Colour words in Afrikaans
Words for colours in Afrikaans and some colour-related expressions.
swart - black
- politically charged word during the apartheid era, euphemistically changed to
"nie-blankes" (non white) when referring to people.
wit - blank, wit, blanke (person)
rooi - red
- die rooidag kom uit: "day break" and roinekke: negative slang term for new Europeans in SA,
lit "red necks" (overdone suntans!) and sometimes for all Englih speakers by Afrikaans speakers.
geel - yellow
blou - blue
- Usually the bright sky blue of the Transvaal sky, other blues would be modified
groen - green
bruin, donker - brown
pienk, ligrooi - pink
oranje - orange
- as in Oranje-Vrystaat; although an orange (the fruit) is called a "lemoen", and a lemon (fruit)
is called a "suurlemoen"; Oranje used to refer to someone from the Orange Free State, or from
Bloemfontein in particular, or sometimes as negative slang by English speakers for Afrikaners
grys, vergrys - grey
purper - purple
- pimpelpaars ('as purple as a pimple') = very purple.