Trying to understand tsotsitaal/Slang using direct translation.

First let me just be clear I am no gangster, not that its a bad thing to be one. I am just saying my understanding of tsotsitaal/slang is limited to a few words…my location (kAsi) wasn’t all that gangster or is it because I stayed indoors reading most times… I don’t know. All I know is I am a simple Zulu man. Again something to be debated about; As a man who doesn’t know half of his surname I don’t really know how much Zulu… I have always wondered if being Zulu is in the surname or of speaking the language?

Anyhow. Today I wanna talk about a few tsotsitaal/slang words…words you use everyday… I want to try and see their use and definition…see if there fit together. The reason I am doing this is because some words leave me flabbergasted in what there mean but their use doesn’t fit the bill. Na’mean (Do you know what I mean)

1. Skhokho=Is usually found at the base of the pot after cooked porridge/phuthu/pap. That last darkish delicious bit is called skhokho.

Usually when someone calls you skhokho it means you are awesome. You are the shit!! No one can beat you!!! Its mainly used for praise. Does it fit the bill? Yes, I agree besides referring to left overs… it is pretty awesome…you are the last man/woman standing…uyiskhokho!!

2. Uyinja! = Direct translation says you are a DOG.

Now although its direct translation comes off as really awful. When someone says uyinja! Depending on the tone it could mean different things but we’re talking bout tsotsitaal here, were it also usually means you are awesome. Top Dog. You my man are the cruelest dog amongst us.

3. Bra= a garment used to support women’s breasts.

In its tsotsitaal/slang use I think bra can be of multiply use. Most times it is used in agreement with someone/want someone to agree with you/vice versa. E.g. Yazi nje bra. Yoh Bra!

Sometimes it could refer to brother. Like bro. There is a thin line between use of bra and friendship…it never means we’re friends… but I can support you sometimes… if what you’re saying fits my bill. Pun intended

4. Mata= a mat.

Remember when I had said some words leave you flabbergasted. Well here is it, mata. Usually used to address a fellow acquaintance.. Mata amongst the words I have defined comes as a word that is more gangster. In my head I am trying to understand its origin cause you use a mat to wipe your feet? It makes sense however because times when the word was used on me the ‘fellow’ usually a drug user wanted something from me. We do only need the mat to satisfy our own needs. E.g Ey! Mata awenze I-dollar lapho…. (Dude I can’t give you money for DRUGS!!!)

5. Ikhekhe=Cake. A delicious spongy dessert… usually creamy as well.

I doubt this word belongs in here but I wanted to include it because why not. The word in its abstract slang/gangster use refers to vagina/pussy. I might be making an ill mistake but I think Arthur came with this word “sika lekhekhe”…ewwwu madoda ugangile loyamfana.

I am not going to fucking write a whole dictionary but I would to know what words do you use that their direction translation would fit with what there are or be like whaaat that doesn’t make sense?? Holla at a brother


Blogger out.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: