Afrikaans words nobody learned at school

Afrikaans is an interesting language, and it’s one of South Africa’s 12 official languages.

However, there are some words nobody learned at school.

What about a ‘koeksister’?

Likewise, what is ‘spookasem’?

Here are some fun words from the language.

Afrikaans words that nobody learned at school

There are some Afrikaans words that nobody learned at school.

However, it’s never too late to learn something.

The South African put together this list of interesting, weird words and their meanings.

More language learning

The South African covered some literal Afrikaans words in this 2019 article.

However, there are still some interesting words that you should know.

Have you ever heard about a ‘vloermoer’, and have you ever eaten a ‘koeksister’?

Have fun with some of these weird Afrikaans words.

Afrikaans: Vloermoer

The word ‘vloermoer’ means ‘floor-whacking’, and literally means that someone is having a tantrum.

It’s a strange word without a true, literal direct translation into another language.

Also, you’ll know it when you see it!

Afrikaans: Koeksister

‘Koeksister’ is a strange Afrikaans word, referring to a fried and braided dough-based dessert.

It means ‘cake sister’ when translated.

They’re delicious. But you can’t eat too many of them in a row!

There’s no sugar-free version of this dessert… It’s mostly sugar, and dipped in sugar, but it’s also great to eat.

However, there’s also the koe’sister, which is a traditional Cape Malay dessert instead.

Afrikaans: Spookasem

According to Oxford Dictionaries, candy floss is ‘made from melted sugar and served on a stick’.

However, you can also buy ‘spookasem’ in containers.

It’s an odd name that translates into ghost breath.

‘Ghost breath’ because candy floss disappears under the tongue. However, not everyone knows this word for it!

Afrikaans: Pantoffel

‘Pantoffel’ is an older word for a slipper.

However, the word actually comes from German.

French calls it a ‘pantoufle’, however its meaning stays the same.

Afrikaans absorbed the word from another language, technically making this funny-sounding one a loan word.

Afrikaans: Oliebol

An ’oliebol’ is the Afrikaans word for a doughnut.

According to Oxford Dictionaries, it’s a ‘small cake made from fried dough’,

However, the Afrikaans word translates to mean that it’s an oil ball!

The word can be spelled as ‘doughnut’ or ‘donut’, though ‘doughnut’ is more likely in South Africa.

Have you tried an ‘oliebol’ with coffee?

Tell us your thoughts

Tell us what you think about this story! What’s your favourite word in one of South Africa’s official languages? Let us know your word choices, however, keep it polite! You can reach The South African’s team at