deurmekaar, adjective

Forms:
deurmeka, doormakarShow more Also deurmeka, doormakar, doormekaar.
Origin:
Afrikaans, DutchShow more Afrikaans, adaptation of Dutch door malkaar, door malkander (door through + malkaar, malkander one another), dialect variants of door elkaar confused, disordered.
colloquial
1. Confused, muddled; disorganized. See also mekaar.
1871 W.G. Atherstone in T. Gutsche No Ordinary Woman (1966) 24View of de Beers..groups of diggers at work in quaint dresses..tents of every conceivable shape & size..ladies and children and blacks all ‘deur makaar’.
1901 A.R.R. Turnbull Tales from Natal 121I shall then have a day of reckoning with Jass, Pen and Mess, if not before, for leaving us in this door-makaar strait.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 150Doormekaar, (C[ape] D[utch] mixed, confused, topsy-turvey.) In common use.
1972 Cape Times 8 Nov. 1He would not have minded, he said, if they had put his name to the colour brochure.., but this pamphlet was too deurmekaar and smudgy.
1975 Evening Post 25 Jan.The woman’s brother said that she suffered from hardening of the arteries and was sometimes ‘deurmekaar’.
1980 Fair Lady 19 Nov. 384We turned and burned, dreaming in Afrikaans, mumbling in French, Yiddish, or German and totally deurmekaar.
1983 J. Scott in Daily Dispatch 9 Sept. 9Mr F.W. de Klerk couldn’t understand..how two Afrikaners..could study the new constitutional document and come to two completely contradictory opinions...‘It shows you how deurmekaar the document is,’ replied Mr S— B—.
1991 M. O’Shea Informant, KokstadConfused? I’m afraid he’s completely deurmekaar.
1991 E. Williams Informant, Cape TownI’m not ever having tenants again, they left the house so deurmekaar, I’ll never get it straight.
1992 T.M. Pearson Informant, Knysna‘Deurmekaar’ is becoming popular with English speakers, as is ‘khokos’ for insects..(also, in Natal, ‘Nunus’).
2. combination
deurmekaarbos /-ˌbɔs/, plural deurmekaarbosse /-ˌbɔsə/, [Afrikaans, bos bush; see quotation 1966], the shrub Ehretia rigida of the Boraginaceae (forget-me-not family); Cape lilac sense (b), see Cape sense 2 a; puzzle bush.
1932 C.R. Van der Merwe in Farming in S. Afr. Mar. 495The locality is covered with a fairly dense growth of shrubs, such as ‘noorsdoring’, ‘deurmekaarbos’,..etc.
1966 C.A. Smith Common Names 198Deurmekaarbos, Ehretia rigida...The vernacular name is derived from the somewhat interlaced nature of the decurving branches, thus giving the plants an unkempt and untidy (Afk.: deurmekaar) appearance.
1971 A.A. Mauve in Std Encycl. of Sn Afr. IV. 643Several indigenous species [of the Forget-Me-Not family], e.g. deurmekaarbos (Ehretia rigida), douwurmbos..are used in Bantu medicines.
1972 Palmer & Pitman Trees of Sn Afr. III. 1945The specific name means ‘rigid’, and is a good description of the tree. So is the most widely used of its common names, ‘deurmekaarbos’ or ‘tangled bush’.
Confused, muddled; disorganized.
a commotion, a mishap.
Derivatives:
Hence deurmekaar noun ?nonce, a commotion, a mishap.
1990 J. Naidoo Coolie Location 33And you man, how did you get yourself into such a deurmekaar?

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18711992

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