My vreugdes en frustrasies


#SoCS Should I use sjoe or eish instead of golly gee?

The reason being that in South Africa, chances are very good that everybody will understand exactly what I mean by interjecting sjoe! or eish! into the discussion to express feelings of enlightenment, amasement, disbelief, surprise, concern, admiration, or appreciation.

Golly gee? I’m not too sure whether the population will know this expression (I had to consult a dictionary), let alone know how to pronounce it. Admit it, it is quite a tongue twister. Is golly pronounced like jolly? That does not seem probable, so it must be gh-olly then, as in gholf. Now, what about gee? Ghee is clarified butter, which we as avid curry eaters, know quite well. So it has to be jee, as in jeep. Gholly jee. Okay, got my tongue around that.

Sjoe! English is very hard.

There is actually a formal translation for sjoe! in the English language, but I have a problem with “phew”. Pronunciation, of course. It seems that phew is pronounced with a silent “h”, as in pew. But a pew is a bench in the church, and pew-pew is the sound made by a toy gun. Pew-pew! you are dead.

English is very hard. Eish!

Linda said: Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “golly gee.” Use “golly gee” or another interjection that displays the same sentiment in your post. Enjoy!

To see the rules for this weekly challenge and all the entries for Saturday 27 November 2021, visit Linda G Hill our gracious host for these challenges, where you will also find links to blogs added by other participants.

To see all my SoCS entries on this website, follow this link.

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  1. Give me sjoe and eish any day. This is what I love about South African English – we borrow freely from other local languages for words that express exactly what we feel.

  2. Well I agree English is a weird language, not even to be confused with American !
    Golly is indeed said like jolly or lolly. Gee is like geep, peep and deep. It’s my first language being English but I can get confused too. 💜

    • Comment by post author


      I must confess that in most instances I’m more familiar with American – the influence of television and motion pictures. We tend to speak American when conversing informally, but revert to the Queen’s language when writing.

  3. Haha. Like in “pneumatic”: the “p” is silent like “p” in “bath”

  4. Met eish altyd…not translatable.

  5. Eish and no golly gee for me. English can be confusing. Atrikaans we accentuate the first syllable while in Eng. you put accent on second syllable. Sometimes I say it Afrikaans way and people don’t know what I’m talking about. Dandelion is one of those words.

  6. and phew is actually pronouced ” few !”

    • Comment by post author


      Exactly. How does that make sense? English have various silent sounds – think of the silent “k” in knack, knead, knife, knight, etc. And another popular one – the silent “p” with too many words to mention. It makes for interesting reading, though (note the superfluous “gh” in though 😜

  7. Maak my skoon deurmekuis… Party woorde klink net nie reg in n ander taal nie