BULBUL, s. The word bulbul is originally Persian (no doubt intended to imitate the bird’s note), and applied to a bird which does duty with Persian poets for the nightingale. Whatever the Persian bulbul may be correctly, the application of the name to certain species in India “has led to many misconceptions about their powers of voice and song,” says Jerdon. These species belong to the family Brachipodidae, or short-legged thrushes, and the true bulbuls to the sub-family Pycnonotinae, e.g. genera Hypsipetes, Hemixos, Alcurus, Criniger, Ixos, Kelaartia, Rubigula, Brachipodius, Otocompsa, Pycnonotus (P. pygaeus, common Bengal Bulbul; P. haemorhous, common Madras Bulbul). Another sub-family, Phyllornithinae, contains various species which Jerdon calls green Bulbuls.

[A lady having asked the late Lord Robertson, a Judge of the Court of Session, “What sort of animal is the bull-bull?” he replied, “I suppose, Ma’am, it must be the mate of the coo-coo.”—3rd ser., N. & Q. v. 81.]

1784.—“We are literally lulled to sleep by Persian nightingales, and cease to wonder that the Bulbul, with a thousand tales, makes such a figure in Persian poetry.”— Sir W. Jones, in Memoirs, &c., ii. 37.

1813.—“The bulbul or Persian nightingale.… I never heard one that possessed the charming variety of the English nightingale…whether the Indian bulbul and that of Iran entirely correspond I have some doubts.”—Forbes, Oriental Memoirs, i. 50; [2nd ed. i. 34].

1848.—“ ‘It is one’s nature to sing and the other’s to hoot,’ he said, laughing, ‘and with such a sweet voice as you have yourself, you must belong to the Bulbul faction.” —Vanity Fair, ii. ch. xxvii.

BULGAR, BOLGAR, s. P. bulghar. The general Asiatic name for what we call ‘Russia leather,’ from the fact that the region of manufacture and export was originally Bolghar on the Volga, a kingdom which stood for many centuries, and gave place to Kazan in the beginning of the 15th century. The word was usual also among Anglo-Indians till the beginning of last century, and is still in native Hindustani use. A native (mythical) account of the manufacture is given in Baden - Powell’s Punjab Handbook, 1872, and this fanciful etymology: “as the scent is derived from soaking in the pits (ghar), the leather is called Balghar” (p. 124).

1298.—“He bestows on each of those 12,000 Barons … likewise a pair of boots of Borgal, curiously wrought with silver thread.”—Marco Polo, 2nd ed. i. 381. See also the note on this passage.

c. 1333.—“I wore on my feet boots (or stockings) of wool; over these a pair of linen lined, and over all a thin pair of Borghali, i.e. of horse-leather lined with wolf skin.”— Ibn Batuta, ii. 445.

[1614.—“Of your Bullgaryan hides there are brought hither some 150.”—Foster, Letters, iii. 67.]

1623.—Offer of Sheriff Freeman and Mr. Coxe to furnish the Company with “Bulgary red hides.”—Court Minutes, in Sainsbury, iii. 184.

1624.—“Purefy and Hayward, Factors at Ispahan to the E. I. Co., have bartered morse-teeth and ‘bulgars’ for carpets.”— Ibid. p. 268.

1673.—“They carry also Bulgar-Hides, which they form into Tanks to bathe themselves.” —Fryer, 398.

c. 1680.—“Putting on a certain dress made of Bulgar-leather, stuffed with cotton.” —Seir Mutaqherin, iii. 387.

1759.—Among expenses on account of the Nabob of Bengal’s visit to Calcutta we find:

“To 50 pair of Bulger Hides at 13 per pair, Rs. 702: 0 : 0.”—Long, 193.

1786.—Among “a very capital and choice assortment of Europe goods” we find “Bulgar Hides.”—Cal. Gazette, June 8, in Seton- Karr, i. 177.

1811.—“Most of us furnished at least one of our servants with a kind of bottle, holding nearly three quarts, made of bulghár … or Russia - leather.”—W. Ousely’s Travels, i. 247.

In Tibetan the word is bulhari.

BULKUT, s. A large decked ferryboat; from Telug. balla, a board. (C. P. Brown).

BULLUMTEER, s. Anglo-Sepoy dialect for ‘Volunteer.’ This distinctive title was applied to certain regiments of the old Bengal Army, whose terms of enlistment embraced service beyond sea; and in the days of that army various ludicrous stories were current in connection with the name.

BUMBA, s. H. bamba, from Port. bomba, ‘a pump.’ Haex (1631) gives: “Bomba, organum pneumaticum quo aqua hauritur,” as a Malay word. This is incorrect, of course, as to the origin of the word, but it shows

  By PanEris using Melati.

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