Tag Archives: language

A long, long name

A long long name

As promised, here's another photo taken in Joostenbergvlakte. The suburb has an odd mix of large, lavish houses and smaller, less beautiful places like this one.

Did you notice the barbed wire surrounding the property, the dirty walls, the rugged driveway, the old house? Perhaps you did, but I bet you couldn't help but notice the enormously-hugely-oversized Afrikaans name on the gate:  "Geenbuffelsmetgeenskootgeskietgeenfontein".

While it may look weird to foreigners, the lack of spaces between words, and the length and make-up of the name is considered rather amusing in South Africa. Loosely translated the name of this property reads "No-buffaloes-shot-with-no-shots-no-fountain".  It looks a little weird because it's a play on the more common (yet equally amusing) farm name, "Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein", which translates as "Two-buffaloes-shot-dead-with-one-shot Fountain" (where "fountain" refers to the spring of water often found on farms).  Read the Wikipedia article here.

I guess farmers became bored of the traditional names like "Clear Water Fountain", or "Never-ending Fountain". These are some of the gems of the Afrikaans language and culture that we hold so dear. :)