Indians – South Africans of Indian ancestry

Kugel – materialistic middle-class South African housewife

Lekker - Nice

Low veld – the land stretching north from the Limpopo escarpment to the Limpopo river – hot, subject to drought, and difficult to farm

Ou – literally 'old' but used by Afrikaners as 'bloke' or 'guy'. English speakers usually said 'oke'

Rand – The area round Johannesburg and Pretoria (now known as Gauteng) and also the name of South Africa's currency

Rooinek – Afrikaner nickname for English speakers

Skellum - villain

Township – area usually outside the main towns reserved for non-whites

Tribal Trust Land – land designated for communal tribal use in Zimbabwe

Tsotsies – muggers or thieves

Verkrampte – Afrikaners with rigid racial views

Verligte – Afrikaners with more liberal views

Whites – White Africans


Years before I ever went to South Africa I met a white English–speaking South African called Chris who worked as a very humble clerk in the Ministry of Defence in Gosport. His income was on the low side, and he lived a rather humdrum life in Gosport in an eight-til-five job, one hour off for lunch. He had no prospects of advancement as he was approaching sixty. I was doing an Organisation and Methods analysis where he worked, and in the three weeks I was there we became quite friendly. He liked to reminisce about his life in Cape Town when he was younger, and he gave vivid descriptions of a beautiful city, set on a peninsula, with a warm sea on one side of the peninsula and a cold sea on the other, a backdrop of mountains, and a surround of vineyards, forests and small pleasant quiet towns.

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