CHOW-CHOW, s. A common application of the Pigeon-English term in China is to mixed preserves; but, as the quotation shows, it has many uses; the idea of mixture seems to prevail. It is the name given to a book by Viscountess Falkland, whose husband was Governor of Bombay. There it seems to mean ‘a medley of trifles.’ Chow is in ‘pigeon’ applied to food of any kind. [“From the erroneous impression that dogs form one of the principal items of a Chinaman’s diet, the common variety has been dubbed the ‘chow dog’” (Ball, Things Chinese, p. 179).] We find the word chow-chow in Blumentritt’s Vocabular of Manilla terms: “Chau-chau, a Tagal dish so called.”

1858.—“The word chow-chow is suggestive, especially to the Indian reader, of a mixture of things, ‘good, bad, and indifferent,’ of sweet little oranges and bits of bamboo stick, slices of sugar-cane and rinds of unripe fruit, all concocted together, and made upon the whole into a very tolerable confection.…

“Lady Falkland, by her happy selection of a name, to a certain extent deprecates and disarms criticism. We cannot complain that her work is without plan, unconnected, and sometimes trashy, for these are exactly the conditions implied in the word chow-chow.”—Bombay Quarterly Review, January, p. 100.

1882.—“The variety of uses to which the compound word ‘chow-chow’ is put is almost endless.…A ‘No. 1 chow- chow’ thing signifies utterly worthless, but when applied to a breakfast or dinner it means ‘unexceptionably good.’ A ‘chow-chow’ cargo is an assorted cargo; a ‘general shop’ is a ‘chow-chow’ shop…one (factory) was called the ‘chow-chow,’ from its being inhabited by divers Parsees, Moormen, or other natives of India.”—The Fankwae, p. 63.

CHOWDRY, s. H. chaudhari, lit. ‘a holder of four’; the explanation of which is obscure: [rather Skt. chakradharin, ‘the bearer of the discus as an ensign of authority’]. The usual application of the term is to the headman of a craft in a town, and more particularly to the person who is selected by Government as the agent through whom supplies, workmen, &c., are supplied for public purposes. [Thus the Chaudhari of carters provides carriage, the Chaudhari of Kahars bearers, and so on.] Formerly, in places, to the headman of a village; to certain holders of lands; and in Cuttack it was, under native rule, applied to a district Revenue officer. In a paper of ‘Explanations of Terms’ furnished to the Council at Fort William by Warren Hastings, then Resident at Moradbagh (1759), chowdrees are defined as “Landholders in the next rank to Zemindars.” (In Long, p. 176.) [Comp. VENDU-MASTER.] It is also an honorific title given by servants to one of their number, usually, we believe, to the mali [see MOLLY], or gardener—as khalifa to the cook and tailor, jama’dar to the bhishti, mehtar to the sweeper, sirdar to the bearer.

c. 1300.—“…The people were brought to such a state of obedience that one revenue officer would string twenty…chaudharis together by the neck, and enforce payment by blows.”—Zia-ud-din Barni, in Elliot, iii. 183.

c. 1343.—“The territories dependent on the capital (Delhi) are divided into hundreds, each of which has a Jauthari, who is the Sheikh or chief man of the Hindus.”—Ibn Batuta, iii. 388.

[1772.—“Chowdrahs, land-holders, in the next rank to Zemeendars.”—Verelst, View of Bengal, Gloss. s.v.]

1788.—“Chowdry.—A Landholder or Farmer. Properly he is above the Zemindar in rank; but, according to the present custom of Bengal, he is deemed the next to the Zemindar. Most commonly used as the principal purveyor of the markets in towns or camps.”—Indian Vocabulary (Stockdale’s).

CHOWK, s. H. chauk. An open place or wide street in the middle of a city where the market is held, [as, for example, the Chandni, Chauk of Delhi]. It seems to be adopted in Persian, and there is an Arabic form Suk, which, it is just possible, may have been borrowed and Arabized from the present word. The radical idea of chauk seems to be “four ways” [Skt. chatushka], the crossing of streets at the centre of business. Compare Carfax, and the Quattro Cantoni of Palermo. In the latter city there is a market place called Piazza Ballarò, which in the 16th century a chronicler calls Seggeballarath, or as Amari interprets, Suk-Balhara.

[1833.—“The Chandy Choke, in Delhi…is perhaps the broadest street in any city in the East.”—Skinner, Excursions in India, i. 49.]

CHOWNEE, s. The usual native name, at least in the Bengal Presidency, for an Anglo-Indian cantonment (q.v.). It is H. chhaoni, ‘a thatched roof,’ chhaona, chhana, v. ‘to thatch.’ [1829.—“The Regent was at

  By PanEris using Melati.

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