GUAVA, s. This fruit (Psidium Guayava, L., Ord. Myrtaceae; Span. guayava, Fr. goyavier, [from Brazilian guayaba, Stanf. Dict.]), Guayabo pomifera Indica of Caspar Bauhin, Guayava of Joh. Bauhin, strangely appears by name in E lliot’s translation from Amir Khosru, who flourished in the 13th century: “He who has placed only guavas and quinces in his throat, and has never eaten a plantain, will say it is like so much jujube” (iii. 556). This must be due to some ambiguous word carelessly rendered. The fruit and its name are alike American. It appears to be the guaiabo of Oviedo in his History of the Indies (we use the Italian version in Ramusio, iii. f. 141v). There is no mention of the guava in either De Orta or Acosta. Amrud, which is the commonest Hindustani (Pers.) name for the guava, means properly ‘a pear’; but the fruit is often called safari am, ‘journey mango’ (respecting which see under ANANAS). And this last term is sometimes vulgarly corrupted into supari am (areca-mango!). In the Deccan (according to Moodeen Sheriff) and all over Guzerat and the Central Provinces (as we are informed by M.-Gen. Keatinge), the fruit is called jam, Mahr. jamba, which is in Bengal the name of Syzigium jambolanum (see JAMOON), and in Guzerati jamrud, which seems to be a factitious word in imitation of amrud.

The guava, though its claims are so inferior to those of the pine-apple (indeed except to stew, or make jelly, it is nobis judicibus, an utter impostor), [Sir Joseph Hooker annotates: “You never ate good ones!”] must have spread like that fruit with great rapidity. Both appear in Blochmann’s transl. of the Ain (i. 64) as serve d at Akbar’s table; though when the guava is named among the fruits of Turan, doubts again arise as to the fruit intended, for the word used, amrud, is ambiguous. In 1688 Dampier mentions guavas at Achin, and in Cochin China. The tree, like the custard-apple, has become wild in some parts of India. See Davidson, below.

c. 1550.—“The guaiava is like a peach-tree, with a leaf resembling the laurel…the red are better than the white, and are well-flavoured.”—Girol. Benzoni, p. 88.

1658.—There is a good cut of the guava, as guaiaba, in Piso, pp. 152–3.

1673.—“…flourish pleasant Tops of Plantains, Cocoes, Guiavas, a kind of Pear.”—Fryer, 40.

1676.—“The N.W. part is full of Guaver Trees of the greatest variety, and their Fruit the largest and best tasted I have met with.”—Dampier, ii. 107.

1685.—“The Guava…when the Fruit is ripe, it is yellow, soft, and very pleasant. It bakes well as a Pear.”—Ibid. i. 222.

c. 1750–60.—“Our guides too made us distinguish a number of goyava, and especially plumb-trees.”—Grose, i. 20.


“A wholesome fruit the ripened guava yields,
Boast of the housewife.”

Grainger, Bk. i.

1843.—“On some of these extensive plains (on the Mohur R. in Oudh) we found large orchards of the wild Guava…strongly resembling in their rough appearance the pear-trees in the hedges of Worcestershire.”—Col. C. J. Davidson, Diary of Travels, ii. 271.

GUBBER, s. This is some kind of gold ducat or sequin; Milburn says ‘a Dutch ducat.’ It may have adopted this special meaning, but could hardly have held it at the date of our first quotation. The name is probably gabr (dinar-i-gabr), implying its being of infidel origin. c. 1590.—“Mirza Jani Beg Sultán made this agreement with his soldiers, that every one who should bring in an enemy’s head should receive 500 gabars, every one of them worth 12 miris…of which 72 went to one tanka.”—Tarikh-i-Tahiri, in Elliot, i. 287.

1711.—“Rupees are the most current Coin; they have Venetians, Gubbers, Muggerbees, and Pagodas.”—Lockyer, 201.

“When a Parcel of Venetian Ducats are mixt with others the whole goes by the name of Chequeens at Surat, but when they are separated, one sort is called Venetians, and all the others Gubbers indifferently.”—Ibid. 242.

1762.—“Gold and Silver Weights:

100 Venetian Ducats1105
10 (100?) Gubbers101712.”

Brooks, Weights and Measures.

GUBBROW, v. To bully, to dumbfound, and perturb a person. Made from ghabrao, the imperative of ghabrana. The latter, though sometimes used transitively, is more usually neuter, ‘to be dumbfounded and perturbed.’

  By PanEris using Melati.

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