People over here are still having serious trouble understanding me. And it is not just the accent. In fact, I think they might be getting used to it by now (time to move on then I guess). I think I gave my accent secrets away in I just loooove you accent! and Hear me roar. They can now understand my accent, but it doesn’t seem to help them much. They are still having some serious problems with some of the words and phrases I use. So lets make it a bit easier for them and go through a few words and phrases they hear often out of this mouth of mine. And no, words like doos and donner will not be included. I limit those to President Bush and his Bush-babies.
throw my toys– You know when a baby gets all upset and throws their toys out the cot? Well, that’s more or less how I use it. When someone start throwing words and accusations around after I pissed them off. You know, they throw their adult toys. Or when someone says something that really pisses me off. I generally tell them that I am not going to “throw my toys“. I’ll just blog about them.
just now / now now – This sounds serious to most people. That it should really happen now. Like in right now. Hum… only problem is that we mean “now” in the true African sense of time. Somewhere between right now and within the next week… or so. It will be done and it will happen. The timing is just less of a sure thing. Except if it is a rugby (replace with soccer or cricket as you please) game and we are on our way over to watch. When we say “just now” or “now now” in that sense we mean “get the beer ready as we will be there 2 minutes before kick-off”. We need the 2 minutes to have a quick toilet break before we take on the big game.
hold thumbs– I am surprised this one isn’t universal. I really thought it was. When you “hold thumbs” you are hoping for the best. Like in “I really hope Mugabe chokes on a chicken bone. Ah, I’ll hold thumbs“. It sometimes works. I did “hold thumbs” that McCain will pick a doos loser as running mate… and he did.
thumbsuck – One of the oldest forms of science and one I constantly apply. You need some quick facts to win an argument or support a really good point? Then just “thumbsuck” a fact or two. It does not have to be perfect. You just have to get it in the ballpark. Like in “Oh this will work, trust me. 84% of the consumers I spoke to believe that your product, the sweetened carbonated Brussels-sprout-and-meat juice, is so much better than Coke”. What I left out was that the consumers I spoke to was one single person from the meat market. And he was 84% sure after I paid him to say so.
bush telegraph – The “bush telegraph” has nothing to do with President Bush and his knowledge of technology. It generally means the speed at which news travels in Africa – without radio, newspapers or television reporting. I remember being dropped off in Mdantsane in the 80’s and everyone knew I was there before I entered the first house! (Mdantsane is the second largest township in South Africa.) The “bush telegraph” was also the backbone of how the ANC got messages through to everyone in South Africa in the days when they were still fighting Apartheid. The speed of the “bush telegraph” is impossible to quantify. Stephen Hawking has been baffled by the speed of the “bush telegraph” as he previously believed that nothing was faster than the speed of light. He was obviously wrong. MIT in Boston is currently working on how to capture the energy created by the “bush telegraph” as it is a clean energy (except for rumors) that can provide all the energy needs of the world. And then some. The “bush telegraph” is also believed to influence weather patterns and gravitation laws. The direction of a “bush telegraph” will determine the direction of the wind and rain while everything is naturally attracted to the “bush telegraph“. A good “bush telegraph” can allow someone to levitate if all the messages are aimed at a single person.
cooldrink– No, it is not a drink that is cold. The drink is cold, but not defined by it’s “coldness”. It is not Ann Coulter. You call it soda’s and we call it “cooldrinks“. Soda is what some people of a lessor specie use as a mix with their whiskey. You call it a club soda. But you can have it outside the club and in your house? Doesn’t make sense. A Coke is a “cooldrink” and not a soda. Fair enough, you can mix Coke with whiskey but it should ideally be left for Klippies. It’s called the 1, 2, 3 of South Africa. 1 liter of brandy, 2 liters of Coke and a 3 liter Ford.
o / oh – If I have the number 0 in a telephone number or anything with numbers in it I pronounce it by making an “0” with my mouth. The sound that comes out is “o” or “oh“. Not zero. We only use the letter “z” in Zimbabwean terms. Like in “Zambia is north of Zimbabwe” or “The Zimbabwean authorities are banning the white stripes found on the Zebra”. When I say “o” or “oh” I am not acting surprised. If my telephone number starts with 508 then I am not surprised to find the number 0 after the five and therefore say “o here is another number, I wonder what it is doing here?” I mean “o / oh” like in 0. Get it?
I am sweet (shweet) – My standard response to “How are you?” Meaning “I am damn fine thank you”. I felt I had to explain this after a few people tried to take a bite to check it out. My wife is not amused.
jam & jellie / jelly – Let’s get this straight people. “Jam” is something you put on a sandwich (or sarmie as we call it). “Jellie / jelly” is what you call Jell-O – a gelatin-based dessert. Get with it people. Jell-O is a brand name and not the real thing. Moirs is the real thing. And what are you going to call Jelly Tots? From gelatin to guillotine if you get this wrong. Really. Don’t mess with my favorite “jelly“.
slipslops / Jesus takkies / takkies / tekkies – Not sneakers. “Takkies” or “tekkies” is something like a sneaker, but you can run in them, play tennis in them, play soccer and touch-rugby in them, go to classes with them, go to the bar with them, hunt in them, wear them to weddings (your own) and still look cool. Well, sort of anyway. They should ideally be North Star (Converse rip-off in South Africa) and have white sides at the bottom running right round the shoe. And they have to build up a fair smell within a day of wearing them. They do not go well with long socks and a safari suit. “Takkies” should not be confused with “Jesus takkies” though. “Jesus takkies” is the version of “takkies” they had in Biblical times. We still wear them today. The Germans are very fond of them. Especially with long socks. Leather sandals with the strips of leather running across the feet. You know, the “takkies” Jesus wore. And they must be made with leather. If not, then they most likely are “slipslops“. Although, in fairness, “slipslops” are more like what you call flip-flops. And no, I do not mean McCain. He might have his foot in his mouth and flip-flop on politics, but you can’t wear him. Not in a nice way in any case. The most popular brand of “slipslops” are Hang Ten. Again, this is no reference to McCain’s position on torture or Guantanamo Bay.
bumper / bonnet / boot / petrol – You know, not only are the rules of the road different over here (wrong side of the road and a big cars for a big ego and a small… hum… you know), but they can’t even get to grips with my superior knowledge on everything mechanical and automobile related. That thing in the front of your car that you use to bump other cars during roadrage and hang the deer from is called a “bumper”. You open the “bonnet” of your car to check out the engine and fill up with good old Saudi oil. You open the “boot” at the back to take out your weapons arsenal and fill it up with groceries from McDonald’s. You put “petrol” in your car and not gas. Gas is something you get from eating too much of that crap you put in you “boot“.
yurruh / yissus / yussus– Souf Efrikan for “jeeze”. Like in “Yurruh that McCain is a doos” or “Yissus that Bush is such a donner, he just needs a snot klap“. Sorry, but how else can I explain it?
oom / tannie / antie– I really miss these words. I just can’t call someone older than me “sir”. It doesn’t feel right. I feel all English and classy. Or like a Marine. Just not me. I really miss calling someone “antie” and “oom“. It is a sign of respect. For older people. Like in “That oom McCain is a doos” or “Antie” Palin is a bloody right-wing racist gun-slinging fundamentalist who supports Big Oil”. You know, show some respect.
mielie / naartjie / spanspek / avo – I never know what to ask for at the shops around here. Still have no clue what to ask for when I want a “naartjie” or “spanspek“. Or where to find a “mielie” to shove it where the sun doesn’t shine when they stare blankly at me when I ask them for an “avo“.
Let me end with a combination of words I use around here but never had the chance to include them in one single string or sentences. I am again inspired by US Republican politics to make it more real.
gatvol / dinges / bleddie / poepol / sorrie / suss / what what / doos / full-on / moer / eina / sjoe / bra / lekker / sis / mullett / ou toppie / drol / how’s your mind? – Like in “Sorrie my bra, I have sussed him out and I am gatvol of that bleddie poepol McCain and his what what. Sjoe, I just want to moer him lekker full-on in his dinges till it’s eina. Sis man, you mullett ou toppie McCain, how’s your mind you drol?” Translated.. “I don’t like McCain”.
I hope that cleared up a few things and that we can now have an adult discussion. Soon everyone will be able to speak fluent Souf Efrikan.