One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1NZ South African A dry gully, formed by the eroding action of running water.
gorge, abyss, canyon, ravine, gully, gulf, pass, defile, couloir, crevasse, cleft, rift, rentView synonyms
- ‘According to a report tabled by the provincial standing committee on public works - which toured the province in June to assess roads and infrastructure - bridges are collapsing and dongas are developing.’
- ‘The department tried to repair the donga by filling it with soil, but this had since been washed away.’
- ‘For decades too it had no storm water drainage, resulting in potholes and dongas opening up.’
- ‘While he said there was not much vegetation damage, the road would cause dongas in the forest due to soil erosion along steep areas.’
- ‘Some people have even requested that the traffic department not issue fines for unroadworthy vehicles because their cars had been damaged by dongas in the roads…’
2A temporary, usually transportable, dwelling.
- ‘The local Aboriginal workers - most of whom have never had a job before - live in the same dongas and eat in the same mess as all other employees.’
- ‘She had to get up at 3.30 am one morning to cook breakfast for 80 or 90 miners who were living out in dongas out the back.’
- ‘He says detainees were locked in their dongas, or cabins, for hours on end.’
- ‘Sometimes when we talked they would use a new or unfamiliar word: they might say that they had gone out to the apple for a few days, or that they were sharing their donga with three other people.’
- ‘My studio is located in the upper heli-hut donga, which is a red cargo container sitting upon another by the helicopter pads on the outskirts of the station.’
3The bush; the remote countryside.
Donga (sense 1) from Xhosa and Zulu udonga; donga (sense 2) is said to stem from an extended usage of the term in the Boer War.
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