The website header, made up of the DSAE logo, search bar and navigation menu, is located at the top of all pages and provides easy access to primary navigation functions. From the header you can, for example, search for dictionary entries, consult the Help pages or read more about South African English and the history of the project.

The header contracts on scrolling and remains fixed at the top of your browser window, providing persistent access to the search bar and navigation menu. To open and close the navigation menu in this view, click the yellow Menu tab on the top left of your screen.

Search bar

To find a word in the dictionary, type your search query into the search bar. A list of suggested target forms will automatically be listed below and can be selected using your mouse. Suggested forms include not only headword matches but also variant spelling forms and nested compounds.

If there are no matching search results, a full-text search is automatically generated as well as alternative Did you mean suggestions. This means that you don't need to use the exact word to find the result you are looking for!

Navigation menu

The website header offers links to information and resources via a horizontal navigation menu. Primary navigation links – Home, Dictionary, More, Help, Project, Contact – function as headers to a hierarchy of sub-menus that drop down automatically on mouse over. Where applicable, further sub-menus within a specific navigation hierarchy are presented as a list of links on the relevant page. For example, see Entry Structure.


The Home page offers engaging information about the dictionary and its content. For instance, learn more about the sometimes surprising origins of South African English or find interesting comparisons of well-known South African words across a variety of World Englishes.


Clicking on All Entries in the navigation menu displays the full list of headwords contained in the dictionary. The first fifty words are displayed by default: use the display control Show more to view the full list. Alternatively, select a letter of your choice and the corresponding subset of dictionary entries will be displayed. Again, the first fifty words are displayed by default: use the display control Show more to view the full list. Results can be filtered and sorted according to various criteria. For help on filtering and sorting results, see Advanced Functions.


Under this heading you will find overviews of South African English, a select Bibliography of those sources most commonly cited in compiling the dictionary and information pertaining to copyright policy etc.


The Help menu will take you to explanatory pages on using the website. Find more about the layout of pages and basic navigation tools at Getting Started. For detailed help on the various components of a dictionary entry, go to Entry Structure. Help on advanced features such as filtering and sorting results can be found at Advanced Functions. A comprehensive guide to Symbols and Abbreviations can also be found under the Help menu.


Read about the dictionary and the team of staff and collaborators working on the DSAE online project, or follow various links to find out more about the earlier print dictionary, A Dictionary of South African English on Historical Principles, a twenty five-year project.


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