Archive for ‘Xhosa wordnerdery’

December 4th, 2012

Ziphi iiLwimi Zakuthi Kulomnatha?

by Unathi Kondile

Ndikhumbula kusandokubulawa utat’ uMuammar Gaddafi kuthothoza isichotho
seeTweets kuThwitha, zabemmi baseLibya. Xa wawusithi ukhangela iingxelo
zaseLibya wawudibana nezibhalo ngezibhalo ezazibhalwe ngesiArabhu.

Ndikwakhumbula naxesha ilixesha leWorld Cup – pha ngo2010. Iindwendwe
ngeendwendwe ezazikweli ngelathuba yayingabantu bamanye amazwe kwaye
ndisakuqaphela babengakhumshi kwa ukukhumsha. Tu. Babethetha iilwimi
zakubo. Nditsho nomdlali wodumo, wezebhola ekhatywayo, uRicardo Izecson
dos Santos Leite (owaziwa ngeli lika Kaká kwelakubo) wayesoloko ethetha
ekwabhala ngesiSpanyolo sakubo.

November 30th, 2012

hilihili

A Xhosa word for one who travels or wanders around a lot.

July 6th, 2012

Isigilamkhuba

“umkhuba” is a bad habit, so if you add “isigila” to this word you get “isigilamkhuba” which means one who falls into bad habits or simply put, an offender. The word can be used to refer to a criminal.

June 27th, 2012

ikhubeka imanqina mane

(the letter “q” is a soft click) – a direct translation of this phrase is “it can trip (ikhubeka) even if it has four legs (manqina amane)” which means you can still make a mistake / fall no matter how grounded you are.

June 24th, 2012

Mncim!

is a sound more than a word, it means “whatever!” or that irks me or I don’t care.

June 18th, 2012

ntshovuntshovu

(pronounce “tsh” as English “ch”) is a term that denotes the act of slothfulness, begrudging or being grumpy. i.e.: So and so is a “ntshovuntshovu” of a person.

June 15th, 2012

Akhomntu wodlula ihlwempu ngokubanemali yotywala

a direct translation of this phrase is “no one can beat a poor person when it comes to having money for alcohol” which is another way of saying poor people drink more or always have money for alcohol.

June 1st, 2012

Ukufa kunetyala

A phrase meaning death has a debt to society.

May 25th, 2012

Ukubeka inqawa

Means to put the pipe down, which is a respectful way of saying someone has died – in a sentence you can say “[name of person] ubeke inqawa”

May 22nd, 2012

Gawulayo

Literally means “the reaper”, which in our days is AIDS/HIV, in years gone bygone the reaper could’ve been any other major killer – one can say “someone has uGawulayo” and it’ll mean they has AIDS.