sukkel, verb intransitive

AfrikaansShow more Afrikaans, to struggle, to live poorly.
1. colloquial. To struggle, to have difficulty (with someone or something).
1912 F. Bancroft Veldt Dwellers 201Toch!..I can tell you girls it’s we poor women who’ve got to sit at home and sukkel for men’s pleasure.
1963 M.E. McCoy Informant, Port ElizabethWe have been sukkeling with your tape. We all freeze up the sec the thing is switched on.
1969 A. Fugard Boesman & Lena 6Sukkel along! The dogs want to bite but you can’t look down.
1970 E. Mundell Informant, Pearston (E. Cape)I haven’t sukkeled with any dress like I have with this one (had difficulties).
1970 F. Philip Informant, JohannesburgI suppose we’ve all had to sukkel sometime in life, I know I have.
1973 D.A.C. Maclennan in Bolt No.7, 8Every night you lie there and sukkel with things you’d like to forget.
1976 Blossom in Darling 4 Feb. 87After sukkeling with that lot I am only pooped hey so I will tune you chow for now, fans.
1978 T. Couzens in Speak JulyAug. 13I have sukkeled around to try to work out what is meant by ‘popular culture’. It seems to be generally what is regarded as ‘low’ culture as distinct from ‘high’ culture.
1979 F. Dike First S. African 4Maybe he thinks I’m going to sukkel to sell this jacket. But he forgets, this location is full of moegoes.
1980 R. Bonnke in New Vision Vol.5 No.4, 8It (sc. evangelism without the Holy Spirit) is like a body without the heart, and it is like a car without the engine. You sukkel and sukkel and sukkel...and nothing happens!
1984 Frontline May 40Koos, you know how when English-speaking ous are sukkeling to speak in Afrikaans,..they..sommer pronounce it an Afrikaans-sounding way and hope for the best.
1991 Natal Mercury 1 Apr. 1Although you sukkel for about a whole hour to find parking it’s worth the trouble.
1994 Informant, GrahamstownA lot of their lines are out of order. You sukkel like anything — you get through or you don’t.
2. slang. To look for trouble, to create trouble, to annoy (someone) on purpose.
1970 K. Nicol Informant, DurbanIf you’re going to sukkel here, you’ll get hurt. (Look for trouble, look for a fight).
1972 Beeton & Dorner in Eng. Usage in Sn Afr. Vol.3 No.1, 26Sukkel,..‘annoy, interfere with’, eg ‘Don’t sukkel with me’.
1985 Frontline Dec. 23But from behind..his crossed arms he gives me a moenie sukkel look when I ask for the names of CP supporters who went back to the National Party.
1986 B. Simon in S. Gray Market Plays 113I pay twenty-five rand for this don’t go sukkeling around the caretaker like that. You don’t sukkel with anybody like that.
To struggle, to have difficulty (with someone or something).
To look for trouble, to create trouble, to annoy (someone) on purpose.
So (sense 2) sukkelaar /-ɑː(r)/ noun [Afrikaans], a trouble-maker.
1911 E. Prov. Herald 27 Oct.Those arguing against the Act were ‘sukkelars’, and formed a ‘remschoen’. He (sc. General Botha) asked them to co-operate in making the Act a success.
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