The use of Fanakalo pidgin was one of the ways in which inter-ethnic communication was achieved in 19th Century South Africa, first among speakers of Zulu, Xhosa, English and Afrikaans in different contexts in the Eastern Cape and Natal. It later spread to incoming Indian migrants from the 1860s onwards and was used in the gold mines of the 1880s and became closely associated with the mining industry. Grammatical and lexical differences across the country are minor, though there is some phonetic variation according to speakers’ L1s. The grammatical descriptions in the APiCS contribution draw on a variety of written and oral sources, including the academic writings of Trapp (1908), Cole (1953), Mesthrie (1989), and Adendorff (1995) as well as descriptions in handbooks put out by the mining houses or by authors aiming to promulgate the pidgin in contexts of domestic or farming employment. Where necessary the intuitions of Mesthrie and his farming relatives were used, supplemented by recordings of White, Zulu and Indian speakers by Clarissa Surek-Clark. The sample of Fanakalo speech provided for the APiCS contribution is drawn from two Indian women in a rural context who had no other common means of speaking. This Indian variety may thus at a pinch be considered the default Fanakalo lect in the APiCS contribution. In this regard it is noteworthy that some authors had earlier considered Fanakalo an Indian invention or characteristically Indian phenomenon (Trapp 1908, Cole 1953).