Main Entry: lacquer
1 a: a spirit varnish b: a durable, organic coating that dries to form a clear, reflective film
2 a: a natural sap from the Lacquer Tree
3 slang: commonly used in South Africa as an expression of admiration; as in ‘cool’, ‘awesome’, ‘impressive’.
Like many others, I always simply thought of Lacquer as a specialty finish used in design on walls, floors, furniture and millwork. Although always fascinated by its beautiful, smooth, reflective qualities and ability to shine; it was not until a trip to South Africa that I learned of this more affectionate use for the word. After purchasing a series of unique locally crafted furniture pieces the young boy we were staying with took one look at them and exclaimed……