ALCATIF, s. This word for ‘a carpet’ was much used in India in the 16th century, and is treated by some travellers as an Indian word. It is not however of Indian origin, but is an Arabic word (katif, ‘a carpet with long pile’) introduced into Portugal through the Moors.

c. 1540.—“There came aboard of Antonio de Faria more than 60 batels, and balloons, and manehuas (q. q. v.) with awnings and flags of silk, and rich alcatifas.”—Pinto, ch. lxviii. (orig.).

1560.—“The whole tent was cut in a variety of arabesques, inlaid with coloured silk, and was carpeted with rich alcatifas.”—Tenreiro, Itin., c. xvii.

1578.—“The windows of the streets by which the Viceroy passes shall be hung with carpets (alcatifadas), and the doors decorated with branches, and the whole adorned as richly as possible.”—Archiv. Port. Orient., fascic. ii. 225.

[1598.—“Great store of rich Tapestrie, which are called alcatiffas.”—Linschoten, Hak. Soc. i. 47.]

1608-10.—“Quand elles vont à l’Eglise on les porte en palanquin.… le dedans est d’vn grand tapis de Perse, qu’ils appellent Alcatif.…”—Pyrard, ii. 62; [Hak. Soc. ii. 102].

1648.—“.… many silk stuffs, such as satin, contenijs (Cuttanee) attelap (read attelas), alegie.… ornijs [H. orhnî, ‘A woman’s sheet’] of gold and silk for women’s wear, gold alacatijven.…”—Van Twist, 50.

1726.—“They know nought of chairs or tables. The small folks eat on a mat, and the rich on an Alcatief, or carpet, sitting with their feet under them, like our Tailors.” —Valentijn, v. Chorom, 55.

ALCORANAS, s. What word does Herbert aim at in the following? [The Stanf. Dict. regards this as quite distinct from Alcoran, the Koran, or sacred book of Mohammedans (for which see N.E.D. s.v.), and suggests Al-qorun, ‘the horns,’ or al-qiran, ‘the vertices.’]

1665.—“Some (mosques) have their Alcorana’s high, slender, round steeples or towers, most of which are terrassed near the top, like the Standard in Cheapside, but twice the height.”—Herbert, Travels, 3rd ed. 164.

ALCOVE, s. This English word comes to us through the Span. alcova and Fr. alcove (old Fr. aucube), from Ar. al-kubbàh, applied first to a kind of tent (so in Hebr. Numbers xxv. 8) and then to a vaulted building or recess. An edifice of Saracenic construction at Palermo is still known as La Cuba; and another, a domed tomb, as La Cubola. Whatever be the true formation of the last word, it seems to have given us, through the Italian, Cupola. [Not so in N.E.D.]

1738.—“Cubba, commonly used for the vaulted tomb of marab-butts” [Adjutant.]—Shaw’s Travels, ed. 1757, p. 40.

ALDEA, s. A village; also a villa. Port. from the Ar. al-dai’a, ‘a farm or villa.’ Bluteau explains it as ‘Povoçao menor que lugar.’ Lane gives among other and varied meanings of the Ar. word: ‘An estate consisting of land or of land and a house, .… land yielding a revenue.’ The word forms part of the name of many towns and villages in Spain and Portugal.

1547.—“The Governor (of Baçaem) Dom João de Castro, has given and gives many aldeas and other grants of land to Portuguese who served and were wounded at the fortress of Dio, and to others of long service. .…”—Simão Botelho, Cartas 3.

[1609.—“Aldeas in the Country.”—Danvers, Letters, i. 25.]

1673.—“Here … in a sweet Air, stood a Magnificent Rural Church; in the way to which, and indeed all up and down this Island, are pleasant Aldeas, or villages and hamlets that … swarm with people.”—Valentijn, v. (Malabar), 11.

1753.—“Les principales de ces qu’on appelle Aldées (terme que les Portugals ont mis en usage dans l’Inde) autour de Pondichéri et dans sa dependance sont …”—D’Anville, Eclaircissemens, 122.

1780.—“The Coast between these is filled with Aldees, or villages of the Indians.”—Dunn, N. Directory, 5th ed., 110.

1782.—“Il y a aussi quelques Aldées considérables, telles que Navar et Portenove, qui appartiennent aux Princes du pays.”—Sonnerat, Voyage, i. 37.

ALEPPEE, n.p. On the coast of Travancore; properly Alappuli. [Mal. alappuzha, ‘the broad river’—Mad. Adm. Man. Gloss. s.v.)].

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.