When Squeaky learnt the power of fistiology

A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action that it does not literally denote to imply a resemblance.

This is the dictionary definition.

You will wonder why I bombard you with this lexicon so early in the column.

You see, I had a discussion in English with one of my friends the other day. I had mentioned the word metaphor when he bowled me over and said: "Matter for what?"

I looked at him very closely, almost to the point of perplexity. I mean, this guy is educated. But I realised he was pulling my leg when he also burst out laughing.

That little incident with the Queen's language reminded me again how we, the dark-skinned people of the South, are geniuses when it comes to being creative with English.

It reminded me of how we use words to our own effect with meanings peculiar to Africans.

For instance, Orlando Pirates Football Club is also known as the Buccaneers or Bucs.

But we added our own jargon and called it Bhakaniya or Amabhakabhaka.

Remember the 1995 Rugby World Cup winners? We were all united in baptising the team Amabhokobhoko. Formerly known by their Afrikaans moniker of Die Bokke, the name stuck as even their white fans climbed on the bandwagon.

It also revives some fond memories of yesteryear when I was enjoying a Saturday afternoon with friends in Soweto over a drink. There was this guy whom we did not know from a bar of soap in the shebeen. But he decided to test his English prowess on one of my buddies.

"Do you know physiology?" he asked my friend, who calmly answered in the affirmative with a smile.

The English master persisted and threw another one at my friend.

"Do you know psychology?" The answer was again yes, still with a smile.

"Do you know philo- logy?" My friend was getting slightly irritated and the smile had now turned into a grin as he responded positively.

This other guy had this sharp, almost squeaky voice.

He trundled on: "Do you know oncology?"

My buddy was now completely incandescent.

He rose from his chair. Unlike me, he is a huge guy and quite brawny.

He approached this guy, we will call him Squeaky.

Glaring at him, he said: "Do you know fistiology, huh?"

We all knew what was coming.

Scrawny Squeaky sank deeper in his chair and it seemed he wanted to disappear under the table.

The problem was we were sitting around a coffee table in the shebeen's lounge. So, Squeaky could not get underneath the coffee table.

And it was too late for us to stop our friend.

Plonk! He socked him one punch that sent Squeaky sprawling like it was on canvas in a boxing ring.

"That, my friend, is fistiology," said my satisfied-looking pal.

Oh, for the power of fistiology.