COTIA, s. A fast-sailing vessel, with two masts and lateen sails, employed on the Malabar coast. Kottiya is used in Malayal.; [the Madras Gloss. writes the word kotyeh, and says that it comes from Ceylon;] yet the word hardly appears to be Indian. Bluteau however appears to give it as such (iii. 590).

1552.—“Among the little islands of Goa he embarked on board his fleet, which consisted of about a dozen cotias, taking with him a good company of soldiers.”—Castanheda, iii. 25. See also pp. 47, 48, 228, &c.

c. 1580.—“In the gulf of Naguná…I saw some Cutiás.”—Primor e Honra, &c., f. 73.

1602.—“…embarking his property on certain Cotias, which he kept for that purpose.”—Couto, Dec. IV. liv. i. cap. viii.

COTTA, s. H. kattha. A small land-measure in use in Bengal and Bahar, being the twentieth part of a Bengal bigha (see BEEGAH), and containing eighty square yards.

[1767.—“The measurement of land in Bengal is thus estimated: 16 Gundas make 1 Cotta; 20 Cottas, 1 Bega, or about 16,000 square feet.”—Verelst, View of Bengal, 221, note.]

1784.—“…An upper roomed House standing upon about 5 cottahs of ground.…”—Seton-Karr, i. 34.

COTTON, s. We do not seem to be able to carry this familiar word further back than the Ar. kutn, kutun, or kutunn, having the same meaning, whence Prov. coton, Port. cotão, It. cotone, Germ. Kattun. The Sp. keeps the Ar. article, algodon, whence old Fr. auqueton and hoqueton, a coat quilted with cotton. It is only by an odd coincidence that Pliny adduces a like-sounding word in his account of the arbores lanigerae: “ferunt mali cotonei amplitudine cucurbitas, quae maturitate ruptae ostendunt lanuginis pilas, ex quibus vestes pretioso linteo faciunt”—xii. 10 (21). [On the use and cultivation of cotton in the ancient world, see the authorities collected by Frazer, Pausanias, iii. 470, seqq.]

[1830.—“The dress of the great is on the Persian model; it consists of a shirt of kuttaun (a kind of linen of a wide texture, the best of which is imported from Aleppo, and the common sort from Persia).…”—Elphinstone’s Caubul, i. 351.]


COTWAL, CUTWAUL, s. A police-officer; superintendent of police; native town magistrate. P. kotwal, ‘a seneschal, a commandant of a castle or fort.’ This looks as if it had been first taken from an Indian word, kotwala; [Skt. kotha- or koshtha pala ‘castle-porter’]; but some doubt arises whether it may not have been a Turki term. In Turki it is written kotaul, kotawal, and seems to be regarded by both Vambéry and Pavet de Courteille as a genuine Turki word. V. defines it as: “Ketaul, garde de forteresse, chef de la garnison; nom d’un tribu d’Ozbegs;” P. “kotawal, kotawal, gardien d’une citadelle.” There are many Turki words of analogous form, as karawal, ‘a vidette,’ bakawal, ‘a table-steward,’ yasawal, ‘a chamberlain,’ tangawal, ‘a patrol,’ &c. In modern Bokhara Kataul is a title conferred on a person who superintends the Amir’s buildings (Khanikoff, 241). On the whole it seems probable that the title was originally Turki, but was shaped by Indian associations.

[The duties of the Kotwal, as head of the police, are exhaustively laid down in the Ain (Jarrett, ii. 41). Amongst other rules: “He shall amputate the hand of any who is the pot-companion of an executioner, and the finger of such as converse with his family.”] The office of Kotwal in Western and Southern India, technically speaking, ceased about 1862, when the new police system (under Act, India, V. of 1861, and corresponding local Acts) was introduced. In Bengal the term has been long obsolete. [It is still in use in the N.W.P. to designate the chief police officer of one of the larger cities or cantonments.]

c. 1040.—“Bu-Ali Kotwal (of Ghazni) returned from the Khilj expedition, having adjusted matters.”—Baihaki, in Elliot, ii. 151.

1406–7.—“They fortified the city of Astarabad, where Abul Leïth was placed with the rank of Kotwal.”—Abdurrazak, in Not. et Extr. xiv. 123.

1553.—“The message of the Camorij arriving, Vasco da Gama landed with a dozen followers, and was received by a noble person whom they called Catual.…”—Barros, Dec. I. liv. iv. ch. viii.


“Na praya hum regedor do Regno estava
Que na sua lingua Catual se chama.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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