The BA RE Sesotho Dictionary was a weekly series that ran in 2015 where we showcased the innovation and growth of the Sesotho language. Each week we shared on facebook and on our website a new Sesotho word that is either invented or comes from existing slang.
In 2018, we expanded on the project by hosting a workshop series where participants played Sesotho word games, generated their own words and created artistic dictionary pages for the newly generated words.
Please see our current collection of words below. For each word we have a definition and an example sentence in both Sesotho and English.
Tatolo ea sengoloa seo e ne e re: mabitso a hlahang paleng ena ke a maiketsetso. Tšobotsi efeng kapa e feng ea batho ba phelang ke ea tšohanyetso.
The novel came with a disclaimer which said: the characters in this story are fictional. Any resemblance of real people is coincidental.
Relebohile o lebisa neo ea hae bongoling hoba mopatlotsa oa maemo a holimo a thuto.
Relebohile uses his writing to be a rabble rouser for quality education.
Mpho ke kh’onaesa ea lingoloa tsa Sesotho, kahoo o ikutloa hore o se a ka ngola buka le eena.
Because Mpho is a connoisseur of Sesotho novels, she wants to write her own.
Bonono ke mokhoa o mong oa ho lotomanya maikutlo o sa hlokeng puo.
Art is a form of articulating one’s feelings that doesn’t rely on speech.
Haesale ke korotlela fono hoseng Palesa a itse o tla ntsappa.
I’ve been hugging my phone all morning waiting for Palesa to WhatsApp me.
Boleng ba bonono ha bo tsebahale, ke polelo-khaello.
The true meaning of art is something that cannot be put in words.
Abuti eeno ea ngotseng maikutlo ka tla’sa senepe sa ka ke tjelapa hore!
The guy who commented on my picture is such a troll!
Ke pelo bohloko hoba likhalase tsa hae tsa mahlo li lahlehe, Rethabile o ne a lakatsa hore e be li ne li kentsoe qamaki.
Rethabile was so hurt after losing his spectacles that he wished they were fitted with a tracking device.
Hangata batho ba rutehileng ba na le boichaeapele ha ba ipapisa le batho sa kenang likolo haholo.
Educated people often project a sense of supremacy over people who never went to school.
Pulane o ithutile sefora lilemo tse peli hore a tle a rakhele ha a fihla Senegal.
Pulane learned to speak French for two years so she could adopt a new identity and assimilate in Senegal.
Ka mor’a ho ba hae selemo, qoaka ea Refiloe e ne se e le pepeneneng.
After spending a year at home, Refiloe’s desire for a different environment had become blatantly obvious.
Ke lumela hore mantsoe ano a ne a tsoa ho kakāka ea hae eseng eena eo re mo tloaetseng.
I’m inclined to believe those words came from his alter ego, not the man we’re used to.
Nōnōfatso e hlokahala ‘bakeng sa nchafatso ea litsebo tsa mahlale, mesebetsi ea bongoli, pokello ea ‘mino, qapo ea metlae, le tse ling tse ngata.
Creativity is essential in the development of new scientific theory, literary work, musical composition, humour, etc.
Lesotho e bile topiea ho mehlobo e mengata mehleng ea Lifaqane.
Lesotho was an utopia for many tribes during the Lifaqane wars.
Banna ba lekeishene ba ne ba jabasa monna eo oa molata ha ba ntse ba utsoa thepa ea lebenkele la hae.
The men from the location acted superior to the immigrant shop owner as they looted his goods.
Pharu ea baithuti khahlanong le tlhokahalo ea libuka e entse hore sekolo se bule setsi se mekatelo e ‘meli e tletseng tsona feela.
The student’s protest against a shortage of books prompted the school to build a two story library.
Ngaka Tokelo o koetse Sebaka sa hae sa ts’ebetso ka mor’a tlhaselo e bakiloeng ke menyenyetsi e hasitseng ke Likonelo ea hore o popoketsa likhomo teng.
Dr. Tokelo closed his laboratory after it was vandalised due to rumours spread by Likonelo speculating that the doctor was cloning cows there.
Libuka tsa Mpho tse ncha li mo nkile ka tlhacho-nko e mo buselitseng mehleng ea ha a le lilemo li 8 a lula ha ntata’e moholo.
When Mpho took a whiff of her new books, she felt like she was 8 years old and back in her grandfather’s hut.
Ha kea hlophisa leletho, haesale ke apareloa ke qi ha katara eaka e robeha.
I haven’t been able to compose anything due to a bad case of writer’s block since my guitar broke.
Teboho o ne a rints’ela lets’eare lohle ka mor’a ho bua le Lipuo.
Teboho spent the whole day with a longing for good news after he spoke to Lipuo.
Nakong ena e tlokotsi sechabeng sa Basotho, bacha ba aparetsoe ke mamaeto.
In this important moment for the nation, the youth feels a deep yearning for peace.
Bang ba bapisa kelello ea hae le ea ‘mupuoa ho latela ka moo a leng bohlale ka teng.
Some have likened his intelligence to that of an alien, alluding to the power of his mind.
O ne a tants’a ha monate, ‘mele ona a o tsetsinya sebihle ho latela morethetho oa ‘mino.
She danced smoothly, moving her body rhythmically in slow motion.
O ile a lekants’a khahleho ea hae ho khetheli leha bana ba’so bue.
He compared his infatuation with her to the love of home, yet he’d never even spoken to her.
Ha ke ne nka fuoa neo e ikhethileng, ke lakatsa ha e ka ba phomesollo.
If I could have one special power, I would choose teleportation.
Foto ea ha u no jaiva summa feveng ke terentante.
A picture of you dancing at the Summa Feva is going viral.
Cheri eaka o bua hohlanya, ke qetoa ke fonokotsane mehlaena.
My girlfriend talks so much we have long phone calls that gobble my airtime daily.