hostel, noun

Origin:
EnglishShow more Special senses of general English.
1. a. A single-sex barrack or dormitory for the accommodation of black migrant workers in urban areas; bachelor quarters. b. Similar living quarters for mine-workers. Cf. compound sense 1. Also attributive, and combination hostel-dweller, one living in a hostel. See also migrant labour sense 1.
1943 J. Burger Black Man’s Burden 180In Durban..the accommodation for Natives consists largely of hostels for single men and women and about 140 cottages for married couples.
1950 D. Reed Somewhere S. of Suez 270There is a single hostel, much over-crowded, for the female Native population. Women with children are debarred.
1959 L. Longmore Dispossessed 317The Johannesburg Municipality has one hostel for African women — namely, Wolhuter Women’s Hostel, established in 1930, which can accommodate 160 tenants.
1973 Sunday Times 18 Feb. (Mag. Sect.) 3Because of our inhuman laws they are herded into bleak hostels and townships, and kept apart from their families — but near factories.
1977 J. Sikakane Window on Soweto 9Separately built in some of the 26 locations are the most notorious and depressing barracks known as hostels. These long narrow-built compartments accommodate ‘single’ men i.e. migrant workers. In Soweto 60,000 men are hostel dwellers.
1983 Fair Lady 16 Nov. 170Family accommodation was to be eliminated entirely and 18 hostels were to be built for ‘single’ men and women.
1984 E. Mphahlele Afrika my Music 176There are no apartment houses for Africans in South Africa. Single male hostels for migrant labourers, yes — dormitory style.
1987 S. Nyaka in Weekly Mail 3 Apr. 1Defiant miners..have unilaterally moved their wives or girlfriends into the single-sex hostels.
1990 New African 18 June 8Each night, more than 17 000 workers finish off a day’s work and head back to the KwaMashu Men’s Hostel just north of Durban. Overcrowding, prostitution, and deplorable maintenance is what they come home to.
1990 Weekend Argus 29 Sept. 19South Africa’s widely discredited hostels system has earned a large measure of blame for the violence on the Reef...Hostel-dwellers pay R6 a bed to secure a roof over their heads.
1992 Weekly Mail 16 Apr. 35As the [mining] industry entered the 1990s the compounds, now renamed hostels, were occupied primarily by workers from South Africa and the ‘homelands’.
2. A boarding-house for pupils at a primary or secondary school; those living in the hostel. Also attributive.
1956 A. Baskind in Pietersburg Eng. Medium School Mag. 31On Saturday..the School House hostel held a tickey-evening to raise funds for..a new radiogram.
1959 C.F.P. Herselman in Pietersburg Eng. Medium School Mag. 15In 1957 there were 240 children living in a hostel that was planned for 180.
1959 L.N. Salomon in Pietersburg Eng. Medium School Mag. 21At the hostel the senior girls have responded to her understanding, while their genuine respect for her has led to the disciplined behaviour so essential in their ‘home from home’...The staff, pupils and hostel will miss her greatly.
1964 C. Krikst in Capricorn High School Mag. 12Despite numerous and frequent changes in hostel staff, we have combined very well.
1991 Grocott’s Mail 10 Sept. 9The schools could do well to organise table tennis into a local inter-school league competition, as many of their hostels already have tables.
1993 [see sarmie].
A single-sex barrack or dormitory for the accommodation of black migrant workers in urban areas; bachelor quarters.
Similar living quarters for mine-workers.
A boarding-house for pupils at a primary or secondary school; those living in the hostel. Also attributive.

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19431992