Howzit bru, want to come to a braai? A rugby fans’ guide to English


With a scrum of rugby fans from 20 countries congregating in the UK, there’s a good chance you could miss out if you don’t know your braai from your barbie or a bevvie from a brewski.

To help bewildered fans navigate this Babel, British Airways’ cabin crew, who between them are able to speak many languages from Arabic to Zulu, have put together a glossary of words and phrases  which may be heard across England between now and 31 October.

SEE: Mapped out - SA's favourite braai spots

All could be used by fans who think they’re speaking dinkum English and may be puzzled as to why they’re not being understood.

Here they are:

Arvo: Australian for afternoon. “We’re having a barbie this arvo.”

Braai: South African term for a barbeque. 

Craic: Irish term for fun or gossip. “Great craic at the barbeque.”

Droewors: South African dried sausage - a favourite snack of rugby fans.

Eejit: Irish term for a complete fool. “That streaker was a right eejit.”

Foos yer doos: Scottish enquiry as to how you are.

Gutted: English expression of bitter disappointment. “I was absolutely gutted we lost.”

Howzit: South African greeting that means “How are you?”, “How are things?”, or just “Hallo”.

Isnae: Scottish for ‘is not’. “That yellow card isnae fair.”

Jislaaik: South African expression of outrage or surprise. “Jislaaik, does it rain here every day?” Kerfuffle: Canadian term for an awkward or stressful situation or commotion. “That was a bit of a kerfuffle on the tryline.”

Lekker: South African expression for something good, great, cool or tasty. “That was a really lekker braai (barbecue).”

READ: 20+ Afrikaans words and sayings demystified

Milk bar: Australian term for a corner shop that sells takeaway food. “Let’s get lunch at a milk bar before the match.”
Naff: English word for something that is uncool. “You look really naff in that anorak.”

Owt: Yorkshire term for anything. “You get owt for nowt.” You don’t get anything for nothing.

Puss: Irish for a sulky face. “He had a real puss on him after that tackle.”

Quid: What the Brits call a pound.

Rark up: Kiwi expression for giving someone a good telling off. “He got a good rark up from the ref.”

Scrag: Australian term for holding someone by the neck or garment. “He got scragged just before the tryline.”

Toque: Canadian word for a woollen hat or beanie.

Ugg boots: Warm Australian sheepskin boots. “It’ll be cold tomorrow, best wear your Uggs.”

Vuvuzela: A large, colourful plastic trumpet carried by some South African fans. Apparently the world comes from isiZulu for making a noise.

Whinge: Originally an English term for whining, sometimes used by Australians to describe the English. “Stop whinging and accept the better team won.”

XXXX: Pronounced 4 X, it is a brand of beer made in Queensland, Australia.

Yabber: An Australian term for talking a lot. “I wish the ref would stop yabbering and get on with the game.”

Zonked: English expression for totally exhausted. “The team must be totally zonked after that effort.”

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