morgen, noun

Plurals:
unchanged, or occasionally morgens.
Origin:
South African Dutch, Middle DutchShow more South African Dutch, from Middle Dutch morghen (literally ‘morning’) an area of land ploughed in a morning.
A unit of land measurement comprising just over two acres, or one hectare.
Note:
Used also in certain dialects of U.S. English, from as early as 1674.
1797 Earl Macartney in G.M. Theal Rec. of Cape Col. (1898) II. 122The number of Morgen of Ground that they possess in property or loan and what quantity of the same they believe to be cultivated.
1801 J. Barrow Trav. I. 64Sixty morgens of land, or 120 English acres.
1832 Graham’s Town Jrnl 20 Apr. 66The mere proposal to confine a Dutch farmer to two hundred and fifty morgen of land, would be scouted as an extravagant absurdity.
1837 J.E. Alexander Narr. of Voy. I. 342A full-sized farm is reckoned from two to three thousand morgen, or double that number of acres.
1843 J.C. Chase Cape of G.H. 193A morgen is generally reckoned to be equal to two English statute acres, but the true proportion is considered to be 49 71–100ths morgen to 100 acres.
1873 F. Boyle To Cape for Diamonds 24A settler could obtain three thousand morgen, or something more than six thousand acres, round the spot where he chose to build the homestead.
1899 Natal Agric. Jrnl 31 Mar. 3‘Erf’ (a town plot of land) and ‘morgen’ (about two acres) will linger wherever land has been set off by Dutch measurement.
1917 S.T. Plaatje Native Life 31They got alarmed to hear that Natives had during the past three years ‘bought’ land to the extent of 50000 morgen per annum.
c1936 S. & E. Afr. Yr Bk & Guide 26The square was supposed to measure rather more than three miles each way, which allowed about 10 sq. miles or 3,000 morgens to the farm.
1948 V.M. Fitzroy Cabbages & Cream 213The smallholder has to work every bit as hard as the farmer on five hundred morgen.
1963 L.F. Freed Crime in S. Afr. 109The township lies outside the Johannesburg municipal area, and..consists of 415 morgen, which is divided into 2,525 stands.
1989 Sunday Times 10 Dec. (Mag. Sect.) 26The record price of R40000 was recorded for a 25 morgen stand on the seafront between Keurboom strand and the Keurboom River a few kilometres north of Plettenberg Bay.
1991 D. Galloway in Weekend Argus 26 Jan. 18Oranjevlei is still the same 1150 morgen it was then.
A unit of land measurement comprising just over two acres, or one hectare.
Derivatives:
Hence morgenage noun  obsolete, an area measured in morgen.
1934 Cape Argus 22 May (Swart)An unusually large morgenage has been cut for silage and generally provision has been made for winter feed on a considerable scale.

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses

17971991

Derivatives