CENTIPEDE, s. This word was perhaps borrowed directly from the Portuguese in India (centopèa). [The N.E.D. refers it to Sp.]

1662.—“There is a kind of worm which the Portuguese call un centopè, and the Dutch also ‘thousand- legs’ (tausend-bein).”— T. Saal, 68.

CERAM, n.p. A large island in the Molucca Sea, the Serung of the Malays. [Klinkert gives the name Seran, which Mr. Skeat thinks more likely to be correct.]

CERAME, CARAME, &c., s. The Malayalim srambi, a gatehouse with a room over the gate, and generally, fortified. This is a feature of temples; &c., as well as of private houses, in Malabar [see Logan, i. 82]. The word is also applied to a chamber raised on four posts. [The word, as Mr. Skeat notes, has come into Malay as sarambi or serambi, ‘a house veranda.’]

[1500.—“He was taken to a cerame, which is a one-storied house of wood, which the King had erected for their meeting-place.” —Castañeda, Bk. I. cap. 33, p. 103.]

1551.—“…where stood the carame of the King, which is his temple.…”—Ibid. iii. 2.

1552.—“Pedralvares…was carried ashore on men’s shoulders in an andor till he was set among the Gentoo Princes whom the Çamorin had sent to receive him at the beach, whilst the said Çamorin himself was standing within sight in the cerame awaiting his arrival.”—Barros, I. v. 5.

1557.—The word occurs also in D’Alboquerque’s Commentaries Hak. Soc. tr. i. 115), but it is there erroneously rendered “jetty.”

1566. — “Antes de entrar no Cerame vierão receber alguns senhores dos que ficarão com el Rei.”—Dam. de Goes, Chron. 76 (ch. lviii.).

CEYLON, n.p. This name, as applied to the great island which hangs from India like a dependent jewel, becomes usual about the 13th century. But it can be traced much earlier. For it appears undoubtedly to be formed from Sinhala or Sihala, ‘lions’ abode,’ the name adopted in the island itself at an early date. This, with the addition of ‘Island,’ Sihala-dvipa, comes down to us in Cosmas as [Greek Text] Sielediba. There was a Pali form Sihalan, which, at an early date, must have been colloquially shortened to Silan, as appears from the old Tamil name Ilam (the Tamil having no proper sibilant), and probably from this was formed the Sarandip and Sarandib which was long the name in use by mariners of the Persian Gulf.

It has been suggested by Mr. Van der Tuuk, that the name Sailan or Silan was really of Javanese origin, as sela (from Skt. sila, ‘a rock, a stone’) in Javanese (and in Malay) means ‘a precious stone,’ hence Pulo Selan would be ‘Isle of Gems.’ [“This,” writes Mr. Skeat, “is possible, but it remains to be proved that the gem was not named after the island (i.e. ‘Ceylon stone’). The full phrase in standard Malay is batu Selan, where batu means ‘stone.’ Klinkert merely marks Sailan (Ceylon) as Persian.”] The island was really called anciently Ratnadvipa, ‘Isle of Gems,’ and is termed by an Arab historian of the 9th century Jazirat-al yakut, ‘Isle of Rubies.’ So that there is considerable plausibility in Van der Tuuk’s suggestion. But the genealogy of the name from Sihala is so legitimate that the utmost that can be conceded is the possibility that the Malay form Selan may have been shaped by the consideration suggested, and may have influenced the general adoption of the form Sailan, through the predominance of Malay navigation in the Middle Ages.

c. 362.—“Unde nationibus Indicis certatim cum donis optimatesmittentibus ante tempus, ab usque Divis et Serendivis.”—Ammianus Marcellinus, XXI. vii.

c. 430.—“The island of Lanka was called Sihala after the Lion ; listen ye to the narration of the island which I (am going to) tell : ‘The daughter of the Vanga King cohabited in the forest with a lion.’”— Dipavanso, XI. i. 2.

545.—“This is the great island in the ocean, lying in the Indian Sea. By the Indians it is called Sielediba, but by the Greeks Taprobane.”—Cosmas, Bk. xi.

851.—“Near Sarandib is the pearl-fishery. Sarandib, is entirely surrounded by the sea.” —Relation des Voyages, i. p. 5.

c. 940.—“Mas’udi proceeds : In the Island Sarandib, I myself witnessed that when the King was dead, he was placed on a chariot with low wheels so that his hair dragged upon the ground.”—In Gildemeister, 154.

c. 1020.—“There you enter the country of Lárán, where is Jaimúr, then Malia, then Kánji, then Darúd, where there is a great gulf in which is Sinkaldíp (Sinhala dvipa). or the island of Sarandíp.”—Al Biruni, as given by Rashíduddín, in Elliot, i. 66.

1275.—“The island Sailan is a vast island between China and India, 80 parasangs in circuit.…It produces wonderful

  By PanEris using Melati.

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