ANILE, NEEL, s. An old name for indigo, borrowed from the Port. anil. They got it from the Ar. al- nil, pron. an-nil; nil again being the common name of indigo in India, from the Skt. nila, ‘blue.’ The vernacular (in this instance Bengali) word appears in the title of a native satirical drama Nil-Darpan, ‘The Mirror of Indigo (planting),’ famous in Calcutta in 1861, in connection with a cause célèbre, and with a sentence which discredited the now extinct Supreme Court of Calcutta in a manner unknown since the days of Impey.

Neel-walla” is a phrase for an Indigo-planter [and his Factory is “Neel-kothee”].

1501.—Amerigo Vespucci, in his letter from the Id. of Cape Verde to Lorenzo di Piero Francesco de’ Medici, reporting his meeting with the Portuguese Fleet from India, mentions among other things brought “anib and tuzia,” the former a manifest transcriber’s error for anil.—In Baldelli Boni, ‘Il Milione,’ p. lvii.

1516.—In Barbosa’s price list of Malabar we have:

Anil nadador (i.e. floating; see Garcia below) very good,
per farazola.…fanams 30.
Anil loaded, with much sand,
per farazola…fanams 18 to 20.”

In Lisbon Collection, ii. 393.

1525.—“A load of anyll in cakes which weighs 3½ maunds, 353 tangas.”—Lembrança, 52.

1563.—“Anil is not a medicinal substance but an article of trade, so we have no need to speak thereof.…The best is pure and clear of earth, and the surest test is to burn it in a candle.…others put it in water, and if it floats then they reckon it good.”—Garcia, f. 25 v.

1583.—“Neel, the churle 70 duckats, and à churle is 27 rottles and a half of Aleppo.” —Mr Iohn Newton, in Hakl. ii. 378.

1583.—“They vse to pricke the skinne, and to put on it a kind of anile, or blacking which doth continue alwayes.”—Fitch, in Hakl. ii. 395.

c. 1610.—“…‘l’Anil ou Indique, qui est vne teinture bleüe violette, dont il ne s’en trouue qu’à Cambaye et Suratte.”—Pyrard de Laval, ii. 158; [Hak. Soc. ii. 246].

[1614.—“I have 30 fardels Anil Geree.” Foster, Letters, ii. 140. Here Geree is probably H. jari (from jar, ‘the root’), the crop of indigo growing from the stumps of the plants left from the former year.]

1622.—“E conforme a dita pauta se dispachará o dito anil e canella.”—In Archiv. Port. Orient., fasc. 2, 240.

1638.—“Les autres marchandises, que l’on y débite le plus, sont.…du sel ammoniac, et de l’indigo, que ceux de pais appellent Anil.”—Mandelslo, Paris, 1659, 138.

1648.—“.… and a good quantity of Anil, which, after the place where most of it is got, is called Chirchees Indigo.”—Van Twist, 14. Sharkej or Sirkej, 5 m. from Ahmedabad. “Cirquez Indigo” (1624) occurs in Sainsbury, iii. 442. It is the “Sercase” of Forbes [Or. Mem. 2nd ed. ii. 204]. The Dutch, about 1620, established a factory there on account of the indigo. Many of the Sultans of Guzerat were buried there (Stavorinus, iii. 109). Some account of the “Sarkhej Rozas,” or Mausolea, is given in H. Brigg’s Cities of Gujaráshtra (Bombay, 1849, pp. 274, seqq.). [“Indigo of Bian (Biana) Sicchese” (1609), Danvers, Letters, i. 28; “Indico, of Laher, here worth viijs the pounde Serchis.”—Birdwood, Letter Book, 287.]

1653.—“Indico est un mot Portugais, dont l’on appelle une teinture bleüe qui vient des Indes Orientales, qui est de contrabande en France, les Turqs et les Arabes la nomment Nil.”—De la Boullaye-le-Gouz, 543.

[1670.—“The neighbourhood of Delhi produces Anil or Indigo.”—Bernier (ed. Constable), 283.]

ANNA, s. Properly H. ana, anah, the 16th part of a rupee. The term belongs to the Mohammedan monetary system (RUPEE). There is no coin of one anna only, so that it is a money of account only. The term anna is used in denoting a corresponding fraction of any kind of property, and especially in regard to coparcenary shares in land, or shares in a speculation. Thus a one-anna share is 1/16 of such right, or a share of 1/16 in the speculation; a four-anna is ¼, and so on. In some parts of India the term is used as subdivision (1/16) of the current land measure. Thus, in Saugor, the anna=16 rusis, and is itself 1/16 of a kancha (Elliot, Gloss. s.v.). The term is also sometimes applied colloquially to persons of mixt parentage. ‘Such a one has at least 2 annas of dark blood,’ or ‘coffee-colour.’ This may be compared with the Scotch expression that a person of deficient intellect ‘wants twopence in the shilling.’

1708.—“Provided…that a debt due from Sir Edward Littleton…of 80,407 Rupees and Eight Annas Money of Bengal, with Interest and Damages to the said English Company shall still remain to them…”—Earl

  By PanEris using Melati.

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