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Minggu, 14 Juni 2009


This is a kid of stuff, defined in the Draper’s Dictionary as being made from cotton yarn dyed before being woven. The origin of this word is obscure, but it is likely that it originated in the Indian trade. Still, a Javanese dictionary gives ginggang, a short of striped East Indian cotton. The verb ginggang in Javanese means “to separate, to go away” but this throws no light on the matter, nor can we connect the cloth with that of the name of a place on the northern coast of Sumatra. On the other hand, the Eastern derivation of the name has been entirely rejected. The right explanation is simply that gingham is an old English spelling of a town in Brittany, Guingamp, where linen was once manufactured.

The most unusual class of house that was occupied by Europeans in the interio of India, being on one storey, and covered by a pyramidal roof, which in the normal bungalow is of thatch, but may be of tiles without impairing its title to be called a bungalow is sometimes used in contradistinction to the (usually more pretentious) pucka house; by which latter term is implied a masonry house with a terraced roof. A have described, but a temporary material, in garden. The term has been adopted by Europeans generally in Ceylon and China. The word derives from Bangla, which is probably from the place Banga in Bengal. It is to be remembered that in Hindustan proper the adjective, of or belonging to Bengal, is constantly pronounced as Bangala or Bangla. The probability is that when Europeans started to build houses of this character in Behar and Upper India, these were called Bangla or “Bengal-fashion” houses.


This cotton cloth, of a reasonably fine texture, occurs in the 17th century in the form Calicut. The word may have come into English through the French calicot, which in turn comes from Calicut, which in the Middle Ages was the chief city and one of the ports of Malabar coast was mentioned by Marco Polo. The cotton itself seems to have been brought from the hinterland as Malabar cotton, repening during the rains, is not usable.

This word derives from the Hindi pae0jama, literally translated as “leg-clothing”, a pair of loose drawers, tied round the waist. Such a garment was worn by Sikh men and by Moslems of both sexes. It was adopted by Europeans as comfortable casual clothing and as night attire. It is probable that the clothing and the word came into English usage from the Portuguese. Originally, pyjamas sometimes had feet sewn into them and when a Jermyn St tailor was asked why, he replied,” I believe, sir, it is because of the white ants”. And as a traveler remarked in 1881, “The rest of our attire consisted of that particularly light and airy white flannel garment, known throughout India as a pyjama suit


This, a printed or spotted cotton cloth, is called chint in Hindi, but appears to steam from the Sanskrit, Chitra, meaning variegated or sparkled. The French from of the word is chite, which has suggested the English sheet being of the same origin. But chite is apparently of Indian origin, whilst sheet is much older that the Portuguese communication with India. The manufacture and export of chintzes from India to Europe has now ceased. However, in Java and Sumatra, chintzes of a very peculiar kind of marbled pattern are still manufactures under the name of batik.

This, referring to an open pillared gallery round a house, is one of the very perplexing words for which at least two origins may be maintained, both with equal plausibility. One group considers it to be of Sanskrit origin, barandah, meaning a portico. However, others point out that verandah with the meaning in question does not belong to the older Sanskrit, but is found only in comparatively modern works. That the word as used in England and France was brought by the English from India need not be doubted. But either in the same sense, or in one closely analogous, it seems to have existed quite independently in both Spanish and Portuguese. The suspicion must be that the word was taken to India by the Portuguese and thence re-exported by the English to northern Europe.


This is a cigar, but the term has been appropriated especially to cigar truncated at both ends, as India cigars always were in the old days. The word is Tamil, shuruttu, translated as a roll of tobacco. In the south, cheroote were chiefly made at Trichinopoly and were consequently known as Trichies. Grose, in around 1760, speaking of Bombay, whilst describing the cheroot does not use that word, but another, buncus, which is now entirely obsolete.

  1. THUG

The word is found in Sanskrit and in Hindi where it means a cheat and a swindler, but during the 19th century is acquired a more specified meaning, referring to robbers of a particular type who formed a gang and pretended to be travelers, perhaps on business or on a pilgrimage. They would join other travelers on the road, befriend them and then, given a suitable opportunity, would strangle them, plunder them and bury their bodies. The proper name for such people was phansigar, from the word phansi, meaning “a nose”, because they would throw a slip-knot around the necks of their victims.

  1. CURRY
Curry consists of meat, fish, fruit or vegetables, cooked with a quantity of bruised spices and turmeric. A little of this gives flavor to a large mess of rice. The word is Tamil in origin, kari, meaning “sauce”. It is possible, however, that the kind of curry found in restaurants is not of purely Indian origin, but has come down to us from the spiced cookery of medieval Europe and Western Asia. There is, indeed, no room for doubt that the capsicum or red pepper was introduced into India by the Portuguese. the Sanskrit book of cookery, which cannot be of any considerable antiquity contain many recipes for curry without this ingredients.

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