Questions tagged [south-african-english]

Questions pertaining to the South African dialect of English (SAfrE, SAfrEng, SAE, en-ZA).

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14
votes
1answer
472 views

What’s the origin of “arkees”, the Rhodesian word for school toilets?

At the very British-colonial Routledge primary school in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in the 1950s we were given breaks to run off to the toilets or "arkees" (I am giving the word a phonetic spelling). ...
1
vote
2answers
154 views

Is there an standard English dialect to use for programming and documents?

This question came up today in one of my code reviews at work. Where I used colour (South Africa English/British English) instead of color. Our company's opinion is to use American English for ...
2
votes
2answers
188 views

Word for semi-open structure used for making braais in South Africa

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
85 views

The use of the word “out” twice in the same sentence [closed]

Is this sentence correct or could one avoid using "out" twice: I have something important to say that's been stressing me out these days and I need to let it out
-1
votes
1answer
231 views

Plural of the term “South African” when referring to more than 1 person [closed]

I'm wondering about the plural of the term "South African" when used in context: There are two South African people standing there. My wife and I are South African here in Argentina. The first one ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Pronunciation of “apartheid”

How do South Africans pronounce "apartheid"? Is there a British/U.S. divide on this? Does it depend on whether your primary language is Afrikaans or not -- or is that irrelevant? Does the last ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the etymology of “dwanky?”

Dwanky or Dwankie - someone or something that is lame, stupid, uncool, or generally undesirable. Generally used as an insult or in a derogatory way. Zef slang. Can be used as both a noun: "Look at ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the South African words for crisps and French Fries?

Consider Exhibit A. Consider Exhibit B. In England, A is referred to as 'Chips' and B is referred to as 'Crisps'. In the United States A is referred to as 'French Fries' and B is referred to as '...
0
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0answers
33 views

Pan-handle erf in Pretoria [duplicate]

Can someone provide a synonym for the term "pan-handle erf". It appears in a legal document from Pretoria, South Africa. Thanks!
3
votes
0answers
1k views

Distinguishing Australian, English, South African accents [closed]

I have attended courses in English over many years, and as most of my English teachers have an Algerian accent, I have always wondered about the question of accents. I can distinguish an American ...
3
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2answers
10k views

South African Slang “Nu”

Any idea what Nu means when someone uses it as a nickname for someone else in South Africa?
0
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4answers
3k views

Do people still speak old English in South Africa? [closed]

I watched the South African film "The White Wedding", in that film, there is a white couple speaking a very weird language, it sounds like German but not German & a person in the movie said they ...
27
votes
9answers
13k views

Is the phrase “I just sucked it out of my thumb” used in American English?

I was born and raised in South Africa. We frequently used the term "to suck out of one's thumb", implying that an answer was just a wild guess or the notion had no evidence but was rather just ...
0
votes
1answer
170 views

“Is it” South Africa only

I don't know if it is still in vogue but ten years ago in South Africa the phrase "Is it?" was common. It could be used as a response to almost any statement. Is it (ha ha) unique to South Africa or ...
5
votes
10answers
2k views

Dinky cars (toy cars)

I came across this term while proofreading an unpublished poem by an Irish poet. The context is not important so I'll just say that it is clear that it means “toy cars”. I Googled the term and see ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Who speaks South African English (out of the many languages/ethnicities spoken in SA)?

From the limited experience I have of hearing English spoken by South Africans or even knowing someone is South African (from real life or movies), I find it impossible to really tell when someone is ...
9
votes
7answers
7k views

Different uses of 'kaffir' by white South Africans and Muslims

Back in apartheid-era South Africa and, in camera, probably even today, the word 'kaffir' is used in much the same way 'nigger' is used in the western world, ie. as a racist epithet directed at black ...
11
votes
9answers
63k views

Is “Saffer” an offensive term for a South African?

I've always believed that "Saffer" is a derogatory term for a South African. But a few minutes earlier, I saw this tweet by ESPN: So, isn't "Saffer" a derogatory term?
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How should a (North American) Native English Speaker prounounce the word 'Afrikaans'?

I've always had trouble with the word 'Afrikaans'. I could say it the way South Africans say it, but then I'm not sure if I'd just be saying the word with a South African accent. After all, I don't ...