From the plays of Athol Fugard*

Afrikaans – one of the official languages of South Africa, developed from the seventeenth century Dutch

Afrikaner – Descendants of the original Dutch settlers who arrived in 1652

aikona – no!

baas – boss or master

bakgat – great

Bantu – official term for black South Africans and their language, disliked by black people

Base Camp Oshakati – principal camp of South African defense during the Border War; near the border of what used to be South West Africa and is now Namibia

Basutoland – territory of South Africa

boer – farmer

boet – brother; used to address a friend colloquially

bosbefok – rude term meaning “shell-shocked”

bosak – wild shit

braaivleis – barbecue

broek – pants; trousers

buitengewoon – out of the ordinary

Coloreds – defined in South Africa as anyone of mixed racial descent

dom book – passbook, ID book for black people under apartheid

Dominee – a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church; reverend or minister

donner – to beat up; bastard

dop – a swig of hard liquor

Dopper – strict religious sect of the Dutch Reform Church

dwaal – daze

eina – ouch!

ek is moeg – I’m worn out

gat – ass

gat-full – up to my ass

haai – no

handlanger – handyman

Here! – Lord! Christ

hok – cage for pigeons

ja – yes

japie – dolt; bumpkin

kak – shit

Karoo – a vast semi-deset region in the heart of South Africa; “karoo” is a Khol word meaning “place of little water”; few plants grow on the dry mountains, but farms thrive in the valleys and lowlands

kêrel – fellow; chap

kierie – fighting stick

klaar – finished; ready

klaarstaan – be ready or cautious

lekker – nice

location – township; black ghetto; segregated area on outskirts of town or city

naar – nauseated

New Brighton – a black ghetto in Port Elizabeth

ou – common mode of address to man or boy; chap

ou bollie – old man

oubaas – old man

outjie – boy; little guy

poephol – farthole

pondok – shanty

rand – South African money

se gat – ass’s

skeel oog – squint eye

skelm – rascal

skollies – bums

sommer – just; simply

staats – states

stoep – porch

suka – stop!

tjorrie – old, small car

veld – plains; countryside

verkrampte – narrow-minded

vervloekte – cursed

verneuk the baas – rip-off the boss

voetsek – rough commands to go, usually to a dog, offensive to a person, equivalent to “fuck off”

volk – people

* definitions collected from the works of Athol Fugard, published by Theatre Communications Group and Samuel French, Inc.