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Things ewe never Kn’ewe about South African place names [Book Review]

Need a book that will help you understand why certain places in South Africa sound the way they do? Then this MapStudio's latest 223-page softcover - Things ewe never Kn’ewe about South African place names - will keep you entertained for hours. It provides a comprehensive list of bizarre place names, their origins and history. Author Ann Gadd, South Africa's most popular 'sheep' artist, accompanies some of the weird names with amusing illustrations of sheep!

MapStudio's Things ewe never Kn'ewe about South African place names 

Place names in the Things ewe never Kn'ewe about South African place names book are listed in alphabetical order

If you have ever wondered where names such as Die Hel, Dronkvlei, Tietiesbaai, Ga-Rankuwa, Kamanassie and Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein (yes, this is a real name!) came from, then this book is for you.

My own home town Stutterheim is not listed in this book, which is quite sad because I always wondered what its Xhosa version “Cumakala” means. I guess I will never know.  Maybe I can try quizzing some of the elders in my area when I visit home again even though I’m not sure whether or not I can rely on them as historians. I am sceptical because in this book it is said that historians and locals sometimes disagree about the actual origin of some of the names in this book as various groups of people have given different names, mistranslations and variations in spelling to the same place over the years.

Things ewe never K'n'ewe about South African place names also explores the origin of place names like Empangeni

A fun book to take with you when you travel

After reading this book, and if the place where you are right now is not listed in it, your curiosity will be stimulated. Bring it along with you when you travel to feed your curiosity and add fun to your leisurely road trip through South Africa. Laugh at the weird and wonderful names of towns and places that make our country so special.

To make the book easy to follow, the places are listed in alphabetical order, clearly identified by province and some convenient site points with simple quizzes that are sure to add more humour to your journey, making it shorter. You cannot turn a page without smiling at the description of some of the strange origins of some of the names. Things ewe never Kn’ewe about South African place names is a travel jewel that should definitely make it to your travel collection as a handy travel guide full of fascinating insights from the mind and pen of author Ann Gadd who has also written 13 other books.

Author Ann Gadd's love of sheep can be easily felt through the funny illustrations of sheep throughout the book

Get the Things ewe never Kn'ewe about South African place names book

All Drive South Africa readers receive a 25% discount on all MapStudio products! To purchase Things ewe never Kn’ewe about South African place names at this special discount, simply click on the banner above. After selecting the product that you want from MapStudio, enter the discount code “drive” at cart check-out to receive the 25% discount. You will also also receive a free e-book of your choice for any order over R500.

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2 Responses on this page.Add your own

  1. Gravatar Ann Gadd says:

    Naming of Stutterheimis not particularly inspiring - after Major-General Carl Gustav Richard von Stutterheim (1815-1871) Commander of the British-German Legion, who built the fort there. Previous name had been Cumakala (Xhosa meaning ‘fertile area’).
    Still, there is a story about Stutterheim involving a duel in which he killed his opponent and fled to Germany. He only served six months of his contract in SA. He was unpopular with his officers and had draconian punishments for his soldiers (e.g. 6 - 12 months imprisonment for desertion vs seven days given usually). He returned to Germany where he took to gambling away his fortune and having done so, committed suicide. You did ask….:)

    Reply to this comment
    1. Gravatar Asanda says:

      Oh hi Ann

      Thank you so much for such an elaborate response to my question. I really appreciate it. I had fun reviewing your book and it is interesting to see the author of the book respond to my review.

      Cumakala is my home town. I was born, bread and buttered there. I’ve always wondered if these vernacular names that get ‘translated’ to a different language actually mean the same thing… I knew that Stutt (shortened for Stutterheim) was named after von Stutterheim who had ‘set up camp’ there.

      Thank ewe and I hope ewe will have a lovely weekend! :)


      Reply to this comment

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