Xhosa: Theme 7 - Touring and socializing

Previous greetings and courtesies | asking for help, emergencies | numbers, days, months, seasons | question words, quantities, weather and time | banks, taxis and restaurants | transportation and finding your way | touring and socializing | at the filling station | the human body and ailments | shopping and sport Next

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Like and love

In Xhosa the word for ‘like’ and ‘love’ is the same verb –thanda. If one says Ndiyakuthanda it can mean ‘I like you’ or ‘I love you’.

Names in Xhosa

Most Xhosa names have a meaning. Names are given to children according to factors such as the circumstances of birth, which may include the day of the week, or when or where the birth took place; e.g. for a female Nomvula (Mother of Rain) and a male Sipho (Gift). Events or achievements in the history of a family may also be a contributing factor; e.g. Nonkululeko (Mother of freedom) for a female and Zwelethu (our land) for a male.

Slang language in South Africa

South Africa is a multi-cultural, cosmopolitan society where slang is used by many as a lingua franca.  Street language may be called Isicamtho, ‘flaai-taal’ or ‘tsotsi taal’ and incorporates Africanised articulations of English and Afrikaans. Some slang borrowings from the African languages are:
aikona  -  No way, absolutely not. From Nguni language meaning “No”.
babalaas – Hangover.  From the Zulu word ibhabhalazi.
bra -  my brother, mate.
chana - my mate (from Zulu, 'my nephew' umshana).
eish! - an interjection expressing resignation, surprise, bewilderment or shock.
eita! -  a greeting: “eita bra!” Originated in the townships among the youth.
hhawu! - expression of disbelief.
hhayi bo! - wow! (from Zulu, 'definitely not').
majita – men.
spaza - an informal trading-post/convenience store found in townships and remote areas.
toyi-toyi - protest-dancing; used in mainstream South African English.