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Talking the Talk in Cape Town

While you’re certain to be amazed at most of the things you see during your stay in Cape Town self-catering accommodation, some of the things you hear might take you by surprise too.

Here are some of the more usual unusual expressions you could encounter during your trip. With 11 different languages to choose from, South African slang is colourful and entertaining.

Aikona(I-kona) Aikona is an expression from the language, fanakalo, which is an amalgamation of several African languages. It means ‘’no’’ but has become akin to the expression, “No way?” in modern times.
Babbelas – This an expression for that fuzzy, achy feeling you experience if you overdo it on the wine route or in the gin bars of Cape Town i.e. a hangover. It comes from the Zulu word ‘ibhabhalazi’.
Bliksem – Bliksem is an Afrikaans word for lightning that can also mean ‘to hit’ as in, “I’ll bliksem you!” In another context, it can mean the same as ‘’blighter’’ as in “die klein bliksem” (the little blighter).
Boet – This is the Afrikaans word for brother and is also used in reference to a male friend. Sometimes it takes the form ‘boeta’. The word ‘Bra’ (bruh) or ‘Bru’ (brew) are also used in this context. Other words for friend include, ‘’chommie’’, ‘’china’’ and ‘cuz/cuzzie’. South Africans are clearly very friendly people.
Eina!(A-naa) “Eina!” is an exclamation of pain similar to ‘ouch!’. Eish! ­– (Ay-sh’ or ‘ee-sh), this is a Khoisan term and is used to express disbelief. Another way to express surprise is by using the Zulu term “Haibo” which means ‘definitely not’, or the Afrikaans term, “Jislaaik!”.
Gogga or Goggo – The g’s in this word are pronounced like the ‘ch’ in the Scottish word ‘loch’and the ‘o’s sound like ‘’aw’’. It simply means bug but is also often used as a term of endearment, especially in the diminutive, ‘’goggatjie”.
Lekker – This Afrikaans word for ‘tasty’ can mean all sorts of things. It’s pretty equivalent to the English word ‘nice’ which can be used in any context to describe something in a positive way. This word is pronounced similarly to (lacquer), and you’ll hear it a lot during your travels.

On the subject of food, you’re bound to come across the following terms during your stay in Cape Town self-catering accommodation:

  • Biltong – dried, spiced meat which is similar to jerky
  • Bunny Chow – Curry served in a hollowed-out loaf of bread
  • Boerewors – a roll of thick, fatty sausage, similar to Cumberland sausage
  • Braai – the act of cooking meat over an open-flame
  • Droewors – boerewors that has been dried out a la biltong
  • Melktert – A sweet pastry crust filled with milky custard and topped with cinnamon
  • Padkos – Any food that’s eaten on the road. Usually biltong, dry wors and sarmies (sandwiches)

It’s recommended that you sample all of these eats during your travels, they’re all “lekker, bru!”. Call us today to book your culinary and cultural adventure in Cape Town self-catering accommodation.

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