CENTIPEDE to CHACKUR
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.]
where stood the carame of the
King, which is his temple.
Ibid. iii. 2.
was carried ashore on mens 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 DAlboquerques 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
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 Tuuks 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,
851.Near Sarandib is the pearl-fishery. Sarandib, is entirely surrounded by the
sea. Relation des Voyages, i. p. 5.
c. 940.Masudi 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.
island Sailan is a vast island between China and India, 80 parasangs in circuit.
It produces wonderful