| Get surf report

Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Thu, 21 September 2017

South African surfers talk funny – mostly because they’re surfers, but also because they’re South African. Our local slang is a strange mixture of words and phrases from the languages of settlers from Europe and Asia, as well as indigenous peoples, notably Xhosa, Zulu, Sotho and Khoi-San. This glossary includes words used by surfers, but also more general words. Some might be vaguely offensive, so sorry for that.

Most of the pronunciation is obvious, but where it isn’t we’ve spelled it out for you in brackets. We haven’t used formal phonetic symbols, but what will be easiest. Also – sometimes we’ve used Surfrikan words to explain other Surfrikan words, in which case they’re marked with *, so you can look them up. Language is dynamic and slang changes particularly fast. Check out ballie* slang here if you are an old toppie*.


gh   guttural sound in the back of the throat like the ‘ch’ in the Scottish ‘loch’, or the German ‘ach’.
ô     like the vowel sound in fork or walk, but shorter and sharper, not common in English.
oe   the short vowel sound in book, cook and bull.
u     the short sound in cup or mud, which is not as obvious as it looks.
r-r   rolling the ‘r’.
uh   that peculiarly English sound, as in the second syllable of ‘batter’.

Proceed to Surfrikan Slang Glossary

Add comment

Please don't say anything you would not say to a real person, and please use your real name.


Security code
Refresh

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio

Wavescape on Twitter

Wavescape
Fri Aug 17 14:10:23 +0000 2018

A huge result for Michael February has put him into the quarter-finals of the Tahiti Pro Teahupo'o after beating co… https://t.co/T4oknwPKdO
Wavescape
Thu Aug 16 18:14:42 +0000 2018

Fellow Saffa Mikey February @thevibesrgood beats @jordysmith88 to dent Jordy's world title hopes but brings new hop… https://t.co/7LSrwIMJxn
Wavescape
Thu Aug 16 18:03:25 +0000 2018

RT @frewbru: Jackpot, triple peaks, four seasons and six hours of barrels today 🍒🍒🍒 https://t.co/b2RkanZxjJ
Wavescape
Tue Aug 14 13:23:33 +0000 2018

For 19 years, winemakers have surfed in the Vintners Surf Classic, with last Friday's epic edition at Stilbaai sign… https://t.co/uiwy6Mdumc
Wavescape
Tue Aug 14 13:05:48 +0000 2018

For 19 years, winemakers have run the Vintners Surf Classic, with last Friday's epic edition at Stilbaai signalling… https://t.co/BUbWrCI4e0
Wavescape
Tue Aug 14 09:32:09 +0000 2018

RT @spike_wavescape: No man! Why is it that Mikey February and Jordy Smith have to surf each other again in Round 3? https://t.co/PknLiEISaR
Follow Wavescape on Twitter

Wavescape friends and partners Isiqalo Foundation DIFF CSIR Isiqalo Foundation Surfing  South Africa Save Our Seas Shark Centre Isiqalo Foundation Red Bull Media House DIFF National Sea Rescue Institute Shark Spotters ASP Africa