a. A weight used in China, and by the Chinese introduced into the Archipelago. The Chinese name is kin or chin. The word kati or kati is Malayo-Javanese. It is equal to 16 taels, i.e. 1 1/3 lb. avoird. or 625 grammes. This is the weight fixed by treaty ; but in Chinese trade it varies from 4 oz. to 28 oz. ; the lowest value being used by tea-vendors at Peking, the highest by coal-merchants in Honan.

[1554.—“Cate.” See quotation under PECUL.]

1598.—“Everie Catte is as much as 20 Portingall ounces.”—Linschoten, 34 ; [Hak. Soc. i. 113].

1604.—“Their pound they call a Cate which is one and twentie of our ounces.”—Capt. John Davis, in Purchas, i. 123.

1609.—“Offering to enact among them the penaltie of death to such as would sel one cattie of spice to the Hollanders.”—Keeting, ibid. i. 199.

1610.—“And (I prayse God) I have aboord one hundred thirtie nine Tunnes, six Cathayes, one quarterne two pound of nutmegs and sixe hundred two and twenty suckettes of Mace, which maketh thirtie sixe Tunnes, fifteene Cathayes one quarterne, one and twentie pound.”—David Midleton, ibid. i. 247. In this passage, however, Cathayes seems to be a strange blunder of Purchas or his copyist for Cwt. Suckette is probably Malay sukat, “a measure, a stated quantity.” [The word appears as suckell in a letter of 1615 (Foster, iii. 175). Mr. Skeat suggests that it is a misreading for Pecul. Sukat, he says, means ‘to measure anything’ (indefinitely), but is never used for a definite measure.]
b. The word catty occurs in another sense in the following passage. A note says that “Catty or more literally Kuttoo is a Tamil word signifying batta” (q.v.). But may it not rather be a clerical error for batty ?

1659.—“If we should detain them longer we are to give them catty.”—Letter in Wheeler, i. 162.

CATUR, s. A light rowing vessel used on the coast of Malabar in the early days of the Portuguese. We have not been able to trace the name to any Indian source, [unless possibly Skt. chatura, ‘swift’]. Is it not probably the origin of our ‘cutter ?’ We see that Sir R. Burton in his Commentary on Camoens (vol. iv. 391) says : “Catur is the Arab. katireh, a small craft, our ‘cutter.’” [This view is rejected by the N.E.D., which regards it as an English word from ‘to cut.’] We cannot say when cutter was introduced in marine use. We cannot find it in Dampier, nor in Robinson Crusoe ; the first instance we have found is that quoted below from Anson’s Voyage. [The N.E.D. has nothing earlier than 1745.]

Bluteau gives catur as an Indian term indicating a small war vessel, which in a calm can be aided by oars. Jal (Archéologie Navale, ii. 259) quotes Witsen as saying that the Caturi or Almadias were Calicut vessels, having a length of 12 to 13 paces (60 to 65 feet), sharp at both ends, and curving back, using both sails and oars. But there was a larger kind, 80 feet long, with only 7 or 8 feet beam.

1510.—“There is also another kind of vessel.…These are all made of one piece…sharp at both ends These ships are called Chaturi, and go either with a sail or oars more swiftly than any galley, fusta, or brigantine.”—Varthema, 154.

1544.—“…navigium majus quod vocant caturem.”—Scti. Franc. Xav. Epistolae, 121.

1549.—“Naves item duas (quas Indi catures vocant) summâ celeritate armari jussit, vt oram maritimam legentes, hostes commeatu prohiberent.”—Goës, de Bello Cambaico, 1331.

1552.—“And this winter the Governor sent to have built in Cochin thirty Catures, which are vessels with oars, but smaller than brigantines.”—Castanheda, iii. 271.

1588.—“Cambaicam oram Jacobus Lacteus duobos caturibus tueri jussus.…”—Maffei, lib. xiii. ed. 1752, p. 283.

1601.—“Biremes, seu Cathuris quam plurimae conduntur in Lassaon, Javae civitate.…”—De Bry, iii. 109 (where there is a plate, iii. No. xxxvii.).

1688.—“No man was so bold to contradict the man of God ; and they all went to the Arsenal. There they found a good and sufficient bark of those they call Catur, besides seven old foysts.”—Dryden, Life of Xavier, in Works, 1821, xvi. 200.

1742.—“…to prevent even the possibility of the galeons escaping us in the night, the two Cutters belonging to the Centurion and the Gloucester were both manned and sent in shore.…”—Anson’s Voyage, 9th ed. 1756, p. 251. Cutter also occurs pp. 111, 129, 150, and other places.

CAUVERY, n.p. The great river of S. India. Properly Tam. Kaviri, or rather Kaveri, and Sanscritized Kaveri. The earliest mention is that of Ptolemy, who writes the name (after the Skt. form) [Greek Text] Xabhroz (sc. [Greek Text] potamoz). The [Greek Text] Kamara of the Periplus (c. A.D. 80–90) probably, however, represents the same name, the [Greek Text] Xabhriz emporion of Ptolemy. The meaning of the name has been much debated, and several plausible but unsatisfactory explanations have been given. Thus the Skt form Kaveri has been explained from that language by kavera ‘saffron.’ A river

  By PanEris using Melati.

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