data localities: Dombe

Sean Edwards mzfses at MAIL1.MCC.AC.UK
Wed Oct 23 09:37:38 CDT 2002

OK, more a question than a contribution. Maybe somebody can
put me right on a probable rural myth relating to data localities.  In
the eastern districts of Zimbabwe, there are several mountains/hills
called Dombe, and I was told the story (quite likely apocryphal)
that this name was written down by European map makers when
asking members of the local population what the mountain was
called.  Dombe was later revealed to mean "I don't know", or "I
don't understand you" (or maybe something a little blunter?).
There's a similar story attached to Kangaroos, I believe, and no
doubt dozens of other words.

Sean R. Edwards BSc PhD,
Keeper of Botany,
The Manchester Museum, Manchester University, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
'Phone: +44 (0)161-275-2671/2; fax: +44 (0)161-275-2676
Email: sean.edwards at

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