Words Tourists Need to Know when in Cape Town

Cape Town has a plethora of made up words, words with a mix of English and Afrikaans and just some local slang that has been reworked and changed throughout the years. I don’t think a sentence goes by when I don’t use some of these words. Here is a little guide that could essentially help all the tourists when they come down here to understand us a little bit better. Infact, I think we should all take a little read over this to help US understand each other a bit better… 🙂

Ahoy A way for youngsters to greet each other
Aweh Aweh my bru (Hello my friend)
babbelas Hangover  from the night before
befok really good, exciting, cool, kuk kief
Bergies Local homeless, usually drunk and completely harmless
Biltong A piece of dry spiced raw meat. Goes down well with beer
Bopsie/Gatta/5-0 Slang for the Police
Braai A fire made with lots of wood usually for cooking or social gatherings
Broer Brother, not neccessarily family.
Bru/Bro/China/Oke/Boet Friendly way to call a friend, eg bro is short for brother
Castle Lager Beer
Chise To  chat up someone, go chise that kinder
chommie/chomma another way to call a friend
Cooler box Big square shaped box filled with ice to keep the beers cold.
dagga most common word for Marijuana.
Dik Gesuip Very drunk
Droëwors Boerewors that has hung out to dry.
Duidelik This word is an  adjective, describing how good something is
Gooi Afrikaans word for throw, eg: gooi a beer bru!
Howzit? How are you?, or actually it derives from “How is it?”
Is it? Is that so, usually used at the end of a sentence.
Ja Yes (Ja, broer)
Jus this can mean a few things, but its two main uses: crazy or horny
Just now Some time soon, but no-one seems to know, or care when
Kiff, Kief, keef Cool, really good, wicked, awesome
kind/kinder another name for a girl/person, used a lot by the coloured bra’s
Kreef Lobster also known as crayfish.
Laaitie Young kids or usually referring to someone younger then you
Lank Another word for very. EG: its lank hot today
Lekker Very good
Mal afrikaans for crazy, wild. Eg: Kreg and Ricky were so mal last night.
moffie male homosexual (derogatory).
Papsak Wine in a box, usually5 litres which will always be found in Cape Town
Potjiekos A large black steel pot on the coals of a fire and a meal is slowly brewed. .
Robot A traffic light!
rockspider/spaatchie another name for an afrikaaner
Skeif To glare at someone or stare at them
Skyf/loose/entjie A cigarette. Eg: Swing me a loose there dude. Awe, give a entjie bra!
Snoek Fish caught by local fishermen. EG: jy stink soes a vuil snoek
South Easter The prevailing wind in the summer, also known as the Cape Doctor.
Swak Adj. how you feel about something, when you sad or sorry. That was so swak of him
takkies Shoes. Usually used in a the afrikaans sense
Voetsek get lost, go away, fuck off
Woes Wound up, aggressive, feeling strong. “Shit bru, that baboon looks woes.”

So there you have it. A couple of well known ones and a couple more unknown ones. We always try to lend a helping hand here at MyCityByNight especially when dealing with a car guard or a “bergie” who sometimes makes life extremely hard for you when you cannot understand a word that is coming out of his mouth (usually due to the fact that he is so intoxicated from methalyated spirits). If you guys know of any that I have left out, do feel free to drop a comment and let us know!


Awe my bru, be a kiff ou and gooi me an entjie bra! Jy’s a befokte mul naai!


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Rumoured to have the blue-prints for Krang's TechnoDrome, stolen straight from Dimension X, he’s the type of guy who exudes so much coolness that he adds whole countries on Facebook at one time instead of just people. Always up for a party and a Tequila shot or two this is the guy who we always call first, both before and after a night out…


  1. Wow that Onaj guy should learn how to express himself better… But funny tO see sandy quoting him

  2. Thanks very much for that Piter.

    This blog is our hobby yes, just a means for us to have fun and write funny stuff and the odd occasional serious piece. Thanks for dropping by


  3. My name is Piter Jankovich. oOnly want to tell, that your blog is really cool

    And want to ask you: is this blog your hobby?

    P.S. Sorry for my bad english

  4. I am not going to be original this time, so all I am going to say that your blog rocks, sad that I don't have such nice writing skills

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