Slops, Sarmie and Muti. The Best Short South African Slang

In South Africa we love the diminutive and the shortened word as much as the next far-flung English-speaking country – arvie for afternoon, mozzie for mosquito, and so forth.

slang south africa
Source: southafrica.info.

A recent video by Australian friends Josh and Rhys explains “How to Speak Australian – Abbreviate Everything” (see video below) that strikes the same note. Many of the words will be familiar to South Africans –  the same way Ozzies say Straya for Australia, we sometimes say EssAy or Seffrica for South Africa.

Here are some of our favourite South African abbreviations or shorthand:

  • Chum/Pal/Mate/Friend – Bru
  • Bushveld – Bush
  • Headscarf – Doek
  • Durban – Durbs
  • Johannesburg – Joburg – Jozi
  • Cool/neat/fabulous/wicked/great/wonderful – Kiff
  • Marijuana – Boom/Dagga
  • How are you? – Howzit?
  • Have fun – Jol
  • Expert – Fundi
  • Nice/happy/good/fine/well – Lekker
  • Medicine/something you take to feel better – Muti
  • Porridge – Pap
  • Lots of – Lank
  • Rooibos – Bossies
  • Sandwich – Sarmie
  • Soft, oily french fries – Slap chips
  • Ugly and disgusting – Siff
  • Is that so? – Izzit?
  • Rotten – Vrot/Miff
  • Money – Tom
  • Flip flops – Slops
  • Stupid – Dof
  • Study – Swat
  • Eat – Graze
  • Drink something alcoholic – Dop
  • Never! That’s unbelievable! You’re joking! – Nooit!

See how many of the words are South African too:

And then watch the SA comedy duo Derick Watts $ the Sunday Blues discuss South African versus Australian accents:


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