COBRA LILY, s. The flower Arum campanulatum, which stands on its curving stem exactly like a cobra with a reared head.

COBRA MANILLA, or MINELLE, s. Another popular name in S. India for a species of venomous snake, perhaps a little uncertain in its application. Dr. Russell says the Bungarus caeruleus was sent to him from Masulipatam, with the name Cobra Monil, whilst Günther says this name is given in S. India to the Daboia Russellii, or Tic-Polonga (q.v.) (see Fayrer’s Thanatophidia, pp. 11 and 15). [The Madras Gloss. calls it the chain-viper, Daboia elegans.] One explanation of the name is given in the quotation from Lockyer. But the name is really Mahr. maner, from Skt. mani, ‘a jewel.’ There are judicious remarks in a book lately quoted, regarding the popular names and popular stories of snakes, which apply, we suspect, to all the quotations under the following heading:

“There are names in plenty … but they are applied promiscuously to any sort of snake, real or imaginary, and are therefore of no use. The fact is, that in real life, as distinguished from romance, snakes are so seldom seen, that no one who does not make a study of them can know one from the other.”1Tribes on my Frontier, 197.

1711.—“The Cobra Manilla has its name from a way of Expression common among the Nears on the Malabar Coast, who speaking of a quick Motion … say, in a Phrase peculiar to themselves, Before they can pull a Manilla from their Hands. A Person bit with this Snake, dies immediately; or before one can take a Manilla off. A Manilla is a solid piece of Gold, of two or three ounces Weight, worn in a Ring round the Wrist.” —Lockyer, 276.

[1773.—“The Covra Manilla, is a small bluish snake of the size of a man’s little finger, and about a foot long, often seen about old walls.”—Ives, 43.]

1780.—“The most dangerous of those reptiles are the coverymanil and the green snake. The first is a beautiful little creature, very lively, and about 6 or 7 inches long. It creeps into all private corners of houses, and is often found coiled up betwixt the sheets, or perhaps under the pillow of one’s bed. Its sting is said to inflict immediate death, though I must confess, for my own part, I never heard of any dangerous accident occasioned by it.”—Munro’s Narrative, 34.

1810.—“… Here, too, lurks the small bright speckled Cobra manilla, whose fangs convey instant death.”—Maria Graham, 23.

1813.—“The Cobra minelle is the smallest and most dangerous; the bite occasions a speedy and painful death.”—Forbes, Or. Mem. i. 42; [2nd ed. i. 27].

COCHIN, n.p. A famous city of Malabar, Malayal. Kochchi, [‘a small place’] which the nasalising, so usual with the Portuguese, converted into Cochim or Cochin. We say “the Portuguese” because we seem to owe so many nasal terminations of words in Indian use to them; but it is evident that the real origin of this nasal was in some cases anterior to their arrival, as in the present case (see the first quotations), and in that of Acheen (q.v.). Padre Paolino says the town was called after the small river “Cocci” (as he writes it). It will be seen that Conti in the 15th century makes the same statement.

c. 1430.—“Relictâ Coloënâ ad urbem Cocym, trium dierum itinere transiit, quinque millibus passuum ambitu supra ostium fluminis, a quo et nomen.”—N. Conti in Poggius, de Variet. Fortunae, iv.

1503.—“Inde Franci ad urbem Cocen profecti, castrum ingens ibidem construxere, et trecentis praesidiariis viris bellicosis munivere. …”—Letter of Nestorian Bishops from India, in Assemani, iii. 596.

1510.—“And truly he (the K. of Portugal) deserves every good, for in India and especially in Cucin, every fête day ten and even twelve Pagans and Moors are baptised.”— Varthema, 296.

[1562.—“Cochym.” See under BEADALA.]


“Vereis a fortaleza sustentar-se
De Cananor con pouca força e gente
E vereis em Cochin assinalar- se
Tanto hum peito soberbo, e insolente2
Que cithara ja mais cantou victoria,
Que assi mereça eterno nome e gloria.”

Camões, ii. 52.

By Burton:

“Thou shalt behold the Fortalice hold out of Cananor with scanty garrison
shalt in Cochin see one approv’d so stout,
who such an arr’gance of the sword hath shown,
no harp of mortal sang a similar story,
digne of

  By PanEris using Melati.

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