[BARBER’S BRIDGE, n.p. This is a curious native corruption of an English name. The bridge in Madras, known as Barber’s Bridge, was built by an engineer named Hamilton. This was turned by the natives into Ambuton, and in course of time the name Ambuton was identified with the Tamil ambattan, ‘barber,’ and so it came to be called Barber’s Bridge.—See Le Fanu, Man. of the Salem Dist. ii. 169, note.]

BARBICAN, s. This term of mediæval fortification is derived by Littré, and by Marcel Devic, from Ar. barbakh, which means a sewer-pipe or water-pipe. And one of the meanings given by Littré is, “une ouverture longue et étroite pour l’écoulement des eaux.” Apart from the possible, but untraced, history which this alleged meaning may involve, it seems probable, considering the usual meaning of the word as ‘an outwork before a gate,’ that it is from Ar. P. bab-khana, ‘gate-house.’ This etymology was suggested in print about 50 years ago by one of the present writers,1 and confirmed to his mind some years later, when in going through the native town of Cawnpore, not long before the Mutiny, he saw a brand-new double- towered gateway, or gate-house, on the face of which was the inscription in Persian characters: “Bab- Khana-i-Mahommed Bakhsh.” or whatever was his name, i.e.. “The Barbican of Mahommed Bakhsh.” [The N.E.D. suggests P. barbar-khanah, ‘house on the wall,’ it being dífficult to derive the Romanic forms in bar-from bab-khana.]

The editor of the Chron. of K. James of Aragon (1833, p. 423) says that barbacana in Spain means a second, outermost and lower wall; i.e.. a fausse-braye. And this agrees with facts in that work, and with the definition in Cobarruvias; but not at all with Joinville’s use, nor with V.-le-Due’s explanation.

c. 1250.—“Tuit le baron…s’acorderent que en un tertre…féist l’en une forteresse qui fust bien garnie de gent, si qui se li Tur fesoient saillies…cell tore fust einsi come barbacane (orig. ‘quasi antemurale’) de l’oste.”—The Med. Fr. tr. of William of Tyre, ed. Paul Paris, i. 158.

c. 1270.—“…on condition of his at once putting me in possession of the albarrana tower…and should besides make his Saracens construct a barbacana round the tower.”—James of Aragon, as above.

1309.—“Pour requerre sa gent plus sauvement, fist le roys faire une barbaquane devant le pont qui estoit entre nos dous os, en tel maniere que l’on pooit entrer de dous pars en la barbaquane à cheval.”—Joinville, p. 162.

1552.—“Lourenço de Brito ordered an intrenchment of great strength to be dug, in the fashion of a barbican (barbacã) outside the wall of the fort…on account of a well, a stone-cast distant…”—Barros, II. i. 5.

c. 1870.—“Barbacane. Défense exterieure protégeant une entrée, et permettant de réunir un assez grand nombre d’hommes pour disposer des sorties ou protéger une retraite.”—Viollet-le-Due, H. d’une Forteresse, 361.

BARBIERS, s. This is a term which was formerly very current in the East, as the name of a kind of paralysis, often occasioned by exposure to chills. It began with numbness and imperfect command of the power of movement, sometimes also affecting the muscles of the neck and power of articulation, and often followed by loss of appetite, emaciation, and death. It has often been identified with Beri- beri, and medical opinion seems to have come back to the view that the two are forms of one disorder, though this was not admitted by some older authors of the last century. The allegation of Lind and others, that the most frequent subjects of barbiers were Europeans of the lower class who, when in drink, went to sleep in the open air, must be contrasted with the general experience that beriberi rarely attacks Europeans. The name now seems obsolete.

1673.—“Whence follows Fluxes, Dropsy, Scurvy, Barbiers (which is an enervating (sic) the whole Body, being neither able to use hands or Feet), Gout, Stone, Malignant and Putrid Fevers.”—Fryer, 68.

1690.—“Another Distemper with which the Europeans are sometimes afflicted, is the Barbeers, or a deprivation of the Vse and Activity of their Limbs, whereby they are rendered unable to move either Hand or Foot.”—Ovington, 350.

1755.—(If the land wind blow on a person sleeping) “the consequence of this is always dangerous, as it seldom fails to bring on a fit of the Barbiers (as it is called in this country), that is, a total deprivation of the use of the limbs.”—Ives, 77.

[c. 1757.—“There was a disease common to the lower class of Europeans, called the Barbers, a species of palsy, owing to exposure to the land winds after a fit of intoxication.”—In Carey, Good Old Days, ii. 266.]

1768.—“The barbiers, a species of palsy, is a disease most frequent in India. It distresses chiefly the lower class of Europeans, who when intoxicated with liquors frequently sleep in the open air, exposed to the land winds.”—Lind on Diseases of Hot Climates, 260. (See BERIBERI.)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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