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Must know South African words

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Meaning: Good.

There are few ways a South African can better portray their satisfaction than with a passionate lekker.


Meaning: Traffic light.

Did you think there are actual robots controlling the flow of traffic on South African roads? That’s ridiculous.


Meaning: Just now.

You may be thinking that you know exactly what this means. But, no, even South Africans don’t always know, nou-nou refers to a few minutes, tomorrow, or never - An unknown amount of time.

"Izit? or Sho?"

Meaning: Is that so?

Best used when you have absolutely no clue what somebody is talking about but don’t want to sound like a dofkop (stupid head).

"Ja, nee"

Meaning: Yes, no.

These two words are often used in succession to express agreement or confirmation.


Meaning: Sorry.

This is an endearing term that is used by South Africans in just about every social situation. Seriously, when in doubt, just say “Ag shame” and your sentiment will be greatly appreciated.


Meaning: Oh man.

Pronounced “Ach” — is a filler word. We South Africans love our filler words. If you ever feel like you have said shame too often — very unlikely — just throw in a filler to change it up a bit.


Meaning: Because.

Have you ever done anything just because? We do it so much we have a special word for it.


+27 21 886 8342



Lutz Building, 11 Victoria Street, Stellenbosch, 7600


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