Household ‘K’- words- South Africa

K letter




Padkos – to quote a few, Afrikaans words that are often used in English and can only be said,- one way, not translated, whatever language you speak.

There is ofcourse another popular ‘k’ word which is the quickest swearword to come to anyone’s lips, who lives in SA, or has ever lived there, ‘Kak’.  The translation may be obvious but the word has other multiple meaning according to the conversation, problem or distaster.  There is an extra additive which turns the original  noun into a verb- kakpraat.  ‘Praat’ is Afrikaans for speak.

Accusing someone of this is often dangerous!

K letter

So what is kennetjie.  A game I learned to play when we lived in a small community in the Transvaal, a very small settlement of family homes.  The other children spoke Afrikaans and Dutch; we were English speaking, from Ireland.  Kennetjie, once you sorted out the multi-lingual rules was a great game and involved very little conversation, except the occasional, ‘Oh Kak’! word.

This is a modern picture, we used to dig a furrow (called a ‘sloot’) in the ground to launch our stick from.


Played with two sticks, one long and thick which serves as a type of bat, and one short, strong and thick, which serves as the ball.  A game for all ages, with penalties, scoring, tricks and fielding like rounders; and is loads of fun.  We used to play till the sun went down and were called in for supper in the evening.

K letter

 Kleilat is another game for all ages, which also doesn’t involve much converstion!!

‘Lat’ is the Afrikaans word for cane.


This is simply an old fashioned South African game for modern paintball!  It involves lots of mud and should be played down by the river or nearby dam.  It is fun played in teams, but one to one combat is also enjoyable – OR NOT!

Kleilat too

This little man might be busy a while —-it could be a long operation – getting the right consistancy of mud and the willow branch that flicks the best.  Your mud then flies through the air and hits it’s target.

K letter

The Koeksister, which has been blogged many times before, is a homemade sickly sweet, deepfried delicacy that simply has to be tried.


Koeksisters for me, are something, that you crave if you cannot find them, especially when you live somewhere that has never heard of them.  Then after I find them, and have one, have had enough!!

K letter

Padkos, said in Afrikaans has a special meaning, it translates as, food for the road; but our children grew up referring to snacks taken along on a car journey as padkos.  I guess we had to do this back then; as there were not many service points and roadside cafes.  There were no bags of crisps; but always sandwiches, biscuits, flasks of tea and hard boiled eggs!!

Picnic Basket

My girls today, far away from South Africa, still refer to ‘padkos‘, when they are planning a car or train journey.  There are very different items packed inside, but the result is the same; no one gets hungry!

And as they say in Afrikaans-

“Fluit, fluit, my storie is uit!”

This was my entry for Alphabe Thursday, letter K.


About liz2you

Life just happens when you plan something else. 50 years spent in Africa and relevant stories.
This entry was posted in Alphabet Thursday, South Africa and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Household ‘K’- words- South Africa

  1. Loved your k post

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Charlotte says:

    Now this takes me back to the GOOD OLD DAYS !!

    • liz2you says:

      I really wish I could play kennetjie again. I have found the rules online, written in Afrikaans and want to have a go at translating!

  3. Pondside says:

    That’s an interesting vocabulary!

  4. pearlmaple says:

    fun post learning new words and about different regions, thanks for sharing

  5. TBM says:

    I love this. And I learned something today. Now time to celebrate!

  6. This was very fun to learn about! Thank you for sharing. I think that Kleilat would be something I would like to try to play :o)

    How long have you lived in South Africa?
    Blessings & Aloha!
    I am catching up with my 10 “K” posts! Yay! Please stop by if you have a chance.

  7. I bet the kids had a lot of fun playing those games….

    I am always fascinated by your posts!

    Killer job on the letter “K”!

    Thanks for linking.


  8. Jan says:

    Thanks, enjoyed your article, brought back some fond memories. Was looking for rules on game Kennetjie. Found some. Our family going on an outdoor weekend and was hoping to teach the kids this game we played as kids. Have the sticks already, and no, did not cut up my mom’s broomstick.

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