unknown language: phata-phata


New Member

I am currently working on my master's dissertation about self-translation. The corpus I am using for this dissertation consists of one chapter in André Brink's novel: A Dry White Season (1979) (Afrikaans title: 'n Droë wit seisoen (1979)) (Dutch title: Een droog wit seizoen (1980)) The Story is set in South Africa.

However, in the corpus there are certain words of which I do not know the origin. Can anyone identify the word in the following sentence?

Or a chap who drank too much divorce in a beer-hall. Others looking for phata-phata” – illustrated by pushing his thumb through two fingers in the immemorial sign

If anyone were able to tell me what language this is, I would be very grateful.

Thank you in advance.
  • CapnPrep

    Senior Member
    The word means, predictably, "sex". More information, including etymology, can be found in this sample entry (PDF) from one of the DSAE's publications. You might consider purchasing one of their dictionaries.
    < Previous | Next >