BAMÓ, n.p. Burm. Bha-maw, Shan Manmaw; in Chinese Sin-Kai, ‘New-market.’ A town on the upper Irawadi, where one of the chief routes from China abuts on that river; regarded as the early home of the Karens. [(McMahon, Karens of the Golden Cher., 103.)] The old Shan town of Bamó was on the Tapeng R., about 20 m. east of the Irawadi, and it is supposed that the English factory alluded to in the quotations was there.

[1684.—“A Settlement at Bammoo upon the confines of China.”—Pringle, Madras Cons., iii. 102.]

1759.—“This branch seems formerly to have been driven from the Establishment at Prammoo.”—Dalrymple, Or. Rep., i. 111.

BANANA, s. The fruit of Musa paradisaica, and M. sapientum of Linnaeus, but now reduced to one species under the latter name by R. Brown. This word is not used in India, though one hears it in the Straits Settlements. The word itself is said by De Orta to have come from Guinea; so also Pigafetta (see below). The matter will be more conveniently treated under PLANTAIN. Prof. Robertson Smith points out that the coincidence of this name with the Ar. banan, fingers or toes,’ and banana, ‘a single finger or toe,’ can hardly be accidental. The fruit, as we learn from Mukaddasi, grew in Palestine before the Crusades; and that it is known in literature only as mauz would not prove that the fruit was not somewhere popularly known as ‘fingers.’ It is possible that the Arabs, through whom probably the fruit found its way to W. Africa, may have transmitted with it a name like this; though historical evidence is still to seek. [Mr. Skeat writes: “It is curious that in Norwegian and Danish (and I believe in Swedish), the exact Malay word pisang, which is unknown in England, is used. Prof. Skeat thinks this may be because we had adopted the word banana before the word pisang was brought to Europe at all.”]

1563.—“The Arab calls these musa or amusa; there are chapters on the subject in Avicenna and Serapion, and they call them by this name, as does Rasis also. Moreover, in Guinea they have these figs, and call them bananas.”—Garcia, 93v.

1598.—“Other fruits there are termed Banana, which we think to be the Muses of Egypt and Soria…but here they cut them yearly, to the end they may bear the better.”—Tr. of Pigafetta’s Congo, in Harleian Coll. ii. 553 (also in Purchas, ii. 1008.)

c. 1610.—“Des bannes (marginal rubric Bannanes) que les Portugais appellent figues d’Inde, and aux Maldives Quella.”—Pyrard de Laval, i. 85; [Hak. Soc. i. 113]. The Maldive word is here the same as H. kela (Skt. kadala).

1673.—“Bonanoes, which are a sort of Plantain, though less, yet much more grateful.”—Fryer, 40.

1686.—“The Bonano tree is exactly like the Plantain for shape and bigness, not easily distinguishable from it but by the Fruit, which is a great deal smaller.”—Dampier, i. 316.

BANCHOOT, BETEECHOOT, ss. Terms of abuse, which we should hesitate to print if their odious meaning were not obscure “to the general.” If it were known to the Englishmen who sometimes use the words, we believe there are few who would not shrink from such brutality. Somewhat similar in character seem the words which Saul in his rage flings at his noble son (1 Sam. xx. 30).

1638.—“L’on nous monstra à vne demy lieue de la ville vn sepulchre, qu’ils appellent Bety-chuit, c’est à dire la vergogne de la fille decouverte.”—Mandelslo, Paris, 1659, 142. See also Valentijn, iv. 157.

Ther e is a handsome tomb and mosque to the N. of Ahmedabad, erected by Hajji Malik Baha-ud-din, a wazir of Sultan Mohammed Bigara, in memory of his wife Bibi Achut or Achhut; and probably the vile story to which the 17th-century travellers refer is founded only on a vulgar misrepresentation of this name. 1648.—“Bety-chuit; dat is (onder eerbredinge gesproocken) in onse tale te seggen, u Dochters Schaemelheyt.”—Van Twist, 16.

1792.—“The officer (of Tippoo’s troops) who led, on being challenged in Moors answered (Agari que logue), ‘We belong to the advance’—the title of Lally’s brigade, supposing the people he saw to be their own Europeans, whose uniform also is red; but soon discovering his mistake the commandant called out (Feringhy Banchoot!—chelow) ‘they are the rascally English! Make off’; in which he set the corps a ready example.”—Dirom’s Narrative, 147.

BANCOCK, n.p. The modern capital of Siam, properly Bang-kok; see explanation by Bp. Pallegoix in quotation. It had been the site of forts erected on the ascent of the Menam to the old capital Ayuthia,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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