Books by Brent Meersman

Latest: Sunset Claws (2017) Primary Coloured (2007) Ophila and the poet (2010) Reports Before Daybreak (2011) Five Lives at Noon (2013) 80 Gays around the World (2015) Homo Odyssee...

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 person
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 – 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, mielicobs 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
poephol – asshole
poesboekie  literally – vagina book; softporn magazine
pondok  a hovel
pondok – hovel
potjie – a stew dish referring to the three-legged cast iron pot it is cooked in
rooinek  Englishman
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  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 local general trading shop
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 2 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
tsotsi – gangster
umlungu – white man
umngqusho – porridge (traditional)
voetsek  get lost (exclamation)
voetsek – bugger off
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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