BOXWALLAH, s. Hybrid H. Bakas- (i.e. box) wala. A native itinerant pedlar, or packman, as he would be called in Scotland by an analogous term. The Boxwala sells cutlery, cheap nick-nacks, and small wares of all kinds, chiefly European. In former days he was a welcome visitor to small stations and solitary bungalows. The Bora of Bombay is often a boxwala, and the boxwala in that region is commonly called Bora. (See BORA.)

BOY, s.

a. A servant. In Southern India and in China a native personal servant is so termed, and is habitually summoned with the vocative ‘Boy!’ The same was formerly common in Jamaica and other W. I. Islands. Similar uses are familiar of puer (e.g. in the Vulgate Dixit Giezi puer Viri Dei. II Kings v. 20), Ar. walad, paidarion, garçon, knave (Germ. Knabe); and this same word is used for a camp-servant in Shakespeare, where Fluelen says: “Kill the Poys and the luggage! ’tis expressly against the laws of arms.”—See also Grose’s Mil. Antiquities, i. 183, and Latin quotation from Xavier under Conicopoly. The word, however, came to be especially used for ‘Slave-boy,’ and applied to slaves of any age. The Portuguese used moço in the same way. In ‘Pigeon English’ also ‘servant’ is Boy, whilst ‘boy’ in our ordinary sense is discriminated as ‘smallo-boy!’

b. A Palankin-bearer. From the name of the caste, Telug. and Malayal. boyi, Tam. bovi, &c. Wilson gives bhoi as H. and Mahr. also. The word is in use northward at least to the Nerbudda R. In the Konkan, people of this class are called Kahar bhui (see Ind. Ant. ii. 154, iii. 77). P. Paolino is therefore in error, as he often is, when he says that the word boy as applied by the English and other Europeans to the coolies or facchini who carry the dooly, “has nothing to do with any Indian language.” In the first and third quotations (under b), the use is more like a, but any connection with English at the dates seems impossible.


1609.—“I bought of them a Portugall Boy (which the Hollanders had given unto the King) … hee cost mee fortie-five Dollers.”—Keeling, in Purchas, i. 196.

„ “My Boy Stephen Grovenor.”—Hawkins, in Purchas, 211. See also 267, 296.

1681.—“We had a black boy my Father brought from Porto Nova to attend upon him, who seeing his Master to be a Prisoner in the hands of the People of his own Complexion, would not now obey his Command.”—Knox, 124.

1696.—“Being informed where the Chief man of the Choultry lived, he (Dr. Brown) took his sword and pistol, and being followed by his boy with another pistol, and his horse keeper.…”—In Wheeler, i. 300.

1784.—“Eloped. From his master’s House at Moidapore, a few days since, A Malay Slave Boy.”—In Seton-Karr, i. 45; see also pp. 120, 179.

1836.—“The real Indian ladies lie on a sofa, and if they drop their handkerchief, they just lower their voices and say Boy! in a very gentle tone.”—Letters from Madras, 38.

1866.—“Yes, Sahib, I Christian Boy. Plenty poojah do. Sunday time never no work do.”—Trevelyan, The Dawk Bungalow, p. 226.
Also used by the French in the East:

1872.—“Mon boy m’accompagnait pour me servir à l’occasion de guide et d’interprète.”—Rev. des Deux Mondes, xcviii. 957.

1875.—“He was a faithful servant, or boy, as they are here called, about forty years of age.”—Thomson’s Malacca, 228.

1876.—“A Portuguese Boy … from Bombay.”—Blackwood’s Mag., Nov., p. 578.

1554.—(At Goa) “also to a naique, with 6 peons (piães) and a mocadam with 6 torch-bearers (tochas), one umbrella boy (hum bóy do sombreiro), two washermen (mainatos), 6 water-carriers (bóys d’aguoa) all serving the governor … in all 280 pardaos and 4 tangas annually, or 84,240 reis.”—S. Botelho, Tombo, 57.

[1563.—“And there are men who carry this umbrella so dexterously to ward off the sun, that although their master trots on his horse, the sun does not touch any part of his body, and such men are called in India boi.”—Barros, Dec. 3, Bk. x. ch. 9.]

1591.—A proclamation of the viceroy, Matthias d’Alboquerque, orders: “that no person, of what quality or condition soever, shall go in a palanquim without my express licence, save they be over 60 years of age, to be first proved before the Auditor-General of Police … and those who contravene this shall pay a penalty of 200 cruzados, and persons of mean estate the half, the palanquys and their belongings to be forfeited, and the bois or mouços who carry such palanquys shall be condemned to his Majesty’s galleys.”—Archiv. Port. Orient., fasc. 3, 324.

1608-10.—“… faisans les graues et obseruans le Sossiego à l’Espagnole, ayans tousiours leur boay qui porte leur parasol, sans lequel ils n’osent sortir de logis, ou autrement on les estimeroit picaros et miserables.”—Mocquet, Voyages, 305.

1610.—“… autres Gentils qui sont comme Crocheteurs et Porte-faix, qu’ils appellent

  By PanEris using Melati.

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