APRICOT, s. Prunus Armeniaca, L. This English word is of curious origin, as Dozy expounds it. The Romans called it Malum Armeniacum, and also (Persicum?) praecox, or ‘early.’ Of this the Greeks made praikókkion, &c., and the Arab conquerors of Byzantine provinces took this up as birkok and barkok, with the article al-barkok, whence Sp. albarcoque, Port. albricoque, alboquorque, Ital. albercocca, albicocca, Prov. aubricot, ambricot, Fr. abricot, Dutch abricock, abrikoos, Eng. apricock, apricot. Dozy mentions that Dodonaeus, an old Dutch writer on plants, gives the vernacular name as Vroege Persen, ‘Early Peaches,’ which illustrates the origin. In the Cyprus bazars, apricots are sold as crusómhla ; but the less poetical name of ‘kill-johns’ is given by sailors to the small hard kinds common to St. Helena, the Cape, China, &c. Zard alu [aloo] (Pers.) ‘yellow-plum’ is the common name in India.

1615.—“I received a letter from Jorge Durois…with a baskit of aprecockes for my selfe…”—Cocks’s Diary, i. 7.

1711.—“Apricocks—the Persians call Kill Franks, because Europeans not knowing the Danger are often hurt by them.”—Lockyer, p. 231.

1738.—“The common apricot…is … known in the Frank language (in Barbary) by the name of Matza Franca, or the Killer of Christians.”—Shaw’s Travels, ed. 1757, p. 144.

ARAB, s. This, it may be said, in Anglo-Indian always means ‘an Arab horse.’

1298.—“Car il va du port d’Aden en Inde moult grant quantité de bons destriers arrabins et chevaus et grans roncins de ij selles.”—Marco Polo, Bk. iii. ch. 36. [See Sir H. Yule’s note, 1st ed., vol. ii. 375.]

1338.—“Alexandre descent du destrier Arrabis.”—Rommant d’Alexandre (Bodl. MS.).

c. 1590.—“There are fine horses bred in every part of the country; but those of Cachh excell, being equal to Arabs.”—Ain, i. 133.

1825.—“Arabs are excessively scarce and dear; and one which was sent for me to look at, at a price of 800 rupees, was a skittish, cat-legged thing.”—Heber, i. 189 (ed. 1844).

c. 1844.—A local magistrate at Simla had returned from an unsuccessful investigation. An acquaintance hailed him next day: ‘So I hear you came back re infectâ?’ ‘No such thing,’ was the reply; ‘I came back on my grey Arab!’


“.… the true blood-royal of his race,
The silver Arab with his purple veins
Translucent, and his nostrils caverned wide,
And flaming eye.…”

The Banyan Tree.

ARAKAN, ARRACAN, n.p. This is an European form, perhaps through Malay [which Mr Skeat has failed to trace], of Rakhaing, the name which the natives give themselves. This is believed by Sir Arthur Phayre [see Journ. As. Soc. Ben. xii. 24 seqq.] to be a corruption of the Skt. rakshasa, Pali rakkhaso, i.e. ‘ogre’ or the like, a word applied by the early Buddhists to unconverted tribes with whom they came in contact. It is not impossible that the ’Argurh of Ptolemy, which unquestionably represents Arakan, may disguise the name by which the country is still known to foreigners; at least no trace of the name as ‘Silver-land’ in old Indian Geography has yet been found. We may notice, without laying any stress upon it, that in Mr. Beal’s account of early Chinese pilgrims to India, there twice occurs mention of an Indo-Chinese kingdom called O-li-ki-lo, which transliterates fairly into some name like Argyre, and not into any other yet recognisable (see J.R.A.S. (N.S.) xiii. 560, 562).

c. 1420–30.—“Mari deinceps cum mense integro ad ostium Rachani fluvii pervenisset.”—N. Conti, in Poggius, De Varietate Fortunae.

1516.—“Dentro fra terra del d etto regno di Verma, verso tramontana vi è vn altro regno di Gentili molto grande.… confina similmente col regno di Beegala e col regno di Aua, e chiamasi Aracan.”—Barbosa, in Ramusio, i. 316.

[c. 1535.—“Arquam”: See CAPELAN.]

1545.—“They told me that coming from India in the ship of Jorge Manhoz (who was a householder in Goa), towards the Port of Chatigaon in the kingdom of Bengal, they were wrecked upon the shoals of Racaon owing to a badly-kept watch.”—Pinto, cap. clxvii.

1552.—“Up to the Cape of Negraes… will be 100 leagues, in which space are these populated places, Chocoriá, Bacalá, Arracãao City, capital of the kingdom so styled.…”—Barros, I. ix. 1.

1568.—“Questo Re di Rachan ha il suo stato in mezzo la costa, tra il Regno di Bengala e quello di Pegù, ed è il maggiore nemico che habbia il Re del Pegù.”—Cesare de’ Federici, in Ramusio, iii. 396.

1586.—“.… Passing by the Island of Sundiua, Porto grande, or the Countrie of Tippera, the Kingdom

  By PanEris using Melati.

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