Archive for the ‘Idiome’ Category

I am amazed once again at the impact of our environment on our lives.  Just take the general state of the weather and it’s ability to determine our entire day.  It impacts both our emotional and physical well being.  Today we are literally HIDING from the wind.  It has been foul outside which had a disastrous impact on our plans to play golf this afternoon. In Afrikaans we have a few saying about the wind.  Incidentally the Afrikaans word for wind is “wind” – spelled exactly the same but pronounced a little differently.  Here are a few idioms:

  • Hy is ‘n regte windlawaai (He is a real “windy noise maker”; meaning that he is very full of himself)
  • Ek het ‘n windjie hoor waai (I heard it on the wind – meaning I have heard a rumour about something)
  • Hy het ‘n klap van die windmeul weg (He has been slapped by a windmill, meaning he is a bit crazy)
  • Voet in die wind slaan (Heading feet first into the wind, meaning getting away while the going is good)
  • Hoë bome vang die meeste wind (Tall trees are most affected by the wind, meaning that actions of people in important positions will be more critically scrutinized)

Here’s to looking forward to summer.  And much less wind.  Hope you had a great weekend.


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I sometimes wonder at all the sayings we have in Afrikaans and in particular the origin thereof.  One of these expressions is “Dit is nie dood van Katryn nie”.  Translated: “It is not the death of Katryn” (Katryn is a traditional Afrikaans name).  It means that something that happened or went wrong is not the end of the world.

I find myself wondering who Katryn was.  What she looked like.  What type of person she was.  Her death must have been devastating to someone.  Devastating enough so that her name was passed from generation to generation of Afrikaans speaking persons in a context referring to potential disaster.  I find myself wondering about the day Katryn died.  I think her death was unexpected, possibly an accident.  I picture sadness en tears and the eulogy at her funeral.  Which should all be quite depressing – but I find it comforting in a weird way.

We all have people in our lives that are dear to us.  And in turn we all are “Katryn” to someone close to us.  Our love and respect for each other may perhaps outlast our time on earth and if we are lucky it may become as legendary as the death of Katryn.


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Picture from Dreamstime.com

It is not too often that I come across an Afrikaans saying that I have not heard before.  But my mother-in-law really made my day today by saying “Dit was so besig soos nagmaal op Geitjiesgatvlakte” – commenting on her visit to a fresh produce grocer earlier today.  She referred to the fact that the store was extremely crowded.  Literally translated it read something like this: “It was as crowded as communion on Geitjiesgatvlakte” (Geitjiesgatvlakte being a small little place in the middle of nowhere).  I came across this picture of a ginger bread man feeling a bit crammed in – the look on his face explains precisely how our proverbial friend stuck in Geitjiesgatvlakte would feel.  Hope you had a peaceful, uncrowded weekend!


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It is amazing how quickly time passes while you are on holiday.  In Afrikaans we have a few peculiar words to describe something that goes by fast.  There is absolutely no way to translate these!  If you’d like to know how to pronounce these words in Afrikaans, you can visit this link.

Here goes:

  • Woerts Warts
  • Tjoef Tjaf
  • Japtrap
  • Binne ‘n ommesientjie
  • Blitsvinning

Do you have any words to add?


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I am going on leave tomorrow.  Yeah!  We are traveling to the West Coast and making a bit of a road trip out of it.  One of the things we are going to do is to go on a sailing course which I am looking forward to a lot.  The other thing I cannot wait to see and smell is the sea.  The sea in along this particular bit of the South African coast just seems to be a darker shade of blue than anywhere else.  In Afrikaans we have a few sayings that incorporates the sea:

  • Tussen die duiwel en die diep blou see (Between the devil and the deep blue see; meaning that you are somewhere between a rock and a hard place)
  • Daar moet nog baie water in die see loop (A lot of water needs to still flow into the sea; meaning that a lot still needs to happen before you will be a able to make a good judgment)

If you can think of more sayings about the sea, please share with is.


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Today is my wedding anniversary.  So I decided the theme of today’s blog should be marriage.  In Afrikaans we have a saying “Jakkals trou met Wolf se vrou”.  Literally translated it means “Jackal marries the wife of Wolf”.  When the sun is shining while it is raining this saying is used to describe this unusual state of the weather.

The origin of the saying lies in one of the Afrikaans folk tales centred around two characters: Jackal (cunning and mischievous) and Wolf (steadfast, honest and in some cases a bit slow witted).  The story goes that Jackal convinced Wolf’s fiancé to marry him instead of Wolf by lying to her about Wolf’s intentions toward her.  Jackal ties Wolf to a tree to prevent him from crashing the planned wedding.  The Sun and the Rain sees this horrible injustice and decides to play Cupid.

When all the guests were gathered for the wedding in the veld Rain let loose a few drops, which chased everyone inside for shelter.  As soon as all the guests were safely inside Sun came out again and made it unbearably hot – so that everyone moved outdoors again.  Sun and Rain kept up this stalling game until Wolf finally freed himself of his bonds and arrived in time to explain to Lady Wolf that Jackal has been up to tricks and that he (Wolf) truly loves her.  And from this day onward, whenever the sun shines while it is raining it is said “Jakkals trou met Wolf se vrou”.

Hope you found this one interesting!


(P.S. – There’s some interesting Jakkals and Wolf stories on YouTube)

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I am sick.  Properly sick.  As in I’ve been in bed for three days straight and I am still feeling rotten.  In Afrikaans there is about a thousand ways to describe how utterly useless I am feeling.  I could say:

  • Ek het iets onder lede (No literal translation for this one; it basically means something is wrong with me, I am ill)
  • Ek is so siek soos ‘n hond (I am as sick as a dog)

The result of all of this is that I am not really capable to think.  So this is a short one.  Do you have any sayings about being sick that you would like to add?


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It’s Friday and today is all about tongue in the cheek phrases.  (Thanks Johann for these!) 

  • Ek sit nou so lekker ek staan sommer op en sit weer
  • Hy’s so skeel – hy kan deur ‘n opgerolde tuinslang kyk
  • Hy’t ‘n skerp gesig soos n resies-snoek
  • Ek gaan jou klap dat jy lus kry vir niks
  • Skurwe hakke soos n vleipatat
  • ‘n Gevolgtrekking is die punt waar jy moeg raak vir dink
  • Vandag is die môre waaroor jy gister bekommerd was!

Any volunteers to help me translate these?

Until Sunday,


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Blue Skies

Over the weekend I went home to visit my parents. I forgot how blue the Western Cape sky could be.  Below is a picture of my cousin and I.  As you can see the wind was blowing a bit …

My nig en ek

In Afrikaans there are a few sayings that incorporates the colour blue:

  • ‘n Saak blou-blou laat (Leaving a case blue-blue; meaning avoiding talking about the issues at hand)
  • Hy besit nie ‘n bloue duit nie (He does not own a blue farthing; meaning he owns nothing)
  • Sy is ‘n bloukous (She is a blue stocking, meaning she is a learned woman)
  • ‘n Bloutjie loop (No way to translate this one; meaning to be disappointed)

Have a great evening!


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Cheese Festival

Hy dink hy is Kaas ...

Well – Spring is here and it is time to celebrate!  Boeretroos has declared the month of September to be a Cheese Festival.  We plan on having lots of picnics and using any and all excuses to try all sorts of weird and wonderful cheeses.  We also plan on being grateful for the small things in life – be they subtle or bold.  Or topic for the day is then, alas, cheese.  Here are a few very funny ones:

Kaas sonder wyn is soos ‘n bruid sonder tande

  • Traslation: Cheese without wine is like a bride without teeth (my favourite!)
  • Explanation: Apparently this saying has a French origin.  And no explanation is needed – eating cheese without having a glass of wine is unthinkable!

Hy dink hy’s kaas (en dan is hy nog nie eens dikmelk nie)

  • Translation: He thinks he is cheese (but he is not even curdled milk yet)
  • Explanation: He thinks he is someone very important, but in truth he is quite inconsequential.  Remind you of someone you know?

Skerp gesig soos ‘n kwartpond kaas

  • Translation: A sharp face like a quarter pound of cheese
  • Explanation: Quite a humorous one – referring to someone with a very pointy face.

Hy glo dat die maan van kaas gemaak is

  • Translation: He believes the moon is made of cheese
  • Explanation: He is very naive and will believe almost anything

Hy is ‘n Kaaskop

  • Translation: He is a Cheese Head
  • Explanation: This saying is used to refer to persons from Dutch decent.  Quite aptly.

We wish you lots of blossoms and great weather – let us know what cheese you like (or don’t like).


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