ALLEJA, s. This appears to be a stúff from Turkestan called (Turki) alchah, alajah, or alachah. It is thus described: “a silk cloth 5 yards long, which has a sort of wavy line pattern running in the length on either side.” (Baden-Powell’s Punjab Handbook, 66). [Platts in his Hind. Dict. gives ilacha, “a kind of cloth woven of silk and thread so as to present the appearance of cardamoms (ilachi).” But this is evidently a folk etymology. Yusuf Ali (Mon. on Silk Fabrics, 95) accepts the derivation from Alcha or Alacha, and says it was probably introduced by the Moguls, and has historical associations with Agra, where alone in the N.W.P. it is manufactured. “This fabric differs from the Doriya in having a substantial texture, whereas the Doriya is generally flimsy. The colours are generally red, or bluish-red, with white stripes.” In some of the western Districts of the Panjab various kinds of fancy cotton goods are described as Lacha. (Francis, Mon. on Cotton, p. 8). It appears in one of the trade lists (see PIECE-GOODS) as Elatches.]

c. 1590.—“The improvement is visible.… secondly in the Safid Alchahs also called Tarhdárs…”—Ain, i. 91. (Blochmann says: “Alchah or Alachah, any kind of corded stuff. Tarhdár means corded.”)

[1612.—“Hold the Allesas at 50 Rs.”—Danvers, Letters, i. 205.]

1613.—“The Nabob bestowed upon him 850 Mamoodies, 10 fine Baftas, 30 Topseiles and 30 Allizaes.”—Dowton, in Purchas, i. 504. “Topseiles are Tafçilah (a stuff from Mecca)”—Ain, i. 93. [See ADATI, PIECE-GOODS].

1615.—“1 pec. alleia of 30 Rs.…”—Cock’s Diary, i. 64.

1648.—See Van Twist above, under ALCATIF. And 1673, see Fryer under ATLAS.

1653.—“Alaias (Alajas) est vn mot Indien, qui signifie des toiles de cotton et de soye: meslée de plusieurs couleurs.”—De la Boullaye-le-Gouz, ed. 1657, p. 532.

[c. 1666.—“Alachas, or silk stuffs interwoven with gold and silver.”—Bernier (ed. Constable), p. 120-21.]

1690.—“It (Suratt) is renown’d.… both for rich Silks, such as Atlasses, Cuttanees, Sooseys, Culgars, Allajars.…”—Ovington, 218.

1712.—“An Allejah petticoat striped with green and gold and white.”—Advert. in Spectator, cited in Malcolm, Anecdotes, 429.

1726.—“Gold and silver Allegias.”—Valentijn (Surat), iv. 146.

1813.—“Allachas (pieces to the ton) 1200.”—Milburn, ii. 221.

1885.—“The cloth from which these pyjamas are made (in Swat) is known as Alacha, and is as a rule manufactured in their own houses, from 2 to 20 threads of silk being let in with the cotton; the silk as well as the cotton is brought from Peshawur and spun at home.”—M’Nair’s Report on Explorations, p. 5.

ALLIGATOR, s. This is the usual Anglo-Indian term for the great lacer-tine amphibia of the rivers. It was apparently in origin a corruption, imported from S. America, of the Spanish el or al lagarto (from Lat. lacerta), ‘a lizard.’ The “Summary of the Western Indies” by Pietro Martire d’Angheria, as given in Ramusio, recounting the last voyage of Columbus, says that, in a certain river, “they sometimes encountered those crocodiles which they call Lagarti; these make away when they see the Christians, and in making away they leave behind them an odour more fragrant than musk.” (Ram. iii. f. 17v.). Oviedo, on another page of the same volume, calls them “Lagarti o dragoni” (f. 62).

Bluteau gives “Lagarto, Crocodilo” and adds: “In the Oriente Conquistado (Part I. f. 823) you will find a description of the Crocodile under the name of Lagarto.”

One often, in Anglo-Indian conversation, used to meet with the endeavour to distinguish the two well-known species of the Ganges as Crocodile and Alligator, but this, like other applications of popular and general terms to mark scientific distinctions, involves fallacy, as in the cases of ‘panther, leopard,’ ‘camel, dromedary,’ ‘attorney, solicitor,’ and so forth. The two kinds of Gangetic crocodile were known to Aelian (c. 250 A.D.), who writes: “It (the Ganges) breeds two kinds of crocodiles; one of these is not at all hurtful, while the other is the most voracious and cruel eater of flesh; and these have a horny prominence on the top of the nostril. These latter are used as ministers of vengeance upon evil- doers; for those convicted of the greatest crimes are cast to them; and they require no executioner.”

1493.—“In a small adjacent island … our men saw an enormous kind of lizard (lagarto muy grande), which they said was as large round as a calf, and with a tail as long as a lance.… but bulky as it was, it got into the sea, so that they could not catch it.”—Letter of Dr. Chanca, in Select Letters of Columbus by Major, Hak. Soc. 2nd ed., 43.

1539.—“All along this River, that was not very broad, there were a number of Lizards (lagartos), which might more properly be called Serpents.… with scales upon their backs, and mouths two foot wide..... there be of them that will sometimes get upon an almadia.… and overturn it with their tails, swallowing up the men whole, without dismembering of them.”—Pinto, in Cogan’s tr. 17 (orig. cap. xiv.).

1552.—“.… aquatic animals such as .… very great lizards (lagartos), which in form

  By PanEris using Melati.

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