This post is dedicated to my new friend ouchmybackhurts who took the time to introduce me to a leprechaun in his “L” post today. This is the lekkerste compliment I ever had – a show of friendship from a self-confessed Saffer who longs for a taste of his mother tongue every now and then.
Not too many years ago, Afrikaans-speaking teenagers used to intersperse their conversations with the words cool, neat or groovy to express their pleasure with all aspects of their life. The Afrikaner language purists worried to the point of being sick about the degeneration of the Afrikaans language.
Then, out of the blue, all South Africans, be their mother tongue Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa or Zulu, discarded the cool, neat and groovy slang in favour of lekker.
Lekker is an Afrikaans word meaning nice, enjoyable, pleasant, pleasurable, agreeable, delightful, satisfying, gratifying, acceptable, to one’s liking, entertaining, amusing, diverting, marvellous, good, lovely, great, fine, gorgeous … you catch my drift.
The Oxford Dictionaries give the following examples of the word used as an adjective meaning good or pleasant: the lekker local flavour of South Africa and we’ve got some lekker tourist attractions for you here; an adverb meaning well: we got on lekker and as submodifier for extremely: he was lekker drunk. So, there we are, lekker is now officially a part of the informal English language.
Lekker is natuurlik nie die enigste woord wat sommerso uit Afrikaans oorgeneem is in ander tale nie. Dink maar aan babelaas, biltong, snotklap, moetie, brannas, jislaaik, jol, bliksem, sommer (soos in I’ll sommer bliksem you) en ek is seker daar is nog baie meer.
Ons praat ‘n lekker taal, maar moet tog nie dat die taalpuriste hierdie blog beetkry nie, ek sal lekker op my moer kry.
Groete daar in Ierland AJ.