Do you speak umswenko?

5 words to add some flavour to your life!

Bae, we’ve come a long way from just “cool”

It ain’t easy out here, or should we say “outchea” for a hot young thing trying to stay on-trend.

Just when you’ve managed to memorise the meaning of MCM, WCW and thot, a whole new gang of hashtag-friendly words started filtering into your timeline testing your commitment to cool.

No need to fear! We’ve got you covered with this highly academic guide inspired by the likes of Urban Dictionary and twelebs everywhere.


Say it with us: Um-swen-ko

All good things come to those who wait! According to local culture practitioners, Bubblegum Club, the hashtag “umswenko” dates back to 2012. Fast-forward to today and the word can be seen as an anthem for Boyzn Bucks, the crew who first made the word popular.

A derivate of the Zulu word “uswenka” – meaning someone who is looking sharp, “umswenko” is defined broadly as “lifestyle or just swagger” by this online hashtag expert.

Try it out: you can’t go wrong with this word, I mean, Boyzn Bucks have even morphed the word into “mswenkfontein” – meaning “too much swag” – check out the vid for inspiration.



Say it with us: Bay

Depending on whether you’re loved up, you may or may not be familiar with this fresh term of endearment. Not a typo, “bae” literally means “before anyone else” – mind-blowing, right?

While some social commentators have admitted the folly of their ways and come clean on their original misinterpretation of the word – everything from a nickname for Beyoncé (isn’t EVERYTHING about Bey?) to an acronym for “bacon and eggs” – “bae” is here to stay. Even Pharrell gives “bae” his stamp of approval with his track – “Come Get It Bae” featuring Miley Cyrus.


Try it out: forget about a vacation with your bae and get ready for a steamy “baecation”.

This December, you and me we’re hitting Cape Town for a baecation.

Want more bae? Check out YouTuber William Haynes explanation of “bae” here.



Say it with us: Cah-vah – Although purists will insist on the click with the “c” – it’s your call.

Not to be confused with the term for a Spanish sparkling wine, here in SA, “cava” means “take note” and “check out” or simply just “LOOK!”

Popularly used as part of the phrase – “cava da combo” an upgraded version of “check out my outfit” – “cava” is another term made popular by Boyzn Bucks.

Try it out: show off a little and direct attention to your new threads/haircut/kicks with this four-letter word that isn’t PG18.

Dude, cava my new kicks!  



Say it with us: oh c’mon, it’s basic.

Warning! Unless you’re a white t-shirt, the worst thing you can be in 2015 is “basic”.

Derived from the insult – “basic b*tch” – “basic” is usually used to describe people or things that are boring and severely mainstream.

Try it out: throw shade at your frenemies with this quick-fire insult.

Did you see her last night? Her new bae is so basic – lol!



Say it with us: unless you’re new to the English language, you know how to say it. Often spelled “yung” for extra steez.

According to this local site, “young” can be defined as “small, impromptu and intimate”. A useful word to wield because let’s be honest: “let’s have an impromptu braai” just doesn’t sound right.

Try it out: the chameleon of the slang world, you can’t go wrong with this word. Along with the above definition, Urban Dictionary defines the word as a “Random adjective inserted before a noun.”

It’s Friday, let’s go out for a young beer.

P.S. Now that you’re clued up on what’s umswenko, cava our guide to the freshest sneakers stores in Braamies here.