Wednesday, 8 October 2008

A snotklap for the ANC. Don't you love SA slang?

Ray Hartley, editor of The Times, uses the word 'snotklap' in his recent post about Mosiuoa Lekota breaking ranks with the ANC, South Africa's governing party. A magnificent choice of word, and one that any South African will understand and appreciate. It's one of those words that is just infused with hilarity, and that is impossible to translate.

But let me try:

The literal translation of the Afrikaans word klap [pronounced 'clup'] is 'hit' or 'smack' . But it also has many nuances - it also means beat, vanquish, smite, consume, devour, beat about the ears, give a kick in the pants to, and so on. For example, you might say, 'We klapped a couple of bottles of brandy last night'. Or: 'We really klapped the Ozzies at the cricket'. Or: 'Do your homework, or I'll klap you.'

When you have a hangover, you might say, 'I can't come to the meeting, I feel totally klapped'.

Now add the word snot, which means the same in Afrikaans as it does in English.

Snotklap [pronounced snort-clup] means a big, open-handed smack about the side of the face that is so severe that it causes the snot to fly sideways from your nostrils.

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3 comments:

meggie said...

Roaring with laughter. I know many folk who deserve to be severely snotklapped!!

tonypark said...

Excellent word, which I fully intend to use in my next book.

So glad to be back in the land of reasonable internet connection to I can get my Salma fix.

Baie dankie

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