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10 South African English Slangs You Should Know

in Travel Nerd by

Yes, South Africans speak English and don’t even start with a question like “So if you’re from South Africa, why are you white?” on someone when it’s your first time in their country. South Africa has 11 official languages but English is the commonly spoken language throughout the country. Cool right? So what are some of the South African English slangs that you might encounter while visiting the country? Here’s 10 of them.

1. Braai

Photo Source : Neshika Thakurdin

Photo Source : Neshika Thakurdin

If it’s your first time in South Africa, be ready to be invited to a braai or backyard barbecue. Whatever the day, the occasion, or the weather is, no one can stop South Africans from having that good braai.

 

2. Ag Shame!

Photo Source : The Tiger-Club

sushi donuts

Photo Source : The Tiger-Club

Ag when pronounced sounds like the “ach” in the German “achtung”. When combined with the word shame, the whole phrase “Ag shame” is equivalent to “Cute!” or “Horrible!” Kinda confusing right?

3. Izit?

Photo Credit: Giphy

Photo Credit: Giphy

Derived from the two words, “is” and “it”, the slang word “Izit?!” basically means “Really?!” or “Is that so?” It’s best used when you don’t have the slightest idea about what the other person is talking about.

4. Howzit?

Photo Source : Aquila

Photo Source : Aquila

The universal South African greeting “Howzit” which means “Hello” is often accompanied by a “Yes!” You can say “Yes, howzit?” where it can be answered with “No, fine.”

 

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