CHOOLIA, s. Chulia is a name given in Ceylon and in Malabar to a particular class of Mahommedans, and sometimes to Mahommedans generally. There is much obscurity about the origin and proper application of the term. [The word is by some derived from Skt. chuda, the top-knot which every Hindu must wear, and which is cut off on conversion to Islam. In the same way in the Punjab, chotikat, ‘he that has had his top-knot cut off,’ is a common form of abuse used by Hindus to Musulman converts; see Ibbetson, Panjab Ethnog. p. 240.] According to Sonnerat (i. 109), the Chulias are of Arab descent and of Shia profession. [The Madras Gloss. takes the word to be from the kingdom of Chola and to mean a person of S. India.]

c. 1345.—“…the city of Kaulam, which is one of the finest of Malibar. Its bazars are splendid, and its merchants are known by the name of Sulia (i.e. Chulia).”—Ibn Batuta, iv. 99.

1754.—“Chowlies are esteemed learned men, and in general are merchants.”—Ives, 25.

1782.—“We had found…less of that foolish timidity, and much more disposition to intercourse in the Choliars of the country, who are Mahommedans and quite distinct in their manners.…”—Hugh Boyd, Journal of a Journey of an Embassy to Candy, in Misc. Works (1800), i. 155.

1783.—“During Mr. Saunders’s government I have known Chulia (Moors) vessels carry coco-nuts from the Nicobar Islands to Madras.”—Forrest, Voyage to Mergui, p. v.

Chulias and Malabars (the appellations are I believe synonymous).”—Ibid. 24.

1836.—“Mr. Boyd…describes the Moors under the name of Cholias, and Sir Alexander Johnston designates them by the appellation Lubbies (see LUBBYE). These epithets are, however, not admissible, for the former is only confined to a particular sect among them, who are rather of an inferior grade, and the latter to the priests who efficiate.”—Casie Chitty, in J. R. A. Soc. iii. 338.

1879.—“There are over 15,000 Klings, Chuliahs, and other natives of India.”—Miss Bird, Golden Chersonese, 254.

CHOP, s. Properly a seal-impression, stamp, or brand; H. chhap; the verb (chhapna) being that which is now used in Hindustani to express the art of printing (books).

The word chhap seems not to have been traced back with any accuracy beyond the modern vernaculars. It has been thought possible (at least till the history should be more accurately traced) that it might be of Portuguese origin. For there is a Port. word chapa, ‘a thin plate of metal,’ which is no doubt the original of the Old English chape for the metal plate on the sheath of a sword or dagger.1 The word in this sense is not in the Portuguese Dictionaries; but we find ‘homem chapado,’ explained as ‘a man of notable worth or excellence,’ and Bluteau considers this a metaphor ‘taken from the chapas or plates of metal on which the kings of India caused their letters patent to be engraven.’ Thus he would seem to have regarded, though perhaps erroneously, the chhapa and the Portuguese chapa as identical. On the other hand, Mr. Beames entertains no doubt that the word is genuine Hindi, and connects it with a variety of other words signifying striking, or pressing. And Thompson in his Hindi Dictionary says that chhappa is a technical term used by the Vaishnavas to denote the sectarial marks (lotus, trident, &c.), which they delineate on their bodies. Fallon gives the same meaning, and quotes a Hindi verse, using it in this sense. We may add that while chhapa is used all over the N.W.P. and Punjab for printed cloths, Drummond (1808) gives chhapaniya, chhapara, as words for ‘Stampers or Printers of Cloth’ in Guzerati, and that the passage quoted below from a Treaty made with an ambassador from Guzerat by the Portuguese in 1537, uses the word chapada for struck or coined, exactly as the modern Hindi verb chhapna might be used.2 Chop, in writers prior to the last century, is often used for the seal itself. “Owen Cambridge says the Mohr was the great seal, but the small or privy seal was called a ‘chop’ or ‘stamp.’” (C. P. Brown).

The word chop is hardly used now among Anglo-Indians in the sense of seal or stamp. But it got a permanent footing in the ‘Pigeon English’ of the Chinese ports, and thence has come back to England and India, in the phrase “first-chop,” i.e. of the first brand or quality.

The word chop (chap) is adopted in Malay [with the meanings of seal-impression, stamp, to seal or stamp, though there is, as Mr. Skeat points out, a pure native word tera or tra, which is used in all these senses;] and chop has acquired the specific sense of a passport or licence. The word has also obtained a variety of applications, including that just mentioned, in the lingua franca of foreigners in the China seas. Van Braam applies it to a tablet bearing the Emperor’s name, to which he and his fellow envoys made kotow on their first landing in China (Voyage, &c., Paris, An vi., 1798, i. 20-21). Again, in the same jargon, a chop of tea means a certain number of chests of tea, all bearing the same brand. Chop-houses are customs stations on the Canton River, so called from the chops, or seals, used there (Giles, Glossary). Chop-dollar is a dollar chopped, or stamped

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.