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I'm looking for a word for a semi-open structure that is traditionally used for making braais (barbecue) in South Africa. The one I have in mind had a thatched roof, but I reckon that is not necessarily a rule. The building stood in the backyard. The building had one wall on each end, and the space where the other two walls should be was open. the building was of rectangular shape, but I don't think that mattered. I saw many like that when I was in Joburg and Parys. They referred to it with a particular name, but I cannot remember what that was. It was not shed, gazebo, lapa/lapha, rondavel, mokhoro, fale, cabana, chickee/chikee, Tiki hut (or any other kind of hut), palapa, pergola, ramada, barn , shelter,cottage or shack.

For a sample sentence: "Hey, should we have a braai (BBQ) in the *(missing word)".

It looked a bit like this (except that the thatch did not hang this low on the left side - on both sides the thatch was levelled like on the right side of this picture - and the walls on both ends were made of concrete).

braai area

Thanks

  • Re-editing the question to invalidate an answer is generally seen as bad form. But seeing as this was clearly not what you were looking for, I will delete my answer. – bendl Aug 21 '17 at 13:59
  • I did a quick google search and found some uses where they almost always used the word braai to explain the location. For example, braai area, braai patio and braai pergola – bendl Aug 21 '17 at 14:11
  • @bendl - Apologies for that. I was not aware of what you mentioned about editing my post. I thought I was doing right to include everything that was not what I was looking for. Thank you for your efforts to help me find the word. Unfortunately, none of the options listed is "that" specific word. I chose to go with lapa for now for lack of finding another word, as that is also correct. I'd still love to find "that" word though at some point, so I'll wait a few more days before I put your answer as accepted. Thanks – fiery Aug 21 '17 at 19:21
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Is it possible you're looking for the word Lapa?

Lapa /noun

South African

A courtyard or similar enclosure, especially the first of two courtyards in a traditional Sotho homestead

  • @ bendl - I'm actually marking your answer as correct now, as I just happened to finally (after months of looking) find the word I was looking for (boma) and I don't think it'll be understood anywhere else in the world. Just as I was giving up, I thought I'd change the wording in my search just a bit and found this elusive term! I'm going to use lapa nonetheless. Can't upvote you yet, as I don't have enough reputation, but your help was much appreciated. I'm going to add a specific comment, just in case someone else is ever looking for "that" word. thanks a lot. – fiery Aug 21 '17 at 19:42
  • The word I was looking for was BOMA, which actually means an enclosure for animals, but somehow came to mean a thatched structure used for dinners or entertainment in SA. Funnily enough, Google (images) does not seem to agree with that definition, as most of what I found doesn't look anything like a lapa. afktravel.com/57136/say-what-a-glossary-of-south-african-slang sapeople.com/2014/07/02/south-african-english brandsouthafrica.com/people-culture/culture/… – fiery Aug 21 '17 at 19:52
  • @fern If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you'll see that there's an 'answer your question' button. You're obviously under no obligation to do that here, but I'd recommend you do so, because answers are much easier to find than comments (which may be deleted!). All that being said, welcome to EL&U! – bendl Aug 21 '17 at 20:07
  • @ bendl - I thought lapa would be a better word in spite of finding the word I was looking for. no one out of SA would understand 'boma' as meaning that. whereas 'lapa' as far as I know can only mean one thing. I wouldn't want people to think I was having a braai in an enclosure with some cattle, but I'll do as you suggest then. Thanks a lot – fiery Aug 21 '17 at 20:17
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The word I was looking for was "boma", which actually means an enclosure for animals, but somehow came to mean a thatched structure used for dinners or entertainment in SA. Funnily enough, Google (images) does not seem to agree with that definition, as most of what I found doesn't look anything like the picture above. For this reason, in spite of finding the word I was looking for, I'll stick with 'lapa'. For those curious about the word "boma" (which in South Africa did look like the picture above), here are some references:

"Boma (bo-muh): This word is Bantu in origin, and traditionally referred to a wood-thatched structure used for holding livestock or provide protection. Also known by the Afrikaans name kraal, a boma is now used widely an an enclosure for dining or entertainment. If you stay at an upscale safari lodge, you’ll likely have a celebratory open-air dinner in a boma at some point." https://afktravel.com/57136/say-what-a-glossary-of-south-african-slang/

"boma (bow-mah) – noun – In South Africa, an open thatched structure used for dinners, entertainment and parties. Originally a form of log fortification used to keep livestock in or enemies out. First found in African explorer Henry Morton Stanley’s book How I found Livingstone (1871), the word is used across Africa and is of uncertain origin." https://www.sapeople.com/2014/07/02/south-african-english/

"boma: [bow-mah] An open thatched structure used for dinners, entertainment and parties." https://www.brandsouthafrica.com/people-culture/culture/south-african-english

protected by tchrist Aug 23 '17 at 15:11

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