It's lekker bru! A user's guide to S.African lexicon

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The Independent Online

Want to have a lekker time at the World Cup, chomping boerewors at a braai on the Veld or downing a rooibos at the shebeen next to the robot? Here's a newcomer's guide to some uniquely South African words and phrases for football fans heading to the month-long tournament.

- Howzit: A universal greeting, a short-form version of "How is it going?"

- Bru: Abbreviation of "brother" used to address friends and colleagues as in "Howzit bru?"

- Yebo: The Zulu word for Yes which is now used across the board.

- Sharp: A sign-off signalling an agreement as well as farewell, often said twice.

- Ag shame: An expression of sympathy or annoyance.

- Eish!: An exclamation expressing exasperation.

- Lekker: An Afrikaans word meaning superb or fantastic which is applied equally to a person, object or event.

- Braai: An originally Afrikaans word for barbecue, which often features a sizzling boerewors, a curled spiced sausage.

- Biltong: Dried meat - usually beef but also from other animals as ostrich, antelope or buffalo - which is eaten as a snack, often accompanied by a beer or glass of wine.

- Rooibos: Red bush tea, South Africa's unofficial national brew which is grown in the southwestern Cape region.

- Shebeens: Makeshift bars in the townships which sell often super strength homemade brews.

- Muti: A traditional tree or plant-based medicine. Its practioners are known as nyangas.

- Sangoma: Traditional Zulu healers or sorcerers who often summon ancestral spirits to foretell the future.

- Townships: Black-only neighbourhoods under apartheid that were once mainly shantytowns but now include middle-class areas. The most famous is Soweto, short-form for SOuth WEst TOwnships, near Johannesburg.

- Jozi: The abbreviation for the largest city of Johannesburg which is also known as Joburg.

- Veld or Veldt: An Afrikaans words meaning shrubland, it now generally refers to the countryside as a whole.

- Robot: Traffic lights.

 

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