Tag Archives: merrem

part three: 169 ways to know if you’re coloured

If you’re coloured and you know it, clap your hands.

  1. You say jirre, yittie, yessus or jinne.
  2. You had/have a Gomma Gomma lounge suite.
  3. You LOVE the ladies, with your wolf whistles, catcalls and shouts of “come, smile for me, sexy girl!” to any female under 60.
  4. You always root for the All Blacks even when they’re playing against SA.
  5. You still use words like ‘whitey’, ‘European’ and ‘bantu’.
  6. You know what bus sonner wiele means.
  7. You instinctively know how to speak like a fisherman or a bergie.
  8. Your family owned a Passat, Datsun, Mazda or Cortina in the ’70s. And they’re still driving it.
  9. You’ve been told “you’re such a coloured”.
  10. Your biological mom and dad are coloured.
  11. Your mom crocheted doilies for her imbuia dressing table, table cloths for the dining room table, antimacassars for the lounge suite and dresses for you.
  12. Your parents have an imbuia bedroom suite they’ve kept since the ’60s.
  13. You like the phrase ‘I love you wirra passion’.
  14. After school you ate jaffles at your granny’s.
  15. You’ve eaten yellow rice AND you know how to make it.
  16. You scored your own small cultural victory in the ’70s by riding (undisturbed) in the whites-only carriage with your best friend, who’s Chinese.
  17. One of your siblings brought home a kroes-haired/dark-skinned person and “set the family back at least two generations”.
  18. “Wie-jay van ekke?” and “sieke ekke” are stock phrases.
  19. You understand what that drunk bergie’s saying.
  20. Your surname’s September, Plaatjies, Oppel or Juries, among others.
  21. When you say you’re coming now now the other person will wait at least 24 hours.
  22. You can start a family fight just by letting your hair dry naturally.
  23. You know that jentoe is not a nice word to use on a woman.
  24. You’re a man and you address women as “hey girlie” or “my lady” or “merrem”.
  25. You’ve been called klimmeid or ou toppie.
  26. You describe dyed blonde hair on a coloured person as “shit and butter mixed”.
  27. When your mother is the moer-in you know to stay far away.
  28. When you drive by your neighbour’s house (in your brekgat black Polo or souped-up citi Golf), the car system HAS to be bass enough to make their windows/diaphragm rattle.
  29. You pepper your sentences with the words fokkol, fokkenfrickin’ or blerrie.
  30. Your freckled face makes you an anomaly.
  31. You nicknamed Canal Walk ‘Kanalla Walk’.
  32. You call someone with too many teeth, bokbek.
  33. You know the difference between tief and tef.
  34. You know it’s an insult to call a male, ‘moffie’.
  35. You attended Belthorn Primary School.
  36. Your favourite teacher in primary school was Vincent Farrell. He wore a purple suit.
  37. You say “my mommy” when referring to your mother, even though you’re over 50.
  38. Your brother’s a gaardjie and his name’s Gammie.
  39. Your mother used to say “maachie Allah” and “lalaai”.
  40. Instead of saying ‘you’ you say ‘yous’.
  41. You know when a lady says “ga-se vir jou mal antie”, she’s angry.
  42. You know when a lady says “ga-kak innie Kaap”, she’s angry but not over the edge.
  43. You know when a lady says “ek ga-jou fokken opdonner”, she’s confrontational and things could get violent.
  44. You know when a lady says “nou raak ek fokken befok, jou …. (insert rude afrikaans word here)!”, you need to evacuate the area immediately.
  45. When discussing a life-threatening disease, you whisper it for emphasis eg: “Lavona, did you hear, Estelle’s husband’s got (sotto voce) cancer in his klonte?”
  46. You use the word gat as a noun AND a verb: “ek gat jou innie gat skop”.
  47. You like Frida Kahlo*.
  48. Your black dog barks at black people.
  49. You can fit at least 70 words into a one minute conversation.
  50. You walk at least six family members abreast in shopping centres, supermarket aisles and at functions.
  51. Your mommy and daddy sometimes have a mombakkie.
  52. You sometimes ask for a ‘Christmas box’.
  53. You like Chris Brown, Rihanna, Beyonce, Miguel, Pharrell Williams, Level 42 and Matt Bianco.
  54. You call posh coloured girls sturvy.
  55. You set off firecrackers six days before and on Guy Fawkes Day, but when asked, you don’t know historically, why.
  56. You know the difference between “daai man dra n mooi jas” and “daai man is blerrie jars”.
  57. You mix English, Afrikaans and coloured slang in one sentence.
  58. Your teeth whistle when you speak.
  59. You often spoil yourself with a Brazilian blow-dry and you got the ghd hair straightener as a gift.
  60. You live next door to the guy who sells the ‘No Jokes’ potatoes.
  61. You drive a horse and cart.
  62. You have to toor your hair daily to make it look nice.
  63. You may have a chip on your shoulder.
  64. Your teeth are sporting silver or gold caps.
  65. You’re in the Klopse.
  66. When you stood at your front gate, you could see the Coons and Atchas march down Klipfontein Road.
  67. When you wear your hair in a centre parting, your mother calls it a poes paadjie.
  68. “Die fokken kind is vol strond” is your go-to phrase when talking about a child.
  69. You call male genitalia a “vool” and female genitalia a “gwar”, among others.

So you’ve ticked at least 100 of these but without the necessary pedigree? Congrats, you are a Closet Coloured and unofficially part of the most entertaining, irritating, passionate, common, good-looking, long-suffering and generous race group in the whole world. Lucky you. There must be more than 169 ways to know if you’re coloured, so please feel free to tweet new ones to me @2012buyadonkey #ChloraNation

*Me, in my winning Frida Kahlo costume for a themed work function