"black is beautiful" cream -

We used to call it "black is puss cream"

Basically Cammo Cream. None of this fancy camo stuff that you see in the
movies with different colours and everything.. Just a SOLID black. During
training we used to prefer to use the black carbon from the exhaust pipes of
the SAMILs as it seemed to wash off easier afterwards..

John Dovey - 2nd March 2000

OK, this has quite a history: Black is Beautiful is actually, in real
life, a cosmetic creme specifically formulated for the indigenous
African (black) skin. At some stage, the SADF hi-jacked this term to use
for cammo-cream/cammo-lotion. Basically the cammo stuff was a greasy
black gunge that came in little round, flat plastic containers. The
problem was that once you started sweating (and you sweat even in winter
in SA), the cammo gunge would run down your face and neck and into your
combat fatigues, and it was a real *bitch* to wash out....

I switched to charcoal and other cork-type by-products of burnt wood,
which was easier to remove (and more available and less messy to carry

Jakes Louw - 2nd March 2000

............ag nee Erroll,my skietkuns and veldt kuns notes say that the black
is beautifull is to break up the lines of the body and thence to make you
more difficult to see.we never got up to such naughty things like trying to
blend in with the PB's!

I also saw some black is beautifull that was a training type that came in a
"toothpaste tube" and washed of quite easily.needless to say we were not
issued with it during training!

Stuart Robertson - 2nd March 2000

sjambok and panga

A sjambok is a long tapered leather (rhino leather is the best I'm told)
whip, around four feet long. A panga is a machete is a big knife...

Trev Perks - 17th April 2000

To my American eye, the difference between pangas and machetes was more a
matter of semantics than specifications.
While the general shape of a machete is known to most western list members,
while I was in SA, the word "panga" seemed to describe any especially large,
single edged knife -- especially as carried by many Africans -- and as lots
of these were homemade affairs, they tend to defy strict definitions.
I suppose that a machete would certainly qualify as a panga, albeit a
rather large one, but many pangas would be decidedly small compared to
American machetes.

How 'bout it, native sons, do I pretty much have this straight?

Best regards

Doc - 18th April 2000

I always thought a panga was a flat piece of metal
about a metre long without a sharp point (Square top)
with a wooden handle on the other end. As wielded by
municipal workers in SA the sworn enemy of khakibos everywhere.

Simon Lewis - 18th April 2000

"Rower" now theres one for the Oxford Concise! Where
did the word actually originate, that and "blougat".

One word that I got from the army that I will treasure


Simon Lewis - 27 April 2000

Rower = scab / rough patch. Scab is a word you engelse should be
familiar with.

Blougat = mature babboon (what else?)

Errol - 28 April 2000

Chris Moore -

Rower = scab / rough patch. Scab is a word you engelse
should be familiar with.

Somehow i do not think this relates to "rough patch" rough in army talk is "rof"

"Rower" being a new, wet behind the ears conscript.

I am sure that there is some other pedigree attached to this word.

Blougat = mature babboon (what else?)

What about a certain type of fly....one that normally
concentrates around shit and dead meat.

(What is a fly without wings......a "walk".)

That is correct as far as the animal anatomy is concerned

Female chimpanzes genitalia turn RED when in season...as do
most of the apes...in nature RED is normally a warning sign.

Strange conflict of signals...or perhaps not so strange..most
injuries occur during mating season.

Chris Moore - 28 - 04-2000

I always thought that 'rowe' was the plural of 'roof', meaning 'rookie'...
'rower' means 'robber' does it not? Shit, I'm only a soutie, what do I know
about Afrikaans?

Trev Perks - 30-04-2000

Pis Vel - urine skin.............matress, cover presumably to keep piss of the matress
and other unmetionable stains.
as for insults..........

"soek n still plekkie en skenk geboorte aan eene"in response to a troep
informing cpl that he does not posess said item of kit.
translation...........find a quiet place and give birth to one.

Stuart R 30-04-2000


Talking of terminology I wonder where the name/s "aap kas" "pis-vel" "Garry"
for a Landrover etc came from?

I think that "Garry" may stem from the time the British spent in India.
A small cart was known as a "gharrie" but whether this is an Indian or
Indo-Brit slang term I don't know. I also have no idea how it came to
be the name for an SADF Land Rover but it seems a likely root for the

Steve Crane - 30-04-2000

Blougat = mature babboon (what else?)

The story I heard was that it came from the Airforce.. Seems that they were
issued with BLUE overalls and after their first six months you could see the
guys that were no longer "Raw Recruits" by the fact that their bums were
stained blue from the overalls..

John Dovey - 01-05-2000

piss vel.............i think was the term for the covering on
matresess, sometimes stripy or that wonderfull nutria brown we all know and

Stuart Robertson - 1st March 2000

Here is a short cut back to The Sentinel Projects Home Page.