A Dictionary of South African English on Historical Principles

Front Cover
Penny Silva
Oxford University Press, 1996 - Africa, Southern - 825 pages
1 Review
A Dictionary of South African English is the fullest ever study of the English language in South Africa. The result of 25 years of work, this dictionary has been researched and written according to historical principles. However, as well as recording examples of South African English going back to the sixteenth century, the dictionary also provides an insight into the dramatic political and cultural changes in South Africa's history by examining the country's ever changing language rightup to the present day. Research into language has involved the contributions of hundreds of individual South Africans, as well as extensive research into all other forms of the written and spoken language. Diverse and informative entries include robot (a traffic light), bakkie (a small truck), bond (a mortgage), and brinjals (aubergines). The dictionary includes such areas as children's slang, the vocabulary of soldiers, the mines, local music terms, the townships, food, and a detailed look atthe complex language of apartheid. English words originating from all the country's groups are recorded, including words from Dutch/Afrikaans, the Malayo-Indonesian languages, the Indian, Khoisan, Nguni, and Sotho languages.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - johnthefireman - LibraryThing

A useful dictionary which gives the meanings of many words that are common in South Africa. Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (1996)


The DSAE was written at the Dictionary Unit for South African English at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa. Penny Silva is the executive director of the Unit and the Dictionary's managing editor.

Bibliographic information