Pasop, meaning ‘beware’ or ‘watch out”, is an Afrikaans word in origin however it crosses the language barrier for most people living in South Africa, regardless of their ability in Afrikaans, it’s meaning is very clear.
The reason for this familiarity is that the most common place one would see the word ‘pasop’ is on “Beware of the Dog” security signs, “Pasop vir die hond” in Afrikaans. These signs, in various shapes and sizes, adorn the gates of residential and commercial properties and are meant to signal to any criminals that there are one or more dangerous dogs on that property who do not take lightly to unwelcome guests on their turf. The layout and graphics may vary but the contents of the signs are always the same, the text “Beware” or “Beware of the dog” in one or more languages accompanied by some sort of graphic of an aggressive dog. In years gone by “PASOP!” would jump out at you more often than not when walking the streets, these days however you’re more likely to see a security company sign in it’s place.