Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Takkie Tsotsie To Die For

 "Takkies" (pronounced tack–ees) has two different meanings a rubber-soled canvas sports shoe or a vehicle's tyre.  

So you know that pair of gleaming white, Nike or Adidas running shoes that you don for that soccer game with friends? South Africans simply call them takkies. We keep them super white, enabling us to keep them for years on end. 

Incidentally, they’re a rather popular piece of treasure for thieves. Forget your wallet stuffed with cash and credit cards.  The tsotsis (thieves) will want your takkies first.

Usage : Check out the fat takkies on that motorbike!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Spinach Sarmies and Sausage Sorbet on the Side, Sies!

The A To Z Blog Challenge is plodding along swimmingly.
Sies [pronounced, cease] is an Afrikaans Southafricanism meaning an exclamation of something disgusting and vile.  

Similar to "Yuk!" or "Phew" as a response to something vulgar said like "how could you?".  The English South African version is "Sis", which means the same thing. 

If it is directed at a person you 

use it to express your displeasure and disgust towards that person, which basically means "shame on you".

Usage :  "Your feet stink like week-old rotting maggots.  Sies!"


"Sis, your April Fools joke made John feel like shite!"

Monday, 21 April 2014

Rooibos Tea at the Robot

We are heading downhill of the A to Z Blog Challenge and today we'll be chatting about something that is a big part of South African culture.

Rooibos [pronounced roy-bos] (Redbush) Tea.  The leaves are used to make an herbal tea called Rooibos

My kids grew up on this stuff because it contains no caffeine and low tannin levels. They called it "juice" until they were about two years old.  It has great health and nutritional benefits and assists with nervous tension, allergies and digestive problems.

The second Southafricanism I am going to talk about is The Robot.  

In South Africa, when we talk about a robot, we don't mean a wee metallic man who moves with a couple of taps from a remote control, we mean a set of traffic lights.  The etymology of the word derives from a description of early traffic lights as robot policemen, which then got truncated with time.

In South Africa you “jump” the robot, rather than go through it.

Usage: Jump the robot and take a short [first] left.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Quagga Extinction Date

Sjoe!! Day #17 of the A to Z Blog Challenge

Quagga [pronounced kwa-gh-uh]  An extinct species of zebra (Equus quagga) that once habituated the Cape in South Africa, but was hunted out in the 1800s.

Pronounce the Afrikaans "g" as you would "ch" in loch or ach in the German achtung.

Usage :  Vat so, Quagga! 1883

Friday, 18 April 2014


Potjiekos [pronounced poi-key-kos] literally translated "small pot food", is a stew prepared outdoors over an open fire. It is traditionally cooked in a pot-bellied, round, cast iron, three-legged pot, the potjie, descended from the Dutch oven brought from the Netherlands to South Africa in the 17th century.

Potjie Pot is layered with meat and vegetables.  The lids is secured and left to simmer slowly.  The traditional potjie is never stirred, which makes it different from a regular stew.  Sometimes beer or wine is added to give the sauce a wee sparkle.

Among the African tribal cultures these pots became known as "phutu" pots. The black cast-iron potjie has survived the test of time and is used extensively in Africa by almost all cultures. With the advent of electricity, the potjie was all but forgotten in South Africa, but some 30 years ago it enjoyed a huge revival, and today is as valued a cooking utensil as the pressure cooker and microwave oven. 

Pot bread is another South African favourite cooked in the flat version of the Potjie.  

Often this recipe is a beer bread, also called bush bread, which goes so well with potjiekos.  Freshly baked with a lovely layer of butter is absa lootly scruptious.

Finger licking good.


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