ATAP, ADAP, s. Applied in the Malayo-Javanese regions to any palmfronds used in thatching, commonly to those of the Nipa (Nipa fruticans, Thunb.). [Atap, according to Mr Skeat, is also applied to any roofing; thus tiles are called atap batu, ‘stone ataps.’] The Nipa, “although a wild plant, for it is so abundant that its culture is not necessary, it is remarkable that its name should be the same in all the languages from Sumatra to the Philippines.”— (Crawfurd, Dict. Ind. Arch. 301). Atep is Javanese for ‘thatch.’

1672.—“Atap or leaves of Palm-trees.…”— Baldaeus, Ceylon, 164.

1690.—“Adapol (quae folia sunt sicca et vetusta) .…”— Rumphius, Herb. Amb. i. 14.

1817.—“In the maritime districts, atap or thatch is made .… from the leaves of the nipa.”— Raffles, Java, i. 166; [2nd ed. i. 186].

1878.—“The universal roofing of a Perak house is Attap stretched over bamboo rafters and ridge-poles. This attap is the dried leaf of the nipah palm, doubled over a small stick of bamboo, or nibong.”— McNair, Perak, &c., 164.

ATLAS, s. An obsolete word for ‘satin,’ from the Ar. atlas, used in that sense, literally ‘bare’ or ‘bald’ (comp. the Ital. raso for ‘satin’). The word is still used in German. [The Draper’s Dict. (s.v.) says that “a silk stuff wrought with threads of gold and silver, and known by this name, was at one time imported from India.” Yusuf Ali (Mon. on Silk Fabrics, p. 93) writes: “Atlas is the Indian satin, but the term satan (corrupted from the English) is also applied, and sometimes specialised to a thicker form of the fabric. This fabric is always substantial, i.e. never so thin or netted as to be semi-transparent; more of the weft showing on the upper surface than of the warp.”]

1284.—“Cette même nuit par ordre du Sultan quinze cents de ses Mamlouks furent revêtus de robes d’atlas rouges brodées…”— Makrizi, t. ii. pt. i. 69.

„ “The Sultan Mas’ud clothed his dogs with trappings of atlas of divers colours, and put bracelets upon them.”— Fakhri, p. 68.

1505.—“Raso por seda rasa.”— Atlas, Vocabular Arauigo of Fr. P. de Alcala.

1673.—“They go Rich in Apparel, their Turbats of Gold, Damask’d Gold Atlas Coats to their Heels, Silk, Alajah or Cuttanee breeches.”— Fryer, 196.

1683.—“I saw ye Taffaties and Atlasses in ye Warehouse, and gave directions concerning their several colours and stripes.”— Hedges, Diary, May 6; [Hak. Soc. i. 85].

1689.—(Surat) “is renown’d for .… rich Silks, such as Atlasses .… and for Zarbafts [Zerbaft].…”— Ovington, 218.

1712.—In the Spectator of this year are advertised “a purple and gold Atlas gown” and “a scarlet and gold Atlas petticoat edged with silver.”—Cited in Malcolm’s Anecdotes (1808), 429.

1727.—“They are exquisite in the Weaver’s Trade and Embroidery, which may be seen in the rich Atlasses. … made by them.”—A. Hamilton, i. 160.

c. 1750 – 60.—“The most considerable (manufacture) is that of their atlasses or satin flowered with gold and silver.”—Grose, i. 117.

Note.—I saw not long ago in India a Polish Jew who was called Jacob Atlas, and he explained to me that when the Jews (about 1800) were forced to assume surnames, this was assigned to his grandfather, because he wore a black satin gaberdine!—(A. B. 1879.)

ATOLL, s. A group of coral islands forming a ring or chaplet, sometimes of many miles in diameter, inclosing a space of comparatively shallow water, each of the islands being on the same type as the atoll. We derive the expression from the Maldive islands, which are the typical examples of this structure, and where the form of the word is atolu. [P. de Laval (Hak. Soc. i. 93) states that the provinces in the Maldives were known as Atollon.] It is probably connected with the Singhalese ätul, ‘inside’; [or etula, as Mr Gray (P. de Laval, Hak. Soc. i. 94) writes the word. The Mad. Admin. Man. in the Glossary gives Malayal. attalam, ‘a sinking reef’]. The term was made a scientific one by Darwin in his publication on Coral Reefs (see below), but our second quotation shows that it had been generalised at an earlier date.

c. 1610.—“Estant au milieu d’vn Atollon, vous voyez autour de vous ce grand banc de pierre que jay dit, qui environne et qui defend les isles contre l’impetuosité de la mer.”—Pyrard de Laval, i. 71 (ed. 1679); [Hak. Soc. i. 94].

1732.—“Atollon, a name applied to such a place in the sea as exhibits a heap of little islands lying close together, and almost hanging on to each other.”—Zeidler’s (German) Universal Lexicon, s.v.

1842.—“I have invariably used in this volume the term atoll, which is the name given to these circular groups of coral islets by their inhabitants in the Indian Ocean, and is synonymous with ‘lagoon-island.’ ”— Darwin, The Structure, &c., of Coral Reefs, 2.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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