Sunday, September 28, 2008


Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein is Afrikaans for, literally, "Two buffaloes shot dead using one shot fountain", which follows a common format for place names in South Africa.

According to one Professor AM de Lange (of the University of Pretoria), it is the name of a farm about 200 km west of Pretoria officially registered with the Surveyor General. The name has also been used in advertising to signify the typical small rural town.

While not strictly grammatically legal, this name also illustrates the compounding nature of Afrikaans: all the descriptive terms relating to one concept can generally be tied together into one long word: properly separated, it can be rewritten as "twee buffels met een skoot mors dood geskiet fontein". Another example of this would be wildewaatlemoenkonfytkompetisiebeoordelaarshandleiding, which translates to "wild watermelon jam competition judge's manual". Such use is, however, not common, and it is generally agreed that words should be separated using one or more hyphens if they become too long or unwieldy.

Anton Goosen, a South African singer, has performed a song with this title, which was written by Fanus Rautenbach.

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