Afrikaans Slang Words:


If you are looking for a country with a large variety of cultures, languages, traditions, wildlife, or outdoor activities, nothing can compete with South Africa. In this blog post, we will look at one language in particular – Afrikaans. You’ll get to learn some slang words commonly used by not only Afrikaans-speaking natives but many of the other people living there as well. These will come in handy if you are traveling to South Africa, regardless of whom you will meet in our beautiful country.

But first, some interesting facts about South Africa.

1. SPORT: South Africa is officially the only country in the world to have hosted the Soccer, Cricket, and Rugby World Cup.

2. EXTREME SPORT: South Africa has the highest commercial bungee jump in the world at 710 feet. For surfers, we have world-class waves. With big swells and a huge coastline, surfing in South Africa is amazing.

3. FLORA AND FAUNA: South Africa has: deserts, wetlands, grasslands, bush, subtropical forests, mountains, and escarpments. Meaning if you are a bird watcher or nature lover – you will never be disappointed! Be sure to visit one of our national parks to see the Big Five. In Africa, the Big Five game animals are the lion, leopard, black rhinoceros, African bush elephant, and African buffalo.

4. WINE: South Africa’s Cape Winelands have over 550 wineries. Here you will find Route 62, the longest wine route in the world.

5. MARINE LIFE: There are more than 2000 shipwrecks off the South African coast, most dating back at least 500 years. You can also expect exceptionally rich marine life. We have a huge diversity of marine ecosystems and a variety of species.

6. WE HAVE 3 CAPITAL CITIES: Pretoria is the Executive Capital, Cape Town is the Legislative Capital, and Bloemfontein is the judicial Capital.

7. PREHISTORIC TIMES: The oldest remains of modern humans were found in South Africa and are well over 160,000 years old.

8. COLONIAL HISTORY: The Dutch and the British fought over South Africa. South Africa became a ‘sovereign independent state’ and part of the British Commonwealth in 1934. After it became a republic in 1961, South Africa’s official name became the Republic of South Africa.

9. 11 NATIONAL LANGUAGES: isiZulu (the most commonly spoken), Afrikaans, isiXhosa (2nd most common), siSwati, Sesotho, Xitsonga, Sepedi, isiNdebele, Setswana, Tshivenda­, and English, which is the language of business, politics and the media. There is also a large number of other, non-official languages. Most Africans speak more than one language, some up to four or five.

10. MEDICAL HISTORY: The first successful heart transplant was performed in a hospital in Cape Town by Dr. Christiaan Barnard on 3 December 1967. Read more about it here: 

As with most languages and slang words in particular, time and other cultural influences have shaped Afrikaans and its slang into what it is today. Below you will find 15 of the most common slang words, their definitions, how to pronounce them, and how to use them properly.


A barbecue, the Afrikaans word for grill.

Example: Ek is lus om te braai vanaand.

(I feel like barbequing something tonight.)


besides the standard meaning, in South Africa, this is also the name for traffic lights. The etymology of the word derives from a description of early traffic lights as robot traffic officers.

Example: Ek het nie die robot gesien nie!

(I did not see the traffic light!)


used to describe an unspecified time in the near future or recent past.

Example: Jou ma het nou-nou gebel.

(Your mom phoned a while back.)


used to describe a person who is suffering from a hangover.

Example: Hy is babalas vanoggend.

(He has a hangover this morning.)


the Afrikaans name for a pickup truck.

Example: Ek het my bakkie gestamp.

(I was in an accident with my pickup truck.)


an expression used to show annoyance, sympathy, pleasure, and so forth. It can be followed by a number of other words to emphasize the feeling. Similar to ‘Oh’ in English.

Example (annoyance): Ag tog, ek het my foon iewers gelos.

(Oh no, I have misplaced my phone somewhere.)

Example (sympathy): Aggenee, dit lyk of jy baie seer gekry het.

(Oh no, it looks like you really got hurt.)

Example (pleasure): Ag lekker, hierdie kos is heerlik!

(Oh my goodness, this food is amazing!)


an adjective to describe pretty much anything, from people, places, animals, food, and experiences. Meaning nice, enjoyable, pleasing, tasty, fun, and so forth.

Example (food): Hierdie slaai is baie lekker!

(This salad is delicious!)

Example (place): Kaapstad is `n lekker plek.

(Cape Town is a nice place.)

Example (an experience): Dit was lekker by die see.

(It was fun at the beach.)


an expression of dismissal, disbelief, or rejection

Example: Jy moet nou voetsek uit my huis uit.

(You need to get out of my house right now.)


an adjective to describe feeling upset, annoyed, or fed up with something or someone.

Example: Ek is gatvol vir my baas by die werk.

(I’m fed up with my boss at work.)


an exclamation of sudden pain, similar to ‘ouch!’ in English.

Example: Ek het my kop gestamp teen die muur, eina!

(I bumped my head against the wall, ouch!)


a name for any kind of insect or creepy-crawly.

Example: Daar is `n gogga op jou rug.

(There is an insect on your back.)


a party or social gathering that usually involves music and dancing.

Example: Hoe was die jol?

(How was the party?)


an adjective describing something that is cool, fun, or awesome.

Example: Dis kief!

(That’s awesome!)


used as a noun for a low-ranking gangster, someone who usually causes trouble or a petty street criminal.

Example: Daai man is `n regte skollie.

(That guy is bad news.)


the name for a pair of sport / athletic shoes, similar to sneakers or trainers.

Example: Ek moet nuwe tekkies gaan koop.

(I need to buy new trainers.)



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