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ICOS 2008 Conference Abstract

Nicknames of South African Soccer Teams and Players as Symbols of Approbation in a Multilingual and Multicultural Country

N Hlongwa
University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

This paper focusses on nicknames found in South African soccer (football), and deals with the nicknames of both teams and players. The central theme of the paper is the influence of African languages on sports nicknames, reflecting the multilingual nature of South Africa. The nicknames were collected from the weekly South African newspaper entitled “Soccer Laduma”. Some nicknames were collected through interviews with some students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Material has also come from a series of interviews with soccer fans and soccer presenters working for the South African Broadcasting Corporation in the sports section. The paper looks at the derivation of the names, including regalia, location of team or player, supporter encouragement, player performance, animal metaphors, and so on. Finally, the paper looks at the function of these nicknames, concluding that they are symbols of approval in a multi-lingual and multicultural country.

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