DSAE test file

down, adverb

Origin:
South African Dutch, AfrikaansShow more In sense a, probably calqued on South African Dutch (later Afrikaans) af in die rivier kom af; sense b probably developed from sense a.
Of a (periodically dry) river:
a. In the intransitive verb phrase to come down: to swell, to rise.
Note:
Also found in Australian and N.Z. English from the 1860s.
1854 R.B. Struthers St. Lucia Hunting Diary. (Killie Campbell Africana Library KCM55079) 53The river began to rise rapidly & we had just time to get the oxen back again, when the stream came down with overwhelming force.
1990 R. Malan My Traitor’s Heart 318The drought dragged on until 1982, only to break in a raging cloudburst...The river came down in spate and crippled Neil’s beloved waterwheel.
b. In the intrans. v. phr. to be down: to be in flood, to be high, to be in spate.
1867 Queenstown Free Press 18 Jan.The rivers in this neighbourhood have been frequently ‘down’ during the last month.
1913 C. Pettman Africanderisms 152Down, A river is said to be ‘down’ when the waters, increased by a heavy fall of rain higher up, rise in their channel.
to swell, to rise.
In the intrans. v. phr. to be down: to be in flood, to be high, to be in spate.
Derivatives:
Hence coming down verbal noun phrase, a flooding.

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18541990

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