
boerewors sausage (usually beef) Afrikaans word
boom cannabis; literally 'tree' Afrikaans word
braai barbecue/grill Afrikaans word
braaivleis barbecued meat Afrikaans word
Coloureds term used to refer to people of a mixed race background  
dagga cannabis Afrikaans word
dominee reverend of an Afrikaans reformed church Afrikaans word
dwaal state of confusion Afrikaans word
Egoli Johannesburg Zulu word meaning "place of gold"
eina expression of pyn (ouch) Afrikaans word
eish expression of surprise  
for really really  
fundi expert  
hao expression of surprise Sesotho/N.Sotho/Tswana word
hamba walk, go Zulu/Xhosa word
imbongi praise singer Zulu/Xhosa word
imbizo tribal meeting Zulu word
impimpi police informant Zulu/Xhosa word
indaba meeting Zulu/Xhosa word
inyanga witch doctor Zulu word
is'it is it so From 'is dit' in Afrikaans
izibongo praise song Zulu/Xhosa word
ja yes Afrikaans word
ja-nee it is so Afrikaans literally: 'yes-no'
jukskei traditional Afrikaner game Afrikaans literally: yoke
kerk church, church institution Afrikaans word
klap to slap Afrikaans word
koppie small hill Afrikaans word
kwela South African black genre of music  
kwaito modern South African black genre of music  
lekker nice or good Afrikaans word
lekgotla court Sotho languages word
maar but Afrikaans word
marog edible green vegetable similar to spinach;
also used for a combination of green vegetables
Sotho languages
meneer sir Afrikaans word
mme respectful title for a female person Sotho languages word 'mother'
mokiti party Sotho languages
morabaraba traditional game; like nine man's morris  
mos indeed Afrikaans word
muti traditional medicine (herbal) Zulu word for 'medicine'
nca expression of liking or satisfaction  
ntate respectful title for a male person Sotho languages word 'father'
pap maize porridge Afrikaans word
pelile very tired Zulu word
plaas farm Afrikaans word
potjiekos traditional stew made on an open fire Afrikaans word
robot traffic light  
sangoma witch doctor Zulu word
sokkie school dance; social dance  
songololo millipede Xhosa word
sosatie kebab, skewered meat Afrikaans word
smaak like Afrikaans word (literally also 'taste')
spoor animal tracks Afrikaans word
stiffy computer disk  
Umkhonto weSizwe former millitary wing of the ANC Xhosa literally 'Spear of the Nation'
veld field/pasture Afrikaans word
volk nation Afrikaans word
yebo yes Zulu word
zol cannabis Afrikaans word : English

© J. Olivier (2009)