11 things only South Africans will understand

By Nicola Whitfield
19 September 2016

No, not now – now-now. You know, just now. Not, not right now – just now.

Every country has its idiosyncrasies and we sure are no exception.

So, in that spirit – here are some things only South Africans will understand...

1. The true meaning of the word 'shame'

Foreigners just don’t get it. You see a cute kitten: you say shame. Your friend has a baby: you say shame. Your brother’s car is written off: you say shame. You see someone weeping at the airport: you say shame. One word = many situations. Hits the spot every time.

2. Exactly what "now-now" means

It means you’ll be there now-now. What’s not to get?


3. Shopping at traffic intersections

Cellphone chargers, juice boxes, inflatable toys for the kids, those net covers to keep flies off food, cowboy hats, dog beds, beach chairs… All this could be yours at a roll-down of your window!


4. "Ja, nee"

A perfectly acceptable way to engage in conversation. oprah-shakng-her-head

5. The importance of a balanced diet

Only in SA does advertising bread and ice cream together seem like a good idea #onlyinsa #icecream

A photo posted by Rochelle Mbatha (@rochology) on

6. What a "Gatsby" really is...

And why chips are a perfectly acceptable filling for a bread roll.

Kea leboga Soweto. #kasi #onlyinSA

A photo posted by Moroka (@diychefrocky) on

7. On that note... melktert


Pure joy made edible. In fact, if you need a pick-me-up: 5 of our favourite milk tart recipes

8. How to jol

We taught Ed Sheeran how to do it too.

ed You can read more about that here.

9. What the animal on the Zoo Biscuit really is

It's a giraffe, ne?

A photo posted by ??Dale Heuer?? (@daleheuer) on

10. Why these are flippin' funny.

A photo posted by Mbidzo Ladzani (@thisismbee) on

11. How to pronounce Charlize Theron's surname

Even if Charlize has forgotten. Don't worry, we'll keep reminding her.


SA, you are truly one of a kind.


Do you have any true South African-isms to add to our list? Click here to share them on our Facebook page

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