Colour words in Afrikaans

Words for colours in Afrikaans and some colour-related expressions.

black swart - black

  • politically charged word during the apartheid era, euphemistically changed to "nie-blankes" (non white) when referring to people.

white wit - blank, wit, blanke (person)

red 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.

yellow geel - yellow

blue blou - blue

  • Usually the bright sky blue of the Transvaal sky, other blues would be modified

green groen - green

brown bruin, donker - brown

pink pienk, ligrooi - pink

orange 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

grey grys, vergrys - grey

purple purper - purple

  • pimpelpaars ('as purple as a pimple') = very purple.

Green Web Hosting - Kualo

Why not share this page:


If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.

If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.

Learn a nuevo language while you browse with toucan

Note: all links on this site to, and are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.