Each country has their own unique way of saying things. Those sayings that have a totally different meaning to what is actually being said. And that being said I would like to explain a few of my country’s uniqueness. Being South African we have adopted our sayings to incorporate our diverse culture.
We live on what is called ‘African time’ and only a true South African will understand the concept of “hurry up and wait”. Our lifestyle is very much a slower pace to most of the world. So here are but a few of way of saying things.
“On my way” actually means ‘I have not left yet.’
“I am just around the corner” actually means ‘I have just left.’
“I will be there Now Now” is actually ‘I will be there sometime today.’
“I will be there shortly” is the time frame of anything from and hour to 3 hours’ time.
“See you later” can be anything from today to a good few weeks’ time.
“Just now” is also an unknown amount of time (could mean few minutes, tomorrow, next week or just plain never). So if a South African ever says to you “I will do it just now” or “I will be there just now” don’t expect it to happen anytime soon……
‘Ag shame’ this can mean either an expression of sympathy or of admiration for e.g. “Ag shame man, you poor thing” or “Ah shame, he is so cute”
“Eish” (aysh) is an African exclamation derived from Xhosa, for surprise, disapproval, exasperation or regret. “Eish, but the service is bad!”
“Is it” (izzit) or “Sho” is used frequently in a conversation meaning ‘Is that so?’ or ‘really?’
“Jawelnofine (Yes-well-no-fine) is an expression of resignation.
The phrase of ‘yes no’ (or ja nee – Afrikaans) can be used to confirm something as it conveys a similar feeling to the work ‘Okay’ for e.g. “I heard you had the flu, how are you feeling today? Yes no, I am feeling much better thanks.”
These are just a few of the sayings that we South Africans love to say. I haven’t even began to mention all the different words and their meaning. I would love to hear of anymore favourite sayings from you.