A neighbourhood in central Pretoria consisting largely of apartment blocks. Also the city’s unofficial red light district.


A farmer’s market that takes place in Pretoria very early on a Saturday morning. One of the best reasons to live in Pretoria.


South African barbeque.

Crimplene kos

A term referring to a type of cooking which draws heavily on the use of packaged ingredients such as condensed milk, jelly powder, soup powder, and canned goods, very popular in Afrikaner culture.

Eugène Marais

Afrikaans journalist and scientist, author of first Afrikaans poem. Committed suicide in 1936.


Shrubland indigenous to the Western Cape Province.

Great Trek

Seminal event in Afrikaner history. During the 1830s and 1840s some Afrikaners trekked from the Cape Colony to the interior of South Africa, in an effort to get out from under colonial British rule.


Traditional Afrikaner pastry. The dough is twisted in a braid-like shape, deep fried, then covered in a hot sugar syrup. Served for tea or as dessert.

Koos Kombuis

Subversive Afrikaner voice during the 1980s, as writer, poet and musician. One of the main instigators of the Voëlvry movement.

koring, koringslaai

Wheat berries, a salad of wheat berries.


Ground beef.


Traditional Afrikaner custard tart, sprinkled with cinnamon. Served for tea or as dessert.


The former capital of Bophutatswana, one of the homelands of Apartheid South Africa. As a country, Bophutatswana no longer exists, and is now considered part of South Africa proper, and to be more specific, part of the Northwest province.


The Northwest province of South Africa.


Akin to American pancakes, but not as large. Eaten at breakfast.

Potchefstroom Universiteit vir Christelike Hoër Onderwys

Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education


Radio Sonder Grense, a (mostly) conservative Afrikaans radio station, featuring news, actuality and music, especially popular among Afrikaners over the age of 40. (Conservative in this regard should be read in the cultural, as opposed to the political, sense.)

Sheila Cussons

Afrikaans poet who suffered extreme burns to her face when a stove exploded in her kitchen.




Inner-city neighbourhood of Pretoria, with beautiful (but now largely derelict) apartment buildings built from the 1950s onwards. In the 1980s and early 1990s it was home to a large swathe of the alternative Afrikaners living in the city. My friend Riëtte has some beautiful photographs of the area up on her blog.


Polite yet familial term to refer to women more than ten years older than yourself. Has a mumsy connotation, for the most part not embraced by younger women.


Cattle auction


A type of savoury doughnut eaten in South Africa, a yeasted dough deep fried in oil and either eaten with jam, golden syrup, cheese, or ground, spiced beef. It is sold at every Afrikaner church fête or sports gathering or market, and it is deeply satisfying. Too many will kill you.


The western part of the former province of Transvaal, an area with many mining operations and large-scale farming.


Desert of ice.  Term used by some friends, resentful of my move, to refer to Canada.