CHEENAR, s. P. chinar, the Oriental Plane (Platanus orientalis) and platanus of the ancients ; native from Greece to Persia. It is often by English travellers in Persia miscalled sycamore from confusion with the common British tree (Acer pseudo-platanus), which English people also habitually miscall sycamore, and Scotch people miscall plane-tree ! Our quotations show how old the confusion is. The tree is not a native of India, though there are fine chinars in Kashmere, and a few in old native gardens in the Punjab, introduced in the days of the Moghul emperors. The tree is the Arbre Sec of Marco Polo (see 2nd ed. vol. i. 131, 132). Chinars of especial vastness and beauty are described by H erodotus and Pliny, by Chardin and others. At Buyukdereh near Constantinople, is still shown the Plane under which Godfrey of Boulogne is said to have encamped. At Tejrish, N. of Teheran, Sir H. Rawlinson tells us that he measured a great chinar which has a girth of 108 feet at 5 feet from the ground.

c. 1628.—“The gardens here are many…abounding in lofty pyramidall cypresses, broad-spreading Chenawrs.…”—Sir T. Herbert, 136.

1677.—“We had a fair Prospect of the City (Ispahan) filling the one half of an ample Plain, few Buildings…shewing themselves by reason of the high Chinors, or Sicamores shading the choicest of them.…”—Fryer, 259.

“We in our Return cannot but take notice of the famous Walk between the two Cities of Jelfa and Ispahaun ; it is planted with two rows of Sycamores (which is the tall Maple, not the Sycamore of Alkair).”—Ibid. 286.

1682.—“At the elegant villa and garden at Mr. Bohun’s at Lee. He shewed me the Zinnar tree or platanus, and told me that since they had planted this kind of tree about the Citty of Ispahan…the plague…had exceedingly abated of its mortal effects.”—Evelyn’s Diary, Sept. 16.

1726.—“…the finest road that you can imagine…planted in the middle with 135 Sennaar trees on one side and 132 on the other.”—Valentijn, v. 208.

1783.—“This tree, which in most parts of Asia is called the Chinaur, grows to the size of an oak, and has a taper straight trunk, with a silver-coloured bark, and its leaf, not unlike an expanded hand, is of a pale green.”—G. Forster’s Journey, ii. 17.


“…they seem
Like the Chenar-tree grove, where winter throws O’er all its tufted heads its feathery snows.”


[1835.—“…the island Char chúnar…a skilful monument of the Moghul Emperor, who named it from the four plane trees he planted on the spot.”—Hügel, Travels in Kashmir, 112.

[1872.—“I…encamped under some enormous chunar or oriental plane trees.”—Wilson, Abode of Snow, 370.]

Chinar is alleged to be in Badakhshan applied to a species of poplar.

CHEENY, s. See under SUGAR.

1810.—“The superior kind (of raw sugar) which may often be had nearly white…and sharp-grained, under the name of cheeny.”—Williamson, V. M. ii. 134.

CHEESE, s. This word is well known to be used in modern English slang for “anything good, first-rate in quality, genuine, pleasant, or advantageous” (Slang Dict.). And the most probable source of the term is P. and H. chiz, ‘thing.’ For the expression used to be common among Anglo-Indians, e.g., “My new Arab is the real chiz” ; “These cheroots are the real chiz,” i.e. the real thing. The word may have been an Anglo-Indian importation, and it is difficult otherwise to account for it. [This view is accepted by the N.E.D. ; for other explanations see 1 ser. N. & Q. viii. 89 ; 3 ser. vii. 465, 505.]

CHEETA, s. H. chita, the Felis jubata, Schreber, [Cynaelurus jubatus, Blanford], or ‘Hunting Leopard,’ so called from its being commonly trained to use in the chase. From Skt. chitraka, or chitrakaya, lit. ‘having a speckled body.’

1563.—“…and when they wish to pay him much honour they call him Ráo ; as for example Chita-Ráo, whom I am acquainted with ; and this is a proud name, for Chita signifies ‘Ounce’ (or panther) and this Chita-Rao means ‘King as strong as a Panther.’” —Garcia, f. 36.

c. 1596.—“Once a leopard (chita) had been caught, and without previous training, on a mere hint by His Majesty, it brought in the prey, like trained leopards.”—Ain-i-Akbari, ed. Blochmann, i. 286.

1610.—Hawkins calls the Cheetas at Akbar’s Court ‘ounces for game.’—In Purchas, i. 218.

[1785.—“The Cheetah-connah, the place where the Nabob’s panthers and other animals for hunting are kept.”—Forbes, Or. Mem. 2nd ed. ii. 450.]

1862.—“The true Cheetah, the Hunting Leopard of India, does not exist in Ceylon.” —Tennent, i. 140.

1879.—“Two young cheetahs had just come in from Bombay ; one of these was as tame as a house-cat, and like the puma, purred beautifully when stroked.”—“Jamrack’s,” in Sat. Review, May 17, p. 612.

It has been ingeniously suggested by Mr. Aldis Wright that the word cheater, as used by Shakspere, in the

  By PanEris using Melati.

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