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Edition size: 40

Printmaker: Tim Foulds

Measurements of framed work: 1370mm (width) X 1100mm (height)

290 English/Afrikaans words composed to resemble a wall of bricks

Word Woes I

  • History

    In May, 2011, I visited Stellenbosch to discuss the envisaged Twenty exhibition with SMAC Gallery. Painfully aware of the squabble over Afrikaans as a language of prerogative at Stellenbosch University, I proposed an artwork consisting of one word that makes some sense in both the English and Afrikaans languages, but of which the meanings in the two languages differ significantly. That work was BOOM. I envisaged this work to be a big gabion wall (a bulky wall made up of stones stacked in wire baskets) in which two different coloured stones would be so stacked as to spell out the word boom on both sides of the wall. The wall would be placed in Jonkershoek, a get-away nature reserve where romantic couples often enjoy sanctuary in the shadows of large trees and the spellbinding vistas of mountain cliffs. The wall had to be large and inviting enough to serve as a refuge for amorous kisses. The word boom, in English, is rather onomatopoeic and spells out the noise of exploding bombs, as in the big boom! In Russian, boom! is an accepted toast, like cheers! – celebration laid on thick. In a more sedate sense, boom is also a long pole, usually pivoted to go up and down to let traffic through. In Afrikaans boom is ‘tree’ a word that confirms my life-long interest in and respect for nature. I have tried hard to learn the names of all the plants I come across and I am not doing too badly. Boom, however, has another, far more stress-free meaning in Afrikaans. To the unperturbed it spells out marijuana. The more easygoing students would immediately chuckle at this usage and might even be tempted to slink behind BOOM wall for a whiff or two of the beleaguered stuff. I wanted the work to poke some light-hearted fun at the obsessive linguistic preoccupation of the frantic local academic fraternity. It would clearly satisfy them on one level and most certainly raise eyebrows on another. Unfortunately, or is it fortunately, I never got around to make BOOM, but there is every reason why I still might make it one day.


    The idea that one can have words of the same spelling in Afrikaans and English, but that differ totally in meaning, stayed with me. When I was again approached by SMAC gallery in Stellenbosch, to have a solo exhibition in 2012, the memory of BOOM milled about in my head and I began to collect similar words. After more than a year I had come up with a list of two-hundred-and-forty words.


    To stay with the idea of using the earthen substance (stones) envisaged for BOOM, I decided to use the sand/soil from the town of Darling, also in the Western Cape. I mapped out the words on small brick-like plaques and I asked my friend Andrew Munnik to collect the soils and fill in the words and their backgrounds on the plaques. Finally, I had a large collage called PLATTER ROOSTER providing a brick wall for the linguistically-minded to run into.


    At the time I was convinced that I would not find any new words, but in the two years that followed new words began to surface, and when I was put to bed for months on end by an awful flu at the beginning of 2014, I had time to contemplate new additions. In the end the 240 words increased to 290 and in order to share the work with a wider audience, I decided to turn it into an edition of etchings with the new title WORD WOES. In English, this title laments issues dealing with words and in Afrikaans it instructs all to let go and be wild.




    If you are English and had never spoken a word of Afrikaans, the list of words in WORD WOES will appear totally English to you. If you are Afrikaans and had never seen any written English, which is highly unlikely, you might recognise these words as totally Afrikaans


    There is no logical linguistic reason for the choice of words. In a way they are a Dada list – a mini Dada dictionary. Their inclusion is strangely dependent on the throw of a dice, in this case, the dice is the fact that the English and Afrikaans meanings of these words of the same spelling have absolutely nothing to do with each other.


    The marvel of it all is for the reasonably bilingual person to read a word from one of the two languages, and then, upon reflection, to find the meaning of that word in the other language slowly dawning upon them.


    At first I thought of calling the work LOST IN TRANSLATION because the words play with irreconcileable meanings. This ‘English-only’ title would, however, only serve to anger sensitive members of the Afrikaans community and I decided to name the etching after two of the words that make strange sense when combined: WORD WOES.


    The English often see Afrikaans words next to English signage and because of their expectation that all written expression everywhere must necessarily be English, one often gets quite humorous readings. My son, Willem junior, who lives in the United Kingdom, once tried to draw money from the automatic banking machine in the predominantly Afrikaans town of Parys and he could not because he thought the prominence of the word jammer on the monitor meant that the machine had been jammed, when in fact an apology was issued for the fact that the machine could not print paper slips. Jammer in Afrikaans means ‘sorry’. An old English friend wondered for a while about the meaning of the word slegs on a road sign – he read ‘only slegs’ and could not, for the life of him, figure out what kind of things the slegs are. In Afrikaans slegs means ‘only’.




    Casual rules for the selection of words


    The etching WORD WOES is a small dictionary made up of words of the same spelling in English and Afrikaans but with totally different meanings. The meanings contained in its expressions are meant to be straight-forward, easily understandable, aimed at astonishment and admiration for their linguistic flair. I hope to ambush a certain slice of our bi-lingual society with the work’s quaintness and I mean to keep them at a standstill for some time in front of the work, pondering the marvelousness of our differences. Preference is given to words that are more or less easily identifiable and that might cause the greater interest.


    My friends playfully came up with two small sentences that read true for both languages: “My hand is in warm water” or “My pen is in my hand.” Unfortunately all these words are totally synonymous for Afrikaans and English and none such totally similar words are admitted in WORD WOES. Entries were omitted if they did not succeed as excellent examples of a true kind of difference.


    Words that might normally be accepted in the game of Scrabble are suitable, but note the following relaxed rules:


    No synonyms (PLATTER ROOSTER works with words spelled exactly the same, but that carry no similarities of meaning):

    • Similarly spelled and synonymous words are unsuitable: hang, arm, hand, bale, was, drank, hinder, note, verse, rose, grief, pan, vat, ring, stand, sending, spanning, slinger, sing, genies, plot, etc.
    • Even a slight sense of synonymity is also reason for disqualification. Elf, for example, is good in the sense of number eleven (Afrikaans), but as Santa’s little helper (same meaning in English and Afrikaans) it is disqualified. Other words like slot, pure, blank, mark (market), grade, rose and tasting also have too much synonymity for inclusion.


    No informal, colloquial or seldom used words.

    • dink – ‘to think’ in Afrikaans and a partner in a well-off working couple with no children in informal English.
    • dwang – ‘coercion’ in Afrikaans and ‘serious trouble’ in colloquial English.
    • vader – ‘father’ in Afrikaans and a character from the Star Wars films in English.
    • swat – ‘to hit or slap’ in English and ‘to study’ in informal Afrikaans.
    • gal – ‘girl’ in informal English and ‘contents of the gallbladder’ in Afrikaans.
    • loon – ‘salary’ in Afrikaans and ‘silly person’ in informal English.
    • gees – ‘spirit’ in Afrikaans and exclamations of surprise in informal English
    • toon – ‘toe’ in Afrikaans and ‘cartoon film’ in informal English.

    *   An exception was made in the case of ‘vroom’ because, even though it is informal English, it has a great onomatopaeic ring to it and is often used. I guess that most (perhaps all) words progressed from a time or sense in which they had been informal. The invention of text and printed matter created rules and formality.


    No scientific, overly technical or pedantic words

    • bots – ‘to crash’ in Afrikaans and in English the plural of bot, the larva of the botfly, also an abbreviation for ‘robots’.
    • tor – ‘bug’ in Afrikaans and a hill or ‘rocky peak’ in English


    No foreign or archaic words:

    • tome – ‘reins of a horse’ in Afrikaans and ‘book’ in old English.
    • nog – ‘small block or peg of wood’ and short for ‘eggnog’ in English. In Afrikaans it means ‘more’.
    • brag – ‘to bring’ archaic Afrikaans en ‘to boast’ in English
    • rust – ‘oxidation’ in English and ‘to rest’ in archaic Afrikaans
    • ween – ‘to be of opinion’ in archaic English and ‘to cry’ in Afrikaans
    • lam – ‘to hit’, a verb in nineteenth century English and ‘lamb’ in Afrikaans.


    No proper names or words beginning with capital letters are allowed:

    • Mars/mars English (two meanings: 1. the planet Mars, and 2. to spoil); Afrikaans (to march)
    • Rooms is acceptable in English, but the Afrikaans Rooms is rejected (a proper name pertaining to the Roman Catholic Church).


    Words in which the application is strained or hardly ever used:

    • staker – in Afrikaans ‘one who ceases to work’ and in seldom used English ‘one who drives in a stake’.
    • suffer – ‘more mentally worn out’ in strained Afrikaans and ‘to encounter bad or unpleasant things’ in English


    No abbreviations:

    • bros (‘brothers’ in English)
    • gat (informal and an abbreviation for ‘Gatling’ gun in English)
    • mag – ‘power’ in Afrikaans and a ‘magazine’ in English
    • vet – an exception and included. An abbreviation for ‘veterinarian’ and ‘obese’ in Afrikaans.
    • veg – an exception and included. An abbreviation for ‘vegetables’, and ‘to fight’ in Afrikaans.


    No diacritical marks:

    • reel/reels, to stagger or a film spool in English is acceptable, but reël/reëls, rule and rules in Afrikaans have a dieresis and are excluded
    • blase, Blisters in Afrikaans, but blasé in English has an acute accent mark and is not accepted



    Where meanings are close for some entries, especially of the same word in its plural or in a certain grammatical sense, only the entry with the most letters will be chosen

    • gun/guns – take only guns
    • die/dies – take only dies
    • kale/kales – take only kales





    • re-use or reuse is sometimes spelled with a hyphen in British English and without one in American English and because of its rarity in the list (the eu-) it is included.
    • The word ‘week’ is entered as ‘a period of seven days’ – English and as ‘weak or ineffective’ and ‘to soak’ in Afrikaans. But, week is also ‘a period of seven days’ in Afrikaans. In WORD WOES this synonymity is of course an oversight


    Willem Boshoff 2014

  • WORD WOES meanings







    Imaginary celestial being with wings

    Sharp-pointed stinger at rear-end of a bee, scorpion, etc.


    Plural present form of the verb ‘be’

    Veins, arteries


    Various types of creative activity

    Doctor, such as a children’s doctor, dentist or veterinarian


    Terrible, depraved, worthless

    To wash oneself in water


    Hesitant or unwilling to accept a proposal

    Wooden beam


    Reason for anguish or annoyance

    Lanes, as in racing or athletics


    Loud explosive noise

    To have fear and trepidation


    Sausage, usually eaten at breakfast

    Greater fear; more trepidation


    Exposing or revealing (of secrets, facts, the body)

    Having a child or children; parturition


    Metal rods; counters for serving drinks; society of lawyers

    To crack up; to burst open


    Bottom support; plinth; main area to operate from

    Bosses; persons in charge


    Prepared meat from cows and bulls

    To shiver, shake or tremble


    Past participle of the verb ‘be’

    Bone; leg


    Alcoholic drink distilled from yeast, malt, barley, hops etc.

    Bear (shaggy, erect animal, mostly northern hemisphere)


    Insects that give us honey

    Cow, bull, ox


    To make an offer; to greet (I bid you a fond farewell)

    To pray


    Loud, penetrating, mostly annoying sound

    Leaves, foliage


    Quick shut and open of the eye or eyes

    Shiny, polished – as a surface


    Sensing of a future event; omen

    Messenger; courier


    Soft, marshy, muddy area of ground

    Nonsense; claptrap; drivel


    Hard substance forming a skeleton

    Edible bean seeds; green beans (in husks); bean plants


    Loud resonant bang; pole blocking road; surge in prosperity



    Useful, beneficial item

    Singular, edible bean seed; singular bean plant


    Vulgar, unmannerly person

    To drill; a tool that performs drilling


    Exclamations of sudden surprise; cries of disapproval

    Fuming; angry


    Sturdy shoe; trunk of a car

    Boat; ship


    To be dull and uninteresting, such a person

    Hand drills or drilling machines


    Short spell of intense activity

    Bolt, as in a steel nut and bolt


    Name and advertising status of a product, campaign, etc.

    Fire, to burn


    Those who promote through advertising

    Large waves of the sea


    Animal stock, to rear a line of animals

    Broad, wide


    Lasting for a short while, underpants

    Letter; written note


    To mope or worry; offspring or litter of one parentage

    Bread; basic food that supports life


    Massive size and weight of large items

    Characteristic sound of a cow; to make a moo sound


    Offensively damp, mouldy and cold

    To thank; thankfulness


    Neat and trim in looks, posture or dress (mostly of men)

    Courageous; daring; gutsy


    Lair of a wild animal; a room for leisurely or illicit activity

    Pine tree


    Stops living; to die

    This; these


    To create a hole in the ground, to rummage about

    Compact, compressed or dense; to write poetry


    One who acts or does

    Far away, way over there


    Canine capable of barking, man’s best friend

    To have understood; to have a resident thought


    Puts on a hat or piece of clothing

    Small piece of fluff, down or fur


    Banned performance enhancing substance; stupid person

    Plural of baptism or christening


    Administering illicit drugs

    Dunking of biscuit into drink; baptism


    Quantity of medicine or drug; to medicate correct amount

    Boxes; packages


    Widow’s share of her husband’s estate

    More deaf


    Pull along roughly, usually by force

    Wear; clothing suitable for specific purpose


    Male duck; artificial or natural ‘mayfly’ as bait in fly fishing

    Plural of draak or (‘dragon’ in English)


    People of greater age than the rest of a group

    Elsewhere; in a different place


    Red deer, native to North America

    Each; every; both


    Otherwise; besides

    Plural of els (awl - small pointed tool for making holes)


    Before; earlier than

    Honour and respect


    Female sheep

    Similarly; likewise


    Payment; compensation; tip

    Fairy; small, imaginary, winged female creature


    Plural of ‘fee’ (payment and compensation)

    Festival; celebration


    To move swiftly, lightly (as insects do briefly in the sun)

    Battery operated torch


    Band of criminals; group of labourers

    Passage in a building; channel of access


    Breaks or holes between objects; openings; breaches

    To steal furtively; to pinch or pilfer


    Movable blockade allowing entrance or exit

    Holes; gaps; cavities


    Exclamation of surprise, enthusiasm or sympathy

    To give; to award; to donate


    Extremely cold; frozen solid

    Orderly formation of troops or detachment of men


    Content and satisfied; happy

    Glabrous, soft and smooth to the touch


    More delighted or pleased

    More smooth; more slippery; more slick


    The rounded tip of the penis

    Glossy shine; polished sheen


    Turning food into small particles by rubbing it on a device

    Fish bones


    To swallow in one motion; to ‘knock back’ a drink

    Buttoned fastening in front of men’s pants; zipper


    Weapons that shoot bullets

    Favour; act of kindness


    Common fish, often prepared commercially

    Hooks; bent and sharp-ended metal fasteners


    Fast running, long eared animal that resembles the rabbit

    Hair; locks or curls of hair


    To listen attentively; to call to memory

    Rake; to scratch together by means of a rake


    Back part of the foot below the ankle

    To heal; to made whole or repair; to nurse back to health


    Past participle of ‘hold’; having grasped or detained

    Hero; celebrated brave man


    Third person singular pronoun; of the female

    Previously; long since; in the past


    A group of animals that live together

    Fireplace for cooking; hearth


    In this place; in this position

    Gentlemen; men


    To punch by hand, bat or racket; to strike by missile or ball

    To foment trouble; to provoke into action


    Long-handled, bladed tool used for weeding and tilling

    How, why


    Tools for weeding and loosening soil

    Act or sound of coughing; to cough


    Tunnel or cavity in a solid substance

    Hovels; dens for disagreeable activity


    To give a loud cry or shout

    More hollow; more empty


    Hard shell that forms the foot of cattle, antelope and such

    Forehead; person in charge; most important or main


    Round or semi-circular band of metal; large ring-like jump

    Hope; expectation


    Expectation; anticipation

    Heaps; piles; stacks; mounds


    Expecting, eagerly awaiting or longing

    Piling or stacking up


    Transmitter (or person) for jamming signals

    Sorry; with apology


    Lively dance, a template for guiding manufacture

    Gout; dietary disease causing a type of arthritis


    Cabbages with prominent stem, large leaves, but no head

    Naked people; men or women wearing no clothes


    Bottom part of a ship or boat that is under water

    Throat; gullet


    To have or retain possession; situation necessary for living

    Notch; nick; prominent cut-mark


    Murderer; slayer of animals; an animal that kills

    More frigid or cold in attitude


    Items, people sharing similarity, generosity of temperament

    Child; youngster


    To fall behind; to trail at the back; time difference

    To laugh; laughter; chuckle


    Long, straight and wilted – of hair

    Tall; long; extended; lengthy


    Hips, knees when seated; race-track circuit; drink with tongue

    Cloth; fabric


    Behind in time; occurring at the very end; dead, deceased

    As in: doene and late – things done and things not done


    Vegetable related to the onion but with elongated ball

    Layman; one without expert or specialized knowledge


    To stare unpleasantly, maliciously or lasciviously

    Ladder, stepladder


    Sediment at the bottom of a barrel of wine; dregs (fig.)

    To read or peruse; to understand writing


    A limb that supports the human body, tables or chairs etc.

    To lay out charts; to explain problems


    Cover such as of a container or eye; top, as in ‘bottletop’

    Member; associate; limb of the body


    Having told untruths, having made false statements

    Song; music composed in part or mainly of words


    Untruths, false statements, fibs

    Groin; the thigh, especially higher up, near the body


    Connections between things or ideas; rings in a chain

    Left, as in ‘not right’; to the left-hand side


    Fine, fluffy fibres shed by cloth or woollen material

    Ribbon; narrow band of cloth for tying


    Past participle of ‘light’

    Joint of the body; internode on a reed or grass


    Single; having no companions

    Salaries; loans; fees earned


    Extended; lengthy; to have a strong wish or desire

    Lung; organ that facilitates breathing


    Device for making fabric; to appear in large shadowy form

    Sense of dull, sleepy languor


    Curve folding back on itself; repeat of music tape or video

    To walk; to stroll; course of a river


    To burgle or ransack; booty; spoils

    Offshoot of a plant; method of casting of the lot


    Robs; raids

    A hangar for vehicles such as bicycles or aeroplanes


    Nearer to the ground

    Greenery or foliage in a forest or bush


    To carry or drag; peg or hook for mounting or hanging

    Air; atmosphere; sky; heavens


    Gender of men as opposed to women; pertaining to men

    Times; instances


    Growth or ruff of hair on the neck of a horse, lion, etc.

    Moons, especially moons orbiting planets such as Jupiter


    Females of horse, mule or donkey

    Skinny or thin ones


    A companion, especially in a pair; friend; to breed

    Measurements; dimensions;


    To get together; to encounter

    To measure; to size up


    No more than; solely; smallest or slightest

    Lakes; large inland bodies of water


    One who looks after something or someone

    Less; fewer; a smaller amount


    Microscopically small tick; small child or animal

    Myth; unverifiable historical report; widely held false belief


    Small burrowing mammals; spies; flat, dark lumps on skin

    Fracas; disturbance; quarrel


    Piece of overgrown upland; heath; to fasten a ship on shore

    To murder; to massacre


    Subject to debate; uncertainty

    Valley between two ridges; to cut into pieces


    A greater amount or degree; additional; to a larger extent

    Tomorrow; the day following today


    To irritate with continuous demands or fault finding; old horse

    Night; hours of darkness


    A point at which lines intersect; knob on a plant stem

    Emergencies; crises; urgent situations


    Fruit with hard kernel; edible fruit kernel

    Use; usefulness; useful employ


    By word of mouth; related to the mouth

    Everywhere; all over the place


    Rock extracted from the earth for the making of metal

    Ears; ear-shaped attachments, for example, ears of a jug


    Material that lessens friction; paper sheets for writing on

    Road; highway; pathway; trail


    Friend; comrade

    Always; all the time


    Faded or light in colour

    Fencing posts; football posts


    Becoming bleak and pale

    Eel; snakelike fish


    Taking short breaths in excitement or from fatigue

    Pawn; wager; pledge


    To trim or cut away the edges

    Twosomes; groups of two


    More than one level to be attained (golf)-

    To squash or press grapes in winemaking


    Look intently; person of the same age or standing

    Pear; pear tree


    Instruments for writing or drawing

    Stomach of an animal; belly


    To increase in cheerfulness or liveliness; a benefit

    Boundary; scope; range; lawn


    Darling animal; one’s favourite

    Cap; soft flat hat without a brim but with a front visor


    Large, flat plate or dish

    More flat and level; smooth and without lumps (surface)


    Those who write verses or poetry

    To shine shoes or leather objects; prank; practical joke


    Splendid ceremonial presentation

    To pump; to force an answer; a pump


    Small area of water, often to keep fish

    Unit of weight comprising sixteen ounces; British currency


    Area of still water; a patch of liquid, as ‘pool’ of blood

    Pole as in either of two opposite ends; north or south pole


    To make a sudden, explosive sound – to ‘pop’ a balloon

    Doll; term of endearment for a small girl


    Ability or authority to perform; physical strength; energy

    Poor; useless; ineffective; under-achieving


    Baby carriage

    Breast, especially on an animal


    Supporting structure or item; to underpin or support

    Bottletop; cork or other stopper


    Long, flat-bottomed boat; to kick a hand-released ball; to bet

    Full-stop; point; tip; aim; purpose


    To place or bring into position

    Well; hole sunk into the earth to obtain water


    Person who rakes, collects or gathers

    More accurate; more precise


    Act of gathering leaves or other garden debris

    Tangency; contact; touching


    Slope or incline in a road or walkway

    Disaster; tragedy; catastrophe


    Past tense of ring

    Rank; position in the hierarchy of army, police, etc.


    Scope or extent; variety; large complex stove

    Ranks; positions in the hierarchy of army, police, etc.


    Position in chain of command of army, police, etc.; to smell

    Of plants, to creep; to grow along the ground or a trellis


    To ramble or rage in speech

    Extended, sprawling hill


    To force sexual intercourse; leaves of a kind of cabbage

    Turnips; round root vegetables


    Informal chatters; striking audible noises

    To mete out corporal punishment, especially to children


    Rodent resembling a large mouse

    Gear; cog; driving mechanism of toothed wheels


    Measure or frequency compared to others; speed; tariff

    Remedies for illness, discomfort or problems


    Large rodents resembling mice and moles

    Quick and nimble of movement


    A primary colour, such as of blood or strawberries

    To save (bring about salvation); to rescue


    More red, especially when blushing

    Saviour; redeemer; rescuer


    Tall, thick grass-like plants that grow near water

    Already; before; by now


    Stinks or smells unpleasantly

    Series; sequence


    Narrow leather strap with which to steer and check a horse

    Pure of heart; chaste


    To utilize again; to use more than once

    Giants; colossal or gigantic


    To prepare a boat for sailing; apparatus set up for a purpose

    To aim; to aspire; to point toward


    To steal, burgle or pinch

    Sea lion; seal; a fish-eating, fish-like mammal with flippers


    To prance about playfully, in an energetic way; to frolic

    Woman’s dress or skirt


    Structure covering a building, vehicle

    Robbery, especially armed robbery; to plunder and steal


    Black crow; chess piece in battlement tower shape

    Smoke or to smoke; to smoulder


    Space; habitable or storage area, mostly with walls and door

    Cream; soft ointment


    Male domestic fowls; cocks

    Metal frameworks for cooking; time tables


    To become putrid; to decay

    Rat, rodent resembling large mouse


    Putrifies; decomposes

    Rock; large stone


    Oarsman; one who propels a boat with oars

    Thief; robber; burglar


    Shaggy, woven mat covering part of a floor

    Back and spine; rear surface of human or animal body


    Wheat-like cereal plant used for whiskey, fodder and bread

    Rows; lines of objects or people


    To fold or bend down under weight

    Soft to the touch; gentle; smooth


    Profoundly wise man; aromatic herb

    Myth, legend; fairy-tale


    For the purpose of; expression of irritation (for pity’s ‘sake’!)

    Business affairs; matters (of the heart etc.); court cases


    Transaction in which money, goods or services are traded

    Halls for gatherings, meetings and concerts; saddles


    Similar; identical, matching

    Together, jointly, mutually


    Past tense of sit; to have taken a seat

    Exhausted; worn out; tired; conked out; had it


    To observe visually; region as denoted by a cathedral

    Sea; ocean


    To leak or flow slowly through a porous material or gap

    Soap; cleansing material for washing dishes, clothing, etc.


    Diviner; one who can reveal the truth through special insight

    Hurtful; painful; sore; aching


    Past participle of ‘send’

    Cent, the smallest unit of the South African currency


    Immoral act; to transgress against a divine law

    Sentence as a string of words; sense; meaning


    One who glides on ice or moves on shoes with small wheels

    To laugh out loud; to laugh with free abandon


    Spike of wood or metal on which pieces of food are cooked

    More skew; more twisted at incorrect angles


    To remove the top layer from a liquid; to peruse a text

    Phantom; apparition


    Smooth lizard with short or absent legs

    To decant; to pour tea, coffee or other drinks


    Move with spring in the step; to omit some; large container

    Boat; ship; seafaring vessel


    Waste material at the smelting or refining of ore

    Loud bang or clash; to butcher an animal


    Shuts with force; smashes; hits suddenly, as slams on brakes

    Of the Cape Coloured Muslim people or their habits


    Informal and colloquial language not used in acceptable text

    Snake; long tube-like reptile with no legs


    To smack – an instance of such; to spank, cuff or clout

    Yielding; elastic and limp; lacking rigidity


    To slumber; state of rest when we are unaware of the world

    To drag; to haul; to pull


    Thin of posture or figure

    Astute; shrewd, clever, crafty


    More gracefully thin; more slender; more slight of build

    More clever; more smart; more intelligent


    One-masted sailboat

    Cushion cover;


    Incline; gradient; rise in a surface



    Elegantly dressed; clever; bright; hurting from insult or pain

    Anguish over death; sadness at the loss of a loved one


    Unexpected, hidden obstacles; hitches or catches; difficulties

    At night; when the dark of night settles in


    To break off suddenly; to nip at; sudden cracking sound

    To understand or grasp; to comprehend


    Trap for catching birds or animals

    Strings, especially on a guitar, violin, harp and such


    To cut swiftly with scissors or shears; act of such cutting

    Girl who makes snappy, often cutting remarks; off-cut


    To fuse metal together with tin or lead; tin, lead used as such

    Attic; space or room just below the roof of a building


    Exclusive; one and only; undersurface of a shoe; flatfish

    Rubber, plastic or leather bottoms of shoes


    A number of; certain

    Hems on garments, tablecloths and such


    Male child; boy or man in relation to his parents

    Sun; intensely bright star around which the earth orbits


    Piece of bread dipped in soup; ineffective action to appease

    Soup; thick liquid dish of vegetables, meat and such


    Tool for loosening and fastening bolts

    One who erects fences or who rigs high tensile wires


    Past participle of spit (spew out); petty quarrel

    To sprinkle a liquid; to scatter drops of fluid


    Secret agents; persons who secretly gather information

    Spear; weapon with a long shaft and pointed tip


    Ejects saliva forcibly from the mouth

    Mountain peak; climax; top of a pointed tower


    Shaft connecting rim of wheel to centre; past tense of speak

    Ghosts; spectres; apparitions


    Minute cell capable of propagation, as in fungi and ferns

    Footprints; animal tracks


    Blemish; small round conspicuous mark; to notice something

    To mock or ridicule; to make fun of or tease


    To mark a territory (as in staking a claim)

    To cease work; to strike (as an industrial action)


    To put foot down with force; official mark on paper

    Shove forcibly; crash into a vehicle, thing or person


    Bright heavenly body visible at night; radiating pointed sign

    Having a fixed, vacant appearance or stare


    Short for photostat or statistic

    Primitive town situated in rural area


    Horses available for riding; stallions

    Nevertheless; in spite of everything


    Hard, bluish-grey metal derived mostly from iron ore

    To take from others without permission; to steal


    Stalk on a plant; supporting shaft (as ‘stem’ of a wine glass)

    Voice; vote as indication of choice


    To tread heavily and noisily, often in display of anger

    Tree trunk; blunt; having lost the edge


    Overweight and heavily built; strong and thick, as ‘stout’ beer

    Naughty; disobedient; badly behaved


    Hitting; heart attack; to move the hand gently across surface

    Brush strokes; strips as in longish pieces of paper or cloth


    Displays bad temper by being silently morose

    Such, as in ‘as such’; in that case


    Certain; convinced; confident

    Acids; chemical compounds that eats away at substances


    Past tense of swim; having propelled the body through water

    Fungal development; mouldy growth


    To clean an area with a broom or brush; a swift movement

    Whip as a piece of leather on a stick, used for flogging


    Sugary or syrupy to the taste; lovable and pleasant

    Sweat; moisture that appears on skin through exercise


    To drink in heavy gulps; a sizeable drink as swallowed

    To give in; to yield or succumb


    To lay hold of something; to appropriate; to accept

    Chores; assignments; tasks


    Story; fabricated account

    Languages; tongues


    Strong taste, flavour or smell

    Pliers; tongs used for gripping objects and bending wire


    To cause the skin to darken in the sun; to cure leather

    Presently; occurring now; at the moment


    Tasty pastry dish; promiscuous woman; sharp tasting flavour

    To tease; to mock; to make fun of


    In golf, a small peg holding the ball – to ‘tee’ off

    Tea; hot drink of boiling water and crushed leaves


    Teenager or pertaining to teenagers

    In opposition to; hostile to; adjacent to or touching


    The number 10; a group of ten

    At, as in ‘at best’ (ten beste);


    One of a number of rows, staggered one above the other

    Tiger; a huge, dark-yellow cat with black stripes


    One of the five digits of a foot; the lower end of something

    At that time or then; whilst


    Football boot; to put on clothes

    Yet; nevertheless; in spite of that


    Quality of sound; condition of things like muscles or places

    Toes; digits of the human foot or of the feet of birds, etc.


    Chinese secret society; handle used for lifting

    Tongue; organ of speech and of taste


    Very young child; small measure of alcoholic drink; to add

    Until; in anticipation of; pending


    Tall, narrow building; to rise to great height, one who tows

    Magic; conjuring power


    Device used to ensnare animals; to catch and hold

    Step on staircase; rung on ladder; to step on; to run over


    Large woody plant with branches

    Footstep; unit of space measured by a step when walking


    Word expressing a figurative or metaphoric sense

    Tropics; region between tropics of Cancer and Capricorn


    To move at a pace faster than a walk

    Pride; self-importance; self-esteem


    To pull, jerk or tow; a hard or sudden pull; towing boat

    To chastise or castigate; to inflict punishment


    Unduly and affectedly quaint; pretty or sentimental

    The number two – one has two hands, eyes, etc.


    Valleys, especially in place names or poetic use

    Pale ones; colourless, grey ones


    Covered truck used for transporting goods or people

    From or of; belonging to; from the time when


    To change direction; to swerve off course

    Feather; blade facilitating spring-loaded suspension


    Short for vegetables

    To fight in battle; to dispute an issue


    Shroud; cloth worn by women to cover the face

    To sell by auction


    Tubes that carry blood in body; ore-bearing streaks in rock

    To feign; to pretend; to put on


    To find expression for; opening that allows air or gas to flow

    Coarse, uncouth fellow; impolite, annoying man


    Abbreviation for ‘veterinarian’; to approve critically

    fat (as in both ‘obese’ and in ‘animal fat’)


    To compete keenly in order to achieve something

    Angry; annoyed; irritated


    Roaring sound of an engine or implement

    Pious; living by deep religious standards


    Of animals, to move the tail rapidly; to wave a finger

    To wait; to stay; to pause in one’s activities; a guard


    One who awakes from sleep, or academic dormancy

    One who keeps vigil against things that might go wrong


    A long, thin stick, especially one that can create magic

    Wall; inside wall-surface of a hollow space


    To desire; to wish or yearn for; to crave

    Because; for the reason that


    Conflict; state of armed conflict; confrontation

    State of bedevilment or confusion


    Ceramics or porcelain of specific type; manufactured articles

    Genuine; authentic; indisputable; legitimate


    Small outgrowths on the skin

    Furtively, as in woerts warts (whizz – ‘this way and that’)


    To marry; married to

    To wager or gamble; to place a bet


    Period of seven days

    Weak or ineffective; to soak; period of seven days


    To find one’s way; to go somewhere slowly or indirectly

    To turn to; to fix trust or reliance on a person or something


    Damp; drenched; soaked; to drench; to water plants

    Law; commandment; rule; regulation


    More covered or saturated with water or other liquid

    Unpleasant, despicable person (pejorative)


    Head covering made of false or real hair

    Small child; tapering wedge of some material; to wedge


    To close and open one eye briefly

    To motion for someone to come; to beckon


    Wins; experiences victory or success

    Profit; proceeds; turnover; advantage, windfall


    Sharpness of reason; intelligent humour

    White, as the colour of milk; ashen


    Afflictions; miseries; sorrows and distress

    With wild abandon; unkempt and untamed


    Utterance; single unit of expression in speech or writing

    To become; to turn out to be; to develop into


    More bad in any sense, as more awful, evil or sick

    Sausages; different types of sausages


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