As with most armed forces a unique language develops from the humour and background of the men in uniform. It is used by everybody and becomes a part of day to day speech. The following list of sayings is included to give a representation. Some odd expressions may have crept onto this website and the reader will be able to understand the meaning from the list. As a result of the fact that several South Africans were recruited into the RLI some Afrikaans words were borrowed and were used on a daily basis by people who had no knowledge of Afrikaans at all. Hence, most sentences ended with the words "Ek se", meaning "I say".
Agitate the gravel - Lets go. Leave the place.
Avo - Avocado pear.
Ag shame - expression of sympathy.
APA - African Purchase Area. Farmland owned and worked by Africans. Whites were prohibited from farming in the APAs.
Bowl us the ages ek se - What is the time?
Bundu / gangen - the bush, the countryside.
Bi 'scope - cinema.
Babalas - a hangover, state of inebriation.
Blerrie – derivative of 'bloody'.
Bobojan - monkey.
Brookies – panties/knickers.
Charity glide to society - Free lift to town.
Chune (some people spell this as "tune") - To tell somebody something.
Chibuli / Shumba - beer.
Civvie sitrep - News on the commercial radio.
Connection - Friend.
Culling - Killing terrs.
Chibulie - Castle or Lion lager
Chick - girlfriend
China - friend (from the Cockney 'china plate' = mate)
Check you – see you (goodbye)
Donga - A ditch (from Afrikaans).
Flat dog - Crocodile.
Few - Little / small.
Frantan – Napalm (literally ‘Frangible Tank’).
Freds – Frelimo.
Fundi – Expert – (Shona).
Gat - Rifle.
Gomos - Hills
Gook - Terrorist (from the Vietnam War era)
Goose / bird - Girl / girlfriend.
Gunge - Horrible / dirty / bad.
Gangeni - The bush.
Graze / chow / nosh / grub - Food.
Hanna hanna - Fuss / problem.
Hondo – War, conflict (Shona)
Is it? - Comment made when replying to any statement made in a conversation.
Jawl (from the Afrikaans (jol) - Play / have a good time.
Jesse - thick thorn scrub
Jive / jet / split - Leave / go.
Katunda / kit - Personal equipment.
Kife - steal something.
Kopjie - Hill (from Afrikaans)
Kraal – African Village
Lemon - Nothing there. Normally used to describe an operation or patrol which produced nothing.
Long - Many / much / a lot.
MMWC - The leader / person in charge. (Main man what counts).
Mellows - Music.
Mielie – Maize cobs
Mujiba – Young insurgent supporter, their ‘eyes and ears’(Shona)
Muti - Medicine of any description.
Mushi / cool / beauts / heavy - Really nice / good.
Mushi sterek - Really nice / good.
Ouen - Fellow / bloke / chap.
Put your slayer onto sing - Put your LMG/rifle on automatic.
Pulled a fade - Failed to do something / did not arrive at an appointed destination.
Slot - To kill (He slotted a terr).
Smaak - Like something (from the Afrikaans word).
Start/shekels/bucks - Money.
Snyd - Cheated.
Sitrep – Situation Report
Sunray – Code for commander
Tadza - Mistake
Terr – Terrorist
TTL – Tribal Trust Land
Vlei – Open grassland (Afrikaans)
UDI – Unilateral Declaration of Independence, declared by Rhodesia on 11th November 1965
Work us a glide - Give me a lift.
Yellow bird - The sun