bakkie n. a small pick-up truck or van. Etymological Note: The Datsun 680, 1200, and 1400 light trucks were a few of several similar models, made by the now-defunct manufacturer, which took the nickname “bakkie.” A similar vehicle is now sold in South Africa by Nissan as the “Nissan 1400 bakkie.” It seems the term originated as a nickname, not as a brand name. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

  1. RobertN says:

    From the dutch word “bak” (=tray; carrier; cistern). Short Dutch form: “bakje”, in slang, some dutch dialects and in the South african language Afrikaans (originally a form of dutch): “bakkie”.
    Later used for small open trailers, and from there perhaps to the pick-uo trucks that are mentioned.
    Robert Noorlander
    Haarlem, Holland

  2. Thanks, Robert! That sounds exactly right to me.

  3. brutalEpist says:

    Just a clarification—Datsun is not defunct; the manufacturer simply began branding its vehicles as Nissan in the mid 1980’s.

  4. stevew says:

    Alt. def.

    bakkie n. A slang abreviation of “tobacco”, used in US and NZ.  Can apply both to smoking and chewing tobacco in the US.

  5. Steve, that’s a different word altogether and very common, anyway.

  6. lino says:

    I’ve got Datsun 1400 bakkie in Portugal which i imported from SA
    thinking about restoring it.
    The engine on it has had it,i’m wondering what kind of engine i could find in Europe to fit in there?I also need a dash board.
    Any help is appreciated.

  7. Good day to you i have one too in portugal and i m doing the same as you bat i do have all the parts to begin with it my mail is carlos be free to speak to me about restoring the van

  8. Ali van Wyk says:

    Bakkie is used commonly in South Africa to refer to a pick-up truck. Pick-up is not used at all. The explanation above is correct. A “bak” is a container in Afrikaans – and “bakkie” is the diminutive form and became the general word for a small truck.

  9. I remember those 1400 Nissan bakkies…they would go like ‘hot s..t off a shovel’. I eventually had a bakkie to beat them on ‘take-off’ – a 1300 fuel injected Corsa bakkie…
    These days I drive a 1.9 JTD (turbodiesel) bakkie in The Algarve. If either of you two ‘Porras’ above want to dice, email me:

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