World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

List of English words of Afrikaans origin

Article Id: WHEBN0000636247
Reproduction Date:

Title: List of English words of Afrikaans origin  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

List of English words of Afrikaans origin

Words of Afrikaans origin have entered other languages. British English has absorbed Afrikaans words primarily via British soldiers who served in the Boer Wars. Many more words have entered common usage in South African English due to the parallel nature of the English and Afrikaner cultures in South Africa. Afrikaans words have unusual spelling patterns.

Internationally common

  • Afrikaans (literally "african", adj.)
  • apartheid (literally "separate-ness")
  • bergwind (warm dry wind blowing from the plateau to the coast)
  • biltong (literally "rump tongue/strip")
  • Boer (literally "farmer")
  • boerewors (literally "farmer's sausage")
  • ja (literally "yes")
  • kloof (literally "cleft", a steep-sided valley)
  • kraal (African village within a stockade, from Portuguese curral)
  • kommando (originally a mounted infantry unit raised to retrieve stolen livestock)[1][2]
  • kop, or koppie (literally "head" or "cup", an African monadnock)
  • laager (a collection of vehicles in a circle, meant for protection)
  • rand (literally "edge" or "rim")
  • rooibos (literally "red bush")
  • rondavel (literally "round hovel")
  • sjambok (an ox-hide whip)
  • spoor (literally "tracks" or "footprints")
  • trek (literally "draw",[3] or "haul")
  • veld (literally "field" or natural African bush vegetation)[4][5]

Common names

Afrikaans (or Cape Dutch) common names for plants and animals often entered the English vernacular:

Cape Dutch

There are also several English words derived from Cape Dutch, a forerunner of Afrikaans:

  • hartebeest (modern Afrikaans equivalent is hartebees)
  • scoff/skoff[7] (as in scoffing food): from Cape Dutch schoff, the word did not find its way into modern Afrikaans
  • veldt borrowed again by English in the modern form veld
  • wildebeest (modern Afrikaans equivalent is wildebees)

Common in South African English

There are almost innumerable borrowings from Afrikaans in South African English.


  1. ^ "Resistance To Colonial Expansion, The Resistance Of The San, The Commando". New History. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  2. ^ James, Wilmot G. and Mary Simons (ed.) (January 9, 2009). Class, Caste and Color: A Social and Economic History of the South African Western Cape. Transaction Publishers. pp. 13–15.  
  3. ^ Hamer, Mary. "“Chant-Pagan”: Notes". Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  4. ^ McKenna, Amy (2011). The History of Southern Africa. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 12.  
  5. ^ Meyer, Deon (2011). Trackers. Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated. p. 476.  
  6. ^ Greaves, Nic. The magic fish bones and other tales from Africa. p. 121. 
  7. ^ Hamer, Mary. "“The Parting of the Columns”: Notes". Retrieved 23 April 2012. 

See also

External links

  • Low Germanic loanwords in modern English
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.