One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1South African NZ 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
- ‘While he said there was not much vegetation damage, the road would cause dongas in the forest due to soil erosion along steep areas.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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…’
- ‘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.’
2A temporary, usually transportable, dwelling.
- ‘He says detainees were locked in their dongas, or cabins, for hours on end.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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.’
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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