dumela, interjection

Forms:
domela, dumellaShow more Also domela, dumella, lumela, rumēela, ruméla.
Origin:
SeSotho, seTswanaShow more SeSotho and seTswana. The form ‘lumela’ (also pronounced /duˈmeːla/) represents the orthography of Lesotho.
‘Good day’; ‘hello’; ‘goodbye’.
Note:
The plural form ‘dumelang’ (see quotation 1990) is used in seSotho and seTswana when more than one person is greeted.
1824 W.J. Burchell Trav. II. 431On taking leave of me at night, his usual word was, Rumēela; a polite and friendly term of greeting, often used also at meeting.
1846 R. Moffat Missionary Labours 103We passed many women, who were employed in their gardens, who, on seeing us, threw down their picks, and..lifted up their hands, exclaiming ‘Ruméla,’ (their manner of salutation).
1878 P. Gillmore Great Thirst Land 295They are well formed, and although not pretty, look good-natured; and, above all, they are polite, for not one fails to greet the soil-stained travellers with their pretty expression of welcome, ‘Dumela!’
1912 W. Westrup Land of To-Morrow 174He dismounted before the two white men...‘Lumela, Raphofoolo,’ he said....‘Lumela, Rufingwana.’ Dangerfield took the extended hand.
1920 S.M. Molema Bantu Past & Present 137The Bechuana-Basotho people say Dumela, a word meaning hail, or hail to you.
1924 G. Baumann in Baumann & Bright Lost Republic (1940) 137All the boys whom I had had occasion to flog saluted me with upraised arm: ‘Domela Morena’ (Sesuto — ‘Hail, Master’).
1930 S.T. Plaatje Mhudi (1975) 31‘Dumela (good day), my sister,’ he said, ‘I am Ra-Thaga, the son of Notto.’
1955 W. Illsley Wagon on Fire 87‘Dumela, ntate,’ he greeted the old man politely. ‘Dumela, my child.’
c1976 H. Flather Thaba Rau 215He..greeted Leach with a raised arm and then a double-handshake...‘Dumela morena’, he said. ‘Welcome back.’
1986 Star 31 July 10Dumela folks!
1990 City Press 1 July 15Sipho had come to buy food for his family. ‘Dumelang,’ greeted Sipho. ‘Ja, Josef, what do you want?’ said Boetie arrogantly.
‘Good day’; ‘hello’; ‘goodbye’.
Derivatives:
Hence (nonce) dumela transitive verb, to greet (someone) with the word ‘dumela’.
1887 J.W. Matthews Incwadi Yami 374Hundreds met us on the banks of the river; the crowd, ‘lumelaing’ (saluting) us and singing and dancing their war dances.
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