Foreign lingo: Understanding the locals

So it’s your first time travelling to Cape Town, Joburg or Durban, and you hear these weird phrases like “howzit”, “lekker”, “china” and all sorts of weird and wonderful words, but you have no idea what people are talking about? No worries, bru! Premier’s got you covered! Here’s a quick guide to understanding the South African Locals.

Foreign lingo: Understanding the locals

Common Cape Town lingo:
Awê (ah-weh): A greeting. “Awê, brother!”
Bra (brah), bru (brew): Derived from broer, Afrikaans for ‘brother’; a term of affection for male friends; equivalent to dude. “Howzit my bru!”
Howzit (how-zit): A greeting meaning ‘hi’; shortened form of ‘how’s it going?’

Delicious Durban lingo:
Dala (dah-lah): This one is tricky, because it has more than one meaning. It could mean ‘fight’, ‘to kiss’ or ‘to do’. The most common phrase used is “Dala what you must” that means “do what you must”
Cherrie (pronounced as Cherry): This means “girl” – you’ll hear the locals using it in sentences like “look at that cherrie, bru”
Whatkind (what-kind): This is the Durban lingo term for “hello” so you’ll hear locals saying “whatkind, gents!”. In normal terms it means “hello gentlemen”
Durbs: The shorter way locals pronounce “Durban”: You’ll hear them say: “Welcome to Durbs!”

Jozi lingo:
just now – very soon, eventually, or sometimes 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. For example, “I’ll wash the dishes just now.”
now-now : shortly, in a bit, as in, “I’ll be there now-now.”
Sho: an emphatic expression equivalent to “wow,” “sure,” or “really?”; as in, “Sho, it’s hot today!”
Jozi (jo-zee): the city of Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, also known as Joburg or Joeys

Now that you’ve got the basics down, you’ll be able to run with the locals and feel right at home. Enjoy your stay, bru!


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