CLASSY, CLASHY, s. H. khalasi, usual etym. from Arab khalas. A tent-pitcher; also (because usually taken from that class of servants) a man employed as chain-man or staff-man, &c., by a surveyor; a native sailor; or Matross (q.v.). Khalas is constantly used in Hindustani in the sense of ‘liberation’; thus, of a prisoner, a magistrate says ‘khalas karo,’ ‘let him go.’ But it is not clear how khalasi got its ordinary Indian sense. It is also written khalashi, and Vullers has an old Pers. word khalasha for ‘a ship’s rudder.’ A learned friend suggests that this may be the real origin of khalasi in its Indian use. [Khalas also means the ‘escape channel of a canal,’ and khalasi may have been originally a person in charge of such a work.]

1785.—“A hundred clashies have been sent to you from the presence.”—Tippoo’s Letters, 171.

1801.—“The sepoys in a body were to bring up the rear. Our left flank was to be covered by the sea, and our right by Gopie Nath’s men. Then the clashies and other armed followers.”—Mt. Stewart Elphinstone, in Life, i. 27.

1824.—“If the tents got dry, the clashees (tent-pitchers) allowed that we might proceed in the morning prosperously.”—Heber, ed. 1844, i. 194.

CLEARING NUT, WATER FILTER NUT, s. The seed of Strychnos potatorum, L.; a tree of S. India; [known in N. India as nirmala, nirmali, ‘dirt-cleaner’]. It is so called from its property of clearing muddy water, if well rubbed on the inside of the vessel which is to be filled.

CLOVE, s. The flower-bud of Caryophyllum aromaticum, L., a tree of the Moluccas. The modern English name of this spice is a kind of ellipsis from the French clous de girofles, ‘Nails of Girofles,’ i.e. of garofala, caryophylla, &c., the name by which this spice was known to the ancients; the full old English name was similar, ‘clove gillofloure,’ a name which, cut in two like a polypus, has formed two different creatures, the clove (or nail) being assigned to the spice, and the ‘gilly-flower’ to a familiar clove-smelling flower. The comparison to nails runs through many languages. In Chinese the thing is called ting-hiang, or ‘nail- spice’; in Persian mekhak, ‘little nails,’ or ‘nailkins,’ like the German Nelken, Nagelchen, and Gewürtz- nagel (spice nail).

[1602–3.—“Alsoe be carefull to gett together all the cloues you can.”—Birdwood, First Letter Book, 36.]

COAST, THE, n.p. This term in books of the 18th century means the ‘Madras or Coromandel Coast,’ and often ‘the Madras Presidency.’ It is curious to find [Greek Text] IIaralia, “the Shore,” applied in a similar specific way, in Ptolemy, to the coast near Cape Comorin. It will be seen that the term “Coast Army,” for “Madras Army,” occurs quite recently. The Persian rendering of Coast Army by Bandari below is curious. 1781.—“Just imported from the Coast…a very fine assortment of the following cloths.”—India Gazette, Sept. 15.

1793.—“Unseduced by novelty, and uninfluenced by example, the belles of the Coast have courage enough to be unfashionable…and we still see their charming tresses flow in luxuriant ringlets.”—Hugh Boyd, 78.

1800.—“I have only 1892 Coast and 1200 Bombay sepoys.”—Wellington, i. 227.

1802.—“From Hydurabád also, Colonels Roberts and Dalrymple, with 4000 of the Bunduri or coast sipahees.”—H. of Reign of Tipú Sultán, E. T. by Miles, p. 253.

1879.—“Is it any wonder then, that the Coast Army has lost its ancient renown, and that it is never employed, as an army should be, in fighting the battles of its country, or its employers?”—Pollok, Sport in Br. Burmah, &c., i. 26.


COBILY MASH, s. This is the dried bonito (q.v.), which has for ages been a staple of the Maldive Islands. It is still especially esteemed in Achin and other Malay countries. The name is explained below by Pyrard as ‘black fish,’ and he is generally to be depended on. But the first accurate elucidation has been given by Mr. H. C. P. Bell, of the Ceylon C. S., in the Indian Antiquary for Oct. 1882, p. 294; see also Mr. Bell’s Report on Maldive Islands, Colombo, 1882, p. 93, where there is an account of the preparation. It is the Maldive kalu-bili-mas, ‘black-bonito-fish.’ The second word corresponds to the Singhalese balaya.

c. 1345.—“Its flesh is red, and without fat, but it smells like mutton. When caught each fish is cut in four, slightly boiled, and then placed in baskets of palm-leaf, and hung in the smoke. When perfectly dry it is eaten. From this country it is exported to India, China, and Yemen. It is called Kolb-al-mas.”—Ibn

  By PanEris using Melati.

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