Books by Brent Meersman

Latest: Rattling the Cage (2021) A Childhood Made Up (2020) Homo Odyssey (2018) Sunset Claws (2017) 80 Gays around the World (2015) Five Lives at Noon (2013) Reports Before Daybreak...

Brent Meersman


amagoduka (Xhosa) migrant workers; from‚ ukugoduka meaning to go home eg Ndiyagoduka = I am going home
askari – East-African soldier or police. Used to describe blacks who enforced colonial / apartheid rule
AWB Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (Afrikaans Resistance Movement) an armed Neo-Nazi organisation
baas – boss (blacks were expected to use this as a term of address for any white man)
bakkie – pickup truck
balsak  – slang for a duffel bag (literally ball bag, as in scrotum)
befokked – fucked
bergie – homeless person in Cape Town
blerrie – as in English bloody for shock or anger
bliksem – bastard
boep  – pot belly
boepens – potbelly
boerewors – South African suasage
boet – brother
boetie  – little brother
bokbaard – goatee
boma – grandma
bosberade – “bush council”, a strategy meeting in an isolated venue
braaisous – marinade for BBQ
brei – refers to the manner some Afrikaans people speak with an uvular “r”
Broederbonder – a secret Afrikaans business league
broekielace – decorative wrought iron work
Buffel a type of armoured caramaqabane – IFP term for communists at the time
bunny chow – Durban food in which a bread is hollowed out and filled
casspir – type of armoured personnel carrier
chakalaka – a spicy tomato and onion mix
daggakop – slang for a person, literally – cannabis head
doek – headscarf
dompas – apartheid era identity document “non-white” South Africans were forced to carry
donga – dry watercourse
duwweltjies – a thorn (of Tribulus terrestris)
dwaal – daze
eish! – an exclamation
Fapla –  People’s Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola
fokof – fuck off (Afrikaaans)
gat – hole
GCM! – a slang exclamation
gemors – mess
gesuip – get drunk
goggas – creepy crawleys
gogo – affectionate term for a grandma or any older woman
gunge – mess, sticky substance
gyppo guts – diarrhoea
handlanger – sidekick
hendsopper – pejorative word for Afrikaaners who surrendered to the British during the Anglo-Boer war
hok – cage
igeza – mad
imbongi – a traditional praise singer
impi – warrior
impimpi – a police informer
impis – Zulu military formation
induna  – the chief’s advisor, but on the mines a black overseer
induna – the chief’s advisor, but on the mines a black overseer
ingcibi – the witchdoctor who does the circumcision
intelezi – magic potion of herbs to cleanse
intwaso – the process of weird dreams that begins the possession by the ancestors
ja-nee – literally: yes-no, a common Afrikaans expression for agreeing with someone
jalabia  – the long Moslem dress
kaffertije –  black person, dimunitive form (insulting)
kak – shit
kak , kakgat – shit; shit trench/hole
karoo plain with no water – the large interior desert of South Africa Kei the Kei river
kêrels – guys
kettie – a slingshot
kikoi – an East African cloth worn by men and women
kitskonstabels – “instant constable”, referred to new police deployed with little training to shore up numbers
klap – slap
Klippies – Klipdrift brand of brandy
klong – offensive racist term usually applied to a coloured or black youth (from klein (small) + jong (young))
Klova – an insulting term used to taunt someone
knobkierie  – a club which one throws OR walking stick with a knob at the top used in fighting
knobkieries (not knobkerries) – short stick with a knob at the head used in fighting
Koevoet – “crowbar”, the term for an elite counter-terrorism squad
koppie – hill
lappie – rag
larnie – fancy (slang)
lobola – bride price
lobolo – neogtiaion of bride price
los poppies – “loose” women
makwerekwere makoerekoere – derogatory word for black immigrants
mebos – a sweet confection from dried fruit
meidenaaier – literally “maid fucker”
mielie – corn; corn cob
mielies – corn
moegoe – idiot
moffie – homosexual
mofgat – Derogatory for a homosexual, meaning “homo arse”
morogo  – a wild spinach
mpundulubird  – a mythical bird
muti – African potion for magical strength
naai – fuck
necklace / necklaced – term used to describe execution using a burning tyre
oke – guy
oshona  – a dry riverbed or plane
ou sis – older sister
oubaas – old boss, affectionate term for an older white man or patriarch
panga – a machete
panga(s) – machete
pêl – pal
piepies – diminutive for penises
poephol – arsehole
poesboekie  – literally – vagina book; softporn magazine
pondok – hovel
potjie – a stew dish referring to the three-legged cast iron pot it is cooked in
rooinek – derogatory term for Enlgishman (literally red neck referring to sunburn)
samajoor – sergeant major
samp – coarse ground maize
shebeen – speakeasy
shebeen – a speakeasy
silindele – We are waiting expectantly
sjambok – a type of whip
sloot – a ditch
snoek – a type of fish
sorrie – sorry
soutpiel – salt penis (used for English South Africans, the Afrikaners said they had one leg in Europe and the other in Africa and their penis hanging in the sea)
spaza – a convenience store found in African townships and rural areas
squeegee – a sponge mop
staban  – homosexual (derogatory)
stayaway(s) – a form of workers’ strike
stoep – terrace, veranda
stokvel – a savings syndicate
stywe pap – thick maize porridge
terrs – terrorists
tickey-box – phonebooth
tjaile – rest time
toppie – old man
trilby – a type of hat
truessbob – “as true as Bob”
tshisa nyama – BBQ
tsotsi  a gangster
umlungu – white man
umngqusho – porridge (traditional)
voetsek  get lost (exclamation)
watsenaam – what’s his name
wena – watch out
witdoeke – a vigilante group in the 1980s in the Western Cape
wors – sausagechar  to clean, a cleaning lady (yes)

Xhosa & Zulu phrases

Nceda, hlala phantsi – Please sit down

Injani intombi yakho – how is your daughter?

Uphumaphi? – where have you come from?

Ikrisimesi Emnandi – merry Christmas

Sininqwenelela Unyaka Omtsha – happy new year

Molo, bhuti – hello, brother

Gcwalisa! – fill up

Molo, kunjani? – hello, how are you

Bekumnandi ukuthetha nawe. Sobonana kwakhona ngomso. – It was good to speak to you. We will see each other tomorrow.

AmaBhulu akwelizwe ayosbel’ emanzini; siyohlala sisodwa emhlabeni wethu – The Afrikaners who are in this country are going to escape to the water;  We will live alone in this country

Mawayek’ umhlaba wethu – They should leave our country

Anqonqoza amajoni afikile, ye, ye, ye mama, ye majoni afikile – The soldiers knocked; they have arrived; yes, mama, the soldiers have arrived

Bavumeleni abantwana beze kum, Jerusalem halala – Let the children come to me, Jerusalem

Umshini Wam’, mshini wam; Khawuleth’umshini wam; Umshini Wam’ we baba – I want my machine gun; bring me my machine gun

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