My Amanzimtoti Series of novels are set in Amanzimtoti, South Africa; a small coastal town to the south of Durban. Locally, it is simply referred to it as ‘Toti‘.
Due to the setting you may find that there are words or phrases you are unfamiliar with. To help with this, I have created the glossary of slang to explain exactly what some of those weird words actually mean!
This glossary will be updated as the Amanzimtoti Series progresses, so keep checking back! Or maybe consider subscribing to this site, where you’ll receive subscriber-first content relating to updates and novel information.
If there are any words or phrases you think I’ve missed, or would just like to see included, please let me know by dropping me a comment either here or through my various social media links, alternatively you can use the contact me form to get in touch.
Ag – Afrikaans ‘oh’, also used as an expression of aggravation – Pronounced ‘ach’.
Bakkie – a utility/pick-up truck.
Bluebottles – or Indo-Pacific Portuguese Man-of-War. They have a translucent ‘bubble’ attached to long tentacle or ‘sting’. They’re a bright blue in colour, usually wash up onto shore during high-tide and will release a nasty sting if touched.
Boerewors – a type of sausage, traditionally curled into a large spiral and cooked on a braai.
Boet – Afrikaans ‘brother’, used to refer to male friends (equivalent of ‘dude’)
Bru/Bra – same usage/meaning as boet.
Braai – a barbecue, a real one: with wood and charcoal and everything!
Bunny Chow – curry served in a hollowed-out half loaf of bread.
Chappie – a popular brand of chewing gum
Cooldrink – Used to refer to any kind of soda/fizzy drink.
Cotch – vomit/sick.
Crème soda – a cooldrink (which tastes nothing like the American version! Ours is actually good. Also it’s green.)
Dagga – marijuana.
Dankie – Afrikaans ‘thanks’.
Eina – Ouch, when something hurts. Pronounced ‘ay-nar’.
Eish – Exclamation of surprise or frustration.
Fok/Fok Jou – Afrikaans ‘fuck’ / ‘fuck you’.
Gatvol – Fed up/had enough, ie: I’ve had a gatvol of this! – I’ve had enough of this!
Hiding – A smack/beating
Howzit – Hey/Hello, derived from the phrase ‘how’s it going’, but not generally used to actually ask how someone is.
Inyoni – isiZulu ‘bird‘.
Izit – Really/is that so, derived from the phrase ‘Is it’.
Ja – Afrikaans ‘yes’, yeah.
Jissis – Afrikaans ‘Jesus’ – Blasphemous. Used as an exclamation of surprise.
Kak – shit/crap. Pronounced ‘kuk’.
Kiff – cool/awesome.
Klap – Afrikaans ‘smack’, to hit. Pronounced ‘klup’.
Koki – a felt tip pen. Pronounced ‘ko-key’.
Kuswag – the name of an Afrikaans speaking school. Pronounced ‘kiss-vach’, with the ‘ach’ part pronounced the same way as ‘ag’ listed above.
Lekker – Afrikaans ‘tasty’. Also used in reference to something that is cool/awesome.
Moffie – Derogatory word for a male homosexual, similar to fairy/faggot.
Moer – to severely beat up.
Muti – Zulu ‘medicine’. Pronounced ‘moo-tea’.
Now now – or just now, can mean anything from right now to two weeks from now!
Nunu – Zulu ‘insect’, bug. Can also be used as a term of affection.
Oke – slang word for a male you don’t know. Pronounced ‘oak’.
Sies – used as expression of disgust or annoyance. Pronounced ‘sis’.
Slops – flip flops.
Stompie – a cigarette butt. The phrase ‘picking up stompies’, generally refers to an eavesdropper.
Tekkies – trainers/sneakers.
Thenar – This isn’t slang but the actual name for the fleshy part of your hand at the base of your thumb. Including mention of it here as it’s not a widely used term (though I think it should be, I certainly use it enough!)
Trilkop – Afrikaans ‘dickhead’.
Tune – to mouth off at someone, to give them lip.
Voetsek – Afrikaans ‘go away’, Derogatory, implied ‘fuck off’. Pronounced ‘foot-sack’.
Vrot – Afrikaans ‘rotten’, bad. Pronounced ‘frot’.
Yoh – An expression of surprise.