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Howzit bru? A rugby fans’ guide to English

2015-09-23 15:15
Jan Braai (

Cape Town - With a scrum of rugby fans from 20 countries congregating in the UK, there’s a good chance you could miss out if you don’t know your braai from your barbie or a bevvie from a brewski.

To help bewildered fans navigate this Babel, British Airways’ cabin crew, who between them are able to speak many languages from Arabic to Zulu, have put together a glossary of words and phrases which may be heard across England between now and October 31.

All could be used by fans who think they’re speaking dinkum English and may be puzzled as to why they’re not being understood.

Rugby goes hand-in-hand with braais. Can you smell what Sport24 are cooking this weekend?

Here they are:

Arvo: Australian for afternoon. “We’re having a barbie this arvo.”

Braai: South African term for a barbeque. 

Craic: Irish term for fun or gossip. “Great craic at the barbeque.”

Droewors: South African dried sausage - a favourite snack of rugby fans.

Eejit: Irish term for a complete fool. “That streaker was a right eejit.”

Foos yer doos: Scottish enquiry as to how you are.

Gutted: English expression of bitter disappointment. “I was absolutely gutted we lost.”

Howzit: South African greeting that means “How are you?”, “How are things?”, or just “Hallo”.

Isnae: Scottish for ‘is not’. “That yellow card isnae fair.”

Jislaaik: South African expression of outrage or surprise. “Jislaaik, does it rain here every day?”

Kerfuffle: Canadian term for an awkward or stressful situation or commotion. “That was a bit of a kerfuffle on the tryline.”

Lekker: South African expression for something good, great, cool or tasty. “That was a really lekker braai (barbecue).”

Milk bar: Australian term for a corner shop that sells takeaway food. “Let’s get lunch at a milk bar before the match.”

Naff: English word for something that is uncool. “You look really naff in that anorak.”

Owt: Yorkshire term for anything. “You get owt for nowt.” You don’t get anything for nothing.

Puss: Irish for a sulky face. “He had a real puss on him after that tackle.”

Quid: What the Brits call a pound.

Rark up: Kiwi expression for giving someone a good telling off. “He got a good rark up from the ref.”

Scrag: Australian term for holding someone by the neck or garment. “He got scragged just before the tryline.”

Toque: Canadian word for a woollen hat or beanie.

Ugg boots: Warm Australian sheepskin boots. “It’ll be cold tomorrow, best wear your Uggs.”

Vuvuzela: A large, colourful plastic trumpet carried by some South African fans. Apparently the world comes from isiZulu for making a noise.

Whinge: Originally an English term for whining, sometimes used by Australians to describe the English. “Stop whinging and accept the better team won.”

XXXX: Pronounced 4 X, it is a brand of beer made in Queensland, Australia.

Yabber: An Australian term for talking a lot. “I wish the ref would stop yabbering and get on with the game.”

Zonked: English expression for totally exhausted. “The team must be totally zonked after that effort.”

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