DSAE test file

total onslaught, noun phrase

Origin:
Afrikaans
a. historical. A perceived campaign by foreign (especially communist) countries and South African left-wing movements against the Nationalist government and its policies, believed to be aimed at weakening South Africa through offensives in the military, economic, psychological, social, political, and cultural spheres; onslaught; total strategy sense a. Also attributive.
Note:
The perceived threat of ‘total onslaught’ formed the basis of (and stated justification for) the government’s policies in many areas from about 1973 until the late 1980s.
[1977 M. Malan in J. Pauw In Heart of Whore (1991) 120South Africa has for a long time been subjected to a total and protracted revolutionary onslaught.]
1993 Sunday Times 10 Oct. 20Like some restless Frankenstein monster, the old National Party — the party of PW Botha, and cold-hearted Jimmy Kruger, and the total onslaught — came lumbering back to life this week: violent, ruthless, inept.
b. Transferred and figurative, often jocular, or used ironically.
1981 Rand Daily Mail 14 Mar. 9Will this total onslaught never cease? Now some bigots and cynics have actually dared to attack the suave and diplomatic Mr Pik Botha. They have carped at a calm and measured statement in which Mr Botha advised the West German president of the UN General Assembly to ‘come out and fight like a man, you scaredy-cat, and sucks to you’.
1989 G. Silber in Sunday Times 30 Apr. 17Hiding behind subversive pseudonyms, yelling inciteful slogans — Hou ’n party, bou ons nasie, met die nuwe dans sensasie! — the Voëlvry brigade are the total onslaught with a rock ’n roll backbeat.
A perceived campaign by foreign (especially communist) countries and South African left-wing movements against the Nationalist government and its policies, believed to be aimed at weakening South Africa through offensives in the military, economic, psychological, social, political, and cultural spheres; onslaught; total strategya. Also attributive.

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19771993