South African terms in the markets


We’re celebrating all things South Africa, by appreciating the spirit of Mzansi and all of her distinctive characteristics. As part of our support for the Giant Flag project, an initiative that seeks to boost the local economy and tourism through an environmentally friendly mission, I present to you six local terms you can slaan in the markets.

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O jewa keng?

An internationally recognised term that gained popularity on local twitter streets in 2019 before going global. This sentence translates to “What’s eating you?” and is used by Twitter users to share their personal burdens with the online community. Investors may use this term when discussing troublesome stocks and instruments in their portfolio.

Person A – “O jewa keng?”
Person B – “I may have to cut my loses with the Steinhoff shares I still hold.”


This one is an adverb used in place of ‘a lot’ or ‘very’ and denotes abundance in a sentence. Its roots can be traced to South Benoni, but has since gained popularity in Cape Town, Parktown, and Gonubie suburbs. Some investors may use this to denote any current or past trades or shares they have owned in abundance. Not to be confused with ‘going long (lank)’ on a trade.  

Person A – “I’ve got lank shares in Purple Group”.
Person B – “That’s impressive. How many shares do you own?”
Person A – “Like 10.”


This one refers to youth born after the year 2000. Falling under the Gen Z (Generation Z) umbrella, this group of people account for 12 073 investors on EasyEquities. If you didn’t know that minors and the little ones can indeed have an account and a portfolio, then check out this FAQ on necessary steps and documents required to open a minor account.

Person A – “What do you do with the monthly allowance your parents give you?”
Person B – “I spend it at Braamfontein and I’m saving for matric dance”
Person A – “Why don’t you invest some of that cash?”
Person B – “Oh word? Skrr skrr…”

Okay nobody really knows how youngsters speak these days, but you get the point.

Side pieces

To understand this phrase, I will briefly introduce an investment approach called the Core-Satellite strategy. In this approach, investors allocate most of their capital to a less-risky asset (like an ETF), and then distribute left-over capital to more riskier instruments and single stocks. Those riskier instruments and single stocks are what I call ‘side pieces’.

Person A – “Okay so I’ve made the new CoreShares Income Property ETF the core in my Core Satellite approach”
Person B – “What are the side pieces?”
Person A – “I’d rather not discuss my sides so publicly, thank you”


This is a call to action to support all things Mzansi. EasyEquities has thrown its support behind the Giant Flag for the rest of 2019 (and even the first couple months of 2020) by donating the bundle management fees on the #BackTheFlag bundle. This legendary initiative and collaboration will create a humungous South African flag (the size of 66 soccer fields) by planting millions of desert plants in the Karroo, while powering 4 000 homes through solar energy.

Person A – “South Africa is killing it this year! Who wouldn't love to be from Mzansi right now?”
Person B – “That's why I #BackTheFlag, and I'm part of a bigger picture, I get to invest and build my portfolio, while supporting a nation-building project that will boost the economy”
Person A – “So what would I get in return?”
Person B – “You could win R20 000 in your EasyEquities account, and other spot prizes like a case of beer, Springbok rugby jerseys, vouchers, and South African goodies. Plus you get to brag about doing some good”


Kyk na die bundle


#BackTheFlag is all about celebrating the South African spirit and boosting the economy. Plus, we randomly gift our BTF bundle owners with vouchers, booze, and sports jerseys. Check out this video to see what we mean.

Now that you’re equipped with South African terminology in the stock market context, engaging with other local markets investors shouldn’t have you feeling out of touch. There are far more terms I have missed out on, but would love to hear from you, our community and even ama2000s, on the different phrases and terms you’ve come across and use in the markets.

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