ABADA, s. A word used by old Spanish and Portuguese writers for a ‘rhinoceros,’ and adopted by some of the older English narrators. The origin is a little doubtful. If it were certain that the word did not occur earlier than c. 1530–40, it would most probably be an adoption from the Malay badak, ‘a rhinoceros.’ The word is not used by Barros where he would probably have used it if he knew it (see quotation under GANDA); and we have found no proof of its earlier existence in the language of the Peninsula; if this should be established we should have to seek an Arabic origin in such a word as abadat, abid, fem. abida, of which one meaning is (v. Lane) ‘a wild animal.’ The usual form abada is certainly somewhat in favour of such an origin. [Prof. Skeat believes that the a in abada and similar Malay words represents the Arabic article, which was commonly used in Spanish and Portuguese prefixed to Arabic and other native words.] It will be observed that more than one authority makes it the female rhinoceros, and in the dictionaries the word is feminine. But so Barros makes Ganda. [Mr W. W. Skeat suggests that the female was the more dangerous animal, or the one most frequently met with, as is certainly the case with the crocodile.]

1541.—“Mynes of Silver, Copper, Tin, and Lead, from whence great quantities thereof were continually drawn, which the Merchants carried away with Troops of Elephants and Rhinoceroses (em cafilas de elefantes e badas) for to transport into the Kingdoms of Sornau, by us called Siam, Passiloco, Sarady, (Savady in orig.), Tangu, Prom, Calaminham and other Provinces.…”—Pinto (orig. cap. xli.) in Cogan, p. 49. The kingdoms named here are Siam (see under SARNAU); Pitchalok and Sawatti (now two provinces of Siam); Taungu and Prome in B. Burma; Calaminham, in the interior of Indo-China, more or less fabulous.

1544.—“Now the King of Tartary was fallen upon the city of Pequin with so great an army as the like had never been seen since Adam’s time; in this army … were seven and twenty Kings, under whom marched 1,800,000 men .… with four score thousand Rhinoceroses” (donde partirão com oitenta mil badas).—Ibid. (orig. cap. cvii.) in Cogan, p. 149.

[1560.—See quotation under LAOS.]

1585.—“It is a very fertile country, with great stoare of prouisioun; there are elephants in great number and abadas, which is a kind of beast so big as two great buls, and hath vppon his snowt a little horne.”—Mendoza, ii. 311.

1592.—“We sent commodities to their king to barter for Amber-greese, and for the hornes of Abath, whereof the Kinge onely hath the traffique in his hands. Now this Abath is a beast that hath one horne only in her forehead, and is thought to be the female Vnicorne, and is highly esteemed of all the Moores in those parts as a most soveraigne remedie against poyson.”—Barker in Hakl. ii. 591.

1598.—“The Abada, or Rhinoceros, is not in India,1 but onely in Bengala and Patane.”—Linschoten, 88. [Hak. Soc. ii. 8.]

“Also in Bengala we found great numbers of the beasts which in Latin are called Rhinocerotes, and of the Portingalles Abadas.”—Ibid. 28. [Hak. Soc. i. 96.]

c. 1606.—“… ove portano le loro mercanzie per venderle a’ Cinesi, particolarmente … molti corni della Bada, detto Rinoceronte …”—Carletti, p. 199.

1611.—“Bada, a very fierce animal, called by another more common name Rhinoceros. In our days they brought to the King Philip II., now in glory, a Bada which was long at Madrid, having his horn sawn off, and being blinded, for fear he should hurt anybody. … The name of Bada is one imposed by the Indians themselves; but assuming that there is no language but had its origin from the Hebrew in the confusion of tongues … it will not be out of the way to observe that Bada is an Hebrew word, from Badad, ‘solus, solitarius,’ for this animal is produced in desert and very solitary places.”—Cobarruvias, s. v.

1613.—“And the woods give great timber, and in them are produced elephants, badas …”—Godinho de Eredia, 10 v.

1618.—“A China brought me a present of a cup of abado (or black unecorns horne) with sugar cakes.”—Cocks’s Diary, ii. 56.

1626.—“On the margin of Pigafetta’s Congo, as given by Purchas (ii. 1001), we find: “Rhinoceros or Abadas.”

1631.—“Lib. v. cap. 1. De Abada seu Rhinocerote.”—Bontii Hist. Nat. et Med.

1726.—“Abada, s. f. La hembra del Rhinoceronte.”—Dicc. de la Lengua Castellana.

ABCÁREE, ABKÁRY. H. from P. ab-kari, the business of distilling or selling (strong) waters, and hence elliptically the excise upon such business. This last is the sense in which it is used by Anglo-Indians. In every district of India the privilege of selling spirits is farmed to contractors, who manage the sale through retail shopkeepers. This is what is called the ‘Abkary System.’ The system has often been attacked as promoting tippling, and there are strong opinions on both sides. We subjoin an extract from

  By PanEris using Melati.

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