The Layman's Guide to the South African Language

Pronounced like the ach in German, but with a 'g' on the end. Roll that 'g'! 'Ag, no man' - sign of irritation. Many purposes.
Never, not on your life.
Aita! ('ay-tah')
A greeting: 'Aita brah!' - Originated in the townships among the youth, and is still used.
Afternoon. The Australian equivalent is "arvo".
Babbelas ('Bub-be-las')
A hangover. Normally a pretty damn bad hangover!
Certainly not 'swimming trunks' or even worse: 'bathing suit!!', but means the same.
Bakkie ('Buk-ky')
Pickup truck
Balls (ie: privates..)
Ballie (with the “ball” part with a “u”, as in “lull” – bâllee)
Parents, your folks, old people. From Afrikaans. "Some weird old ballie lives in that cave." or "My ballies won't let me go to the jorl."
Bark the dog
A literal description of the act of vomiting. In South Africa, you also kotch, park a tiger, blow chunks or make a technicoloured yawn.
Fight, punch-up.                                                                                                                                                                        ^ top ^
Befok, befuck
Wild, crazy, excellent, great! This is used two ways: 'he went befok' (he lost it completely!) or 'that's befuck!' (that's awesome!)
Jerky in the US, only much better!. This is specially prepared dried raw meat, made from beef, venison or ostrich.
Cookie in the US. In America, a biscuit is a scone with no sugar. In South Africa, it's a cookie. Some favourites are Marie Biscuits, Romany Creams, and Eet Sum Mor.
Disapointed or sad. Possibly from Afrikaans “bleek”, meaning “pale”. "Since Sarah axed Rick, the oke's been lank bleak."
Strike, hit, punch: 'I'm going to bliksem you!' Can also be used as follows: 'Bliksem! (Damn!) That was a befokde game of rugby!'
Malay dish, but has become “traditionally Afrikaans”. Made with spicy mince, raisins, spices and yellow rice. It is baked in the oven with a couple of eggs broken on top.
Term that refers to the police - 'Die foken boere se moer, man!'.
Farmstyle sausage or 'wors'. (Literally, 'Farmers Sausage'). It is consumed in vast quantities on braais all over the country.
Used mostly in the Afrikaans circles - a young, pretty lady; or girlfriend.
The bush; a term that became especially popular during the period of 'bush-warefare' during the Angolan war.
Bossies or Bosbefok
Going totally whacko, going bush crazy - "He went bossies after spending 3 months in Angola".
Little boy, or can be used as in: "He's quite a boykie" - (he's quite the guy!)"
Barbecue (US) or Barbie (Aus). Extremely popular SA occupation. Men take great pride in preparing this event; and is probably the only time the average South African does something around the house!
Buddy, associate, peer, colleague, friend, etc... Most often used amongst the "rookers" (pot-smokers) - "Hoesit, my brah!"
Bunny Chow
Indian or Malay curry inside a hollowed out loaf of white bread. You get served the curry in the bread, with a square chunk taken from the inside, which you can use to dunk in the curry. Best when the bread is fresh. Bunny chow can also refer to "slap" (soft) chips in bread.
Cape Doctor
The southeaster howls across the Cape Peninsula in summer, often forming a whispy, creamy white cloud that rolls over Table Mountain in the shape of a "table cloth". The name is self explanatory. Because it blows for up to a week or more at a time, often at gale-force strength, the wind blows all the pollution away. The air is beautifully clear and crisp in the wake of a southeaster.                                                                    ^ top ^
Catch a Tan
To suntan.
Nothing to do with money! Look, do you see? - "You check?" or "Check this, china!!" - Look at this, dude!.
Chick or Cherrie
Yet another typically South African sexist term for a woman!
A friend, buddy, mate. Very popular term, mostly in Cape Town area and Durban. Can also be used aggressively, as in: "Are you tuning me kak, China? - are you giving me shit, mate?".
Means 'look out!' A warning.
A charming teenage term for a pimple or zit. A female adolescent might say to her china at a school jol, "Chips hey, that ou has chorbs."
Depart, leave, go
Friend, buddy
Go to sleep - "Do you want to crash out at my place? - Do you want sleep over at my place?"
Cousin, mate, friend
Dagga ('Dag-gah')
Marijuana, dope - the South African word for dope.
Dinges ('Din-gus')
Thingamabob, a wotzit or a whatchamacallit.
Stupid, idiot. It can also be used as a noun. "You doffie" - you stupid dumbass!                                                                        ^ top ^
Doos ('Doo-ers')
Afrikaans - Female genitalia. "You are such a doos." This means you are a complete idiot. Not to be confused with another Afrikaans word, dosie (box)
Alcohol, or to fail school.
Dorp ('Dorrrp')
Afrikaans - small town
Droogies, droëbek (Droo*gies, droo-beck)
Afrikaans - Dry mouth
Left, departed. "As soon as I checked the cops pull in, I ducked."
Smallish brown beer bottle.
The blank, state a person gets into sometimes, walking around like a zombie.
Ouch! Widely used. Derived from Afrikaans.
Eish ('Aysh')
Zulu expression of surprise, bewilderment, shock.
(Expletive) "Flip!" (Oh no! or Shit!)
Gatvol ('G*at-fawl')
Afrikaans - Fed up. Literally, "Hole full" (filled to the brim).
Gesuip ('Ge-sayp')
Make out - "during the film, my boyfriend and I graunched in the back row" - during the movie we french kissed, rubbed, etc....
Unfortunately a pretty common word that means to "eat"!. "Let's go get something to graze".
Afrikaans – Green Roof. Lunatic asylum - on account of mental hospitals mostly have green corrugated iron roofs.                ^ top ^
Apart from meaning the fruit, South Africans use guava as an alternative name for a bottom, backside, bum or butt.
A half-bottle of spirits.
Hap ('Hup')
A bite - this Afrikaans word is commonly used by English speakers. "Do you want a hap of my biltong?".
Used for emphasis. "So let's graunch, hey?"
Howzit (also hoesit)
The famous, and one of the most typical, South African greeting. Short for "How is it?"
How's your mind?
"Are you mad?!"
Hum or hone
1) Busy - "The disco was humming, there were chicks everywhere, and they were lekker on their pluck!" - the disco was a blast; there were girls everywhere and they were pretty drunk!
2) Stink - "Damn, it hums in here! Who baffed?"
(Good, excellent, enjoyable) "Hey bru, I skeem the jorl was kiff. What do you skeem?" Answer: "Ja, bru, it was hundreds."
Isit? (Izzit?)
This conversational word is used widely and in response to just about anything. Used in place of "really??"
Jags (ye-ag*s)
Afrikaans - Horny. "Checking Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee on the Internet made me so jags."                                    ^ top ^
A car
Jawl - Jorl - Jol
The word jawl is a generic South African - it refers to having a good time and can be used in any context. "I am going on a jawl (party) - I am having a jawl (good time) ...".
Jay Bay
Jeffreys Bay, the mecca of surfing in South Africa
Just now (one of my favourites)
A immense source of amusement for foreigners - it means "very soon", "eventually"; or "never". If someone says he will do something "just now" it could be in 10 minutes or tomorrow. Or maybe he won't do it at all.
Kaalgat (Kaal-g*at)
Afrikaans - In the nude
Kak ('Kuk')
Shit... and used in the same way.... "Don't talk kak - Don't give me kak".
Cool, or something that's very nice.
Slap - "Give him a snot-klap if he gives you kak".
Klippies and coke
Brandy and Coke. Named after Klipdrift, a popular, cheap brandy.
Vomit, park a tiger, bark the dog, spew, puke, make a techni-coloured yawn.
Exhausted or tired
A lot - "There are lank people at this jawl tonight, hey China??!!"
Fancy, designer clothes, snob - A number of variations on a word denoting someone who is well-dressed, or designer clothes, or a well-to-do function. The person can be larney, or clothes.
An Afrikaans word meaning nice, this word is used by all language groups to express approval.                                            ^ top ^
Lights out
Unconscious - "After being klapped for calling him a 'rock spider', little Johnny was completely lights out"
A welt - A lummie is a particular kind of welt caused by hitting someone with the middle knuckle of your middle finger. School kids give each other lummies, usually on the forearm. A proper lummie becomes a bump immediately.
A fool
Horrible, gross, yucky
Wimp, pansie, naff, weakling, gay
Afrikaans – lit to stitch, do needlework. Pomp, bonk. "Ek wil jou naai." (I want to bonk you.)
No way - Another way of saying no, but also a sign of incredulous response.
No - Used in similar situations to nooit.
Now Now
In a little while. "We're going surfing now now." (We're about to go surfing. Exactly when? Well, that depends on how long we take to finish watching the video and putting on the roof racks). The good thing about Now Now is that it is probably going to happen quicker than the even more flexi-time "Just now." 
Oke (ou)
Guy, chap, bloke.
Food for a car, for a trip; on the road.
Pap ('Pup')
Afrikaans – porridge. Boiled corn meal.
Park off
To chill out - sit down and relax - "Let's go park off at the beach tonight. Maybe we can graunch a little!"                                ^ top ^
In South Africa this is the sidewalk.
Port Elizabeth
A small child.
Can only be explained in an example: "What's your pluck, china?? You looking for kak? Don't make be befok; I'll klap you hard!" - what's you problem...etc..
Poepol ('Poo-pawl')
Afrikaans. Idiot, twit, "poop hole" Enough said.
Yes, it's a traffic light!
Rock Up
To arrive - "What time should we rock up for the jawl? Should be bring any dop?"
Rock Spider
An english speaking South African term for an Afrikaner - Hey, you rock spider! Who you calling a 'soutpiel'? Come here and I'll klap your lights out!"
(Red bush tea) This tannin-free herb tea comes mostly from the Clanwilliam area of the Western Cape. It is made from the Aspalathus linearis bush. Homesick South Africans buy it from gourmet stores around the world, even if they don't like it.
Afrikaner name for an Englishman, or an english speaking South African.
The classic South African reference to "being cool". Pretty much outdated. A skollie would say, "Safe my mate" (Cool buddy)
(Deep-fried triangular curried pie) Made to a Malay recipe, samoosas can be found in cafes around the country.
Schnaai ('Sh-nigh')
Rip off, betray, stab in the back                                                                                                                                        ^ top ^
Sif ('Suf')
Disgusting thing, see mif. A shortened version of syphillus, sif doesn’t necessarily refer to disease, but could refer to a gangrenous coral wound, an overused long drop toilet, a car accident or a chorb.
Zulu - Gangster, crook, ruffian
Afrikaans - Battered car. A really beaten up old jalopy is called a skedonk.
Afrikaans – “skiner” - Gossip, news. The kind of gossip that goes on behind your back. Can mean news.
Piss, leak
To hit someone hard.
Excuse me. While used for its global meaning, as an apology, South Africans have managed to mutate it further. "Sorry, can I just get past."
Soutpiel, or soutie
Another Afrikaner name for an english speaking South African - comes from the image of the "English" having one foot in South Africa, the other in England, with a third leg hanging in the middle (in the water)! - "Hê soutie, who you calling a 'rock spider'? Come here and I'll skop your ballas in!'
To scale something is to steal it.
Very typical South African expression; also found amusing by foreigners. "Ag shame, look how cute that baby is!", or "Shame, stop making kak with the chick, man, she's lekker", and "Shame, that's really sad".
Crooked; provocative. A classic saying heard in bars around South Africa is "Are you checking me skeef, China?" - Are you looking at me funny, brah?
A crook or thief. A street-wise operator who deals in petty crime.
Skollie - ('skaw-lly')
Ruffian. Can be used almost affectionately when talking about a roguish friend.                                                                    ^ top ^
A fright.
Slap chips
When French Fries are thick and long and don't go crispy in the oil - they are soft and stodgy
Cantaloupe. A delicious orange coloured melon. Apparently, it is from the Old Dutch phrase meaning Spanish Melon.
Spook and diesel
Cane spirits and coke - A favorite mixture of a pale liquor and dark Coca-Cola.
Kid, baby, youngster
Sexist term for a woman.
Takkies - Tekkies
Sneakers, trainers, running shoes.
Evil spirit
The moer in - (roll the r)
Very angry - "You make me the fokken moer in!".
Tune ('Choon')
To tell, to talk, to provoke - "Don't tune me grief, ou; or I'll (yes, again!!..) klap the kak out of you!"
Van Der Merwe or Van
Like Paddy in Ireland, Van der Merwe is the butt of South African jokes. Lacking in the social graces, "Van" is usually a "plaas japie" (farm boy) from the platteland.
Hang in there, be tough - "Vasbyt, china; it kak will soon be over!"                                                                                        ^ top ^
Get lost, buzz off..."Voetsek, jou sleg moer!"
Similar to graunch - to kiss, pet, court.
What kind?
Don't be a jerk. If your friend has just spewed over the side of your car, you would call indignantly "What kind?"
Ys ('Ace')
(Alone, solitary) "I was out there on my ace when someone shouted 'shark!'."