The word “etoll” is now an official term thanks to its inclusion in the recently-released Oxford South African Pocket Dictionary 4e version.

The Pocket Dictionary 4e features words borrowed from other languages that have become common in the local English vocabulary , as well as other popular colloquial terms.

The official Oxford definition of etoll goes as follows:

  • e-toll (also etoll) n. 1 the electronic collection of toll fees for road use. 2 (e-tolls) the system of collecting toll fees automatically using electronic tags in vehicles, and equipment that recognises these tags. 3 the charge for using this system: E-tolls are collected weekly.

We think the definition should be more like “a leech-like system designed to suck motorists’ pockets dry”, but we’ll have to acquiesce to the Oxford version.

Other terms that have been added are:

  • gees /kheers/ n. S. Afr. informal spirit or energy: The gees at the rally was just fantastic.– origin: Afrikaans.
  • mahala/mah-hah-lah/ adv.& adj. S. Afr. informal free of charge.
    – origin: from isiXhosa mahala, isiZulu mahhala.
  • flippen adj. & adv. S. Afr. informal used to emphasize something: That wave was flippen huge!

“Language evolves on a daily basis, even more so in a multicultural country such as South Africa. In order to track these changes Oxford University Press Southern Africa has published a new edition of its pocket dictionary, which, in addition to all the relevant general English vocabulary, includes some new, uniquely South African words,” Steve Cilliers, MD of Oxford University Press Southern Africa said in a statement.

The Oxford South African Pocket Dictionary 4e will soon be available in stores and from Takealot for R264.95.

[Image – CC 2.0 by  CC JMK]