When it comes to creating their own jargon, nobody is as inventive as surfers. Which is interesting, because with almost everything else in life, nobody is less inventive than surfers. Still, credit where it's due and all that. Here is an excerpt from Wavescape's brilliant jargon dictionary.

Babalas ('Bub-ba-lars')
The hangover from hell, fondly called a "Barbie". The Babalas is no mythical beast. But look at yourself in the mirror and you'll wonder as you examine that furry tongue slithering in a mumbling, parched mouth, puffy eyelids scraping bloodshot eyeballs. Comes from the Zulu word ibhabhalazi.

(Tease, joke, make fun of, flirt with) Charf also means "spadework", or the attempt to "score" with a member of the opposite sex. "Axel was charfing that chick lank hey?" You also say "I was just charfing you." (I was only joking)

Tjommie ('chômmy')
(Originally Afrikaans - Mate, friend, bru) Slightly old fashioned Afrikaans word that originates from the quaint Victorian word "Chum". Not to be confused with chumming, when you throw gore into the water to attract sharks. That's not a lekker way to treat your chinas, especially if they are surf "tjommies".

(Good surf) Nothing to do with preparing food. When the surf is cooking, it’s "going off its face", "firing", "pumping", "cranking", "going off its pip", "kraaking", "sick", "rad", "perfect", "going ballistic", etc. In other words, the surf is big, clean, has excellent shape and there are plenty of waves in a set. If someone "cooks", they are not a chef, they are a good surfer.

The unfortunate term used to describe a kneeboarder.

(Young surfer of school-going age) Can be shortened to Grom. This almost affectionate, brotherly word rarely has negative connotations.

The famous South African greeting. Short for "How is it?" Try and refrain from saying, "It's fine, thanks". This will only lead to a funny look. A suitable reply is: "No, fine", which actually means "Yes, I am fine". The word "no" is often taken to mean "yes". A real Afrikaner might reply to a "Howzit", with this bewildering response: "Ja, well, no fine". This is merely a more emphatic but long-winded version of "No, fine". Also ahoy, aweh, yooit, hoesit, yo.

Not to be confused with the furry creature with buck teeth, although youngsters who surf, many of them beginners, look similar and are viewed in the same way, if not worse. At least real rats don’t drop in on you.

(Surf trip that ends with no surf) The amped excitement and stoke fades away after a lengthy drive reveals no surf.

Tune ('Choon')
(To tell, to talk, to provoke) For instance, "Don’t tune me grief" (Don’t give me your bullshit) or "Are you tuning me kak?" (Are you giving me shit?). "Tune me the ages" (Tell me the time)

Read the full dictionary at http://www.wavescape.co.za/staticxt/28.html



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