If you ever hear “Bring your costume and some pudding” in South Africa, you’ll know this is a swimming party with a dessert potluck (that is not likely to include actual pudding, as you know it).
Here are a few “must know” terms for your next trip to South Africa… Costume (or Cozie) = Swimming Suit (as in “swimming costume”)
Context: Bring your cozie!
Commentary: When I first heard someone say “Bring your costume!” I thought, “Costume? Princess? Pirate? Dinosaur? I don’t have a costume!”
Now Now = sooner than Now
Context: I’ll be there now now.
Commentary: People say this all the time. “Now Now.” From what I’ve been able to gather from several different sources – this is the equivalent of “asap” or “right now.” Of course this is Africa – so it’s not lightning quick or anything – it just means “I’m STARTING to head in that direction.”
Pudding = Dessert
Context: Do you want some pudding?
Commentary: Pudding here is the generic term for dessert. Odd. A South African was telling me she had asked an American to bring pudding to a pot luck dinner and she brought with a bowl of chocolate pudding (as I most certainly would have). The confused South African said, “What’s this?” and the American said, “Pudding, of course!” So they served the pudding for pudding!
Force Cup = Plunger
Context: Well…we better go get a force cup.
Commentary: We’ve been in Africa for about a year now – and had to buy our first “force cup” recently. When Karl asked the Pick N Pay (grocery store) employee where to find a plunger – they looked at him like he was crazy – after several hand motions (don’t picture it), they pointed him to the “force cup” section.
Half Past Eleven = 11:30
Context: Meet me for lunch at half past 11.
Commentary: The most exact time gets here is 15 minute increments - “quarter past,” “half past,” or “quarter till”. Saying 11:15 or 11:45 is not common. I asked a friend once, “What if you had an appointment at 9:10 am? How would you say that?” She said, “Why would you have an appointment at 9:10?” Shouldn’t they just make it for quarter past?” Ahh…good point– it seems it’s just us Americans that like to be so precise. How I miss a movie with a show time at 8:25 pm!