KHALSA, s. and adj. Hind. from Ar. khalsa (properly khalisa) ‘pure, genuine.’ It has various technical meanings, but, as we introduce the word, it is applied by the Sikhs to their community and church (so to call it) collectively.

1783.—“The Sicques salute each other by the expression Wah Gooroo, without any inclination of the body, or motion of the hand. The Government at large, and their armies, are denominated Khalsa, and Khalsajee.”—Forster’s Journey, edition 1808, i. 307.


“And all the Punjab knows me, for my father’s name was known In the days of the conquering Khalsa, when I was a boy half-grown.”

Attar Singh loquitur, by Sowar, in an Indian paper; name and date lost.

KHAN, s. a. Turki through Pers. Khan. Origina lly this was a title, equivalent to Lo rd or Prince, used among the Mongol and Turk nomad hordes. Besides this sense, and an application to various other chiefs and nobles, it has still become in Persia, and still more in Afghanistan, a sort of vague title like “Esq.,” whilst in India it has become a common affix to, or in fact part of, the name of Hindustanis out of every rank, properly, however of those claiming a Pathan descent. The tendency of swelling titles is always thus to degenerate, and when the value of Khan had sunk, a new form, Khan-Khanan (K han of Khans) was devised at the Court of Delhi, and applied to one of the high officers of State.

[c. 1610.—The “Assant Caounas” of Pyrard de Laval, which Mr. Gray fails to identify, is probably Hasan-Khan, Hak. Soc. i. 69.

[1616.—“All the Captayens, as Channa Chana (Khan-Khanan), Mahobet Chan, Chan John (Khan Jahan).”—Sir T. Roe, Hak. Soc. i. 192.

[1675.—“Cawn.” See under GINGI.]

b. Pers. khan. A public building for the accommodation of travellers, a caravanserai. [The word appears in English as early as about 1400; see Stanf. Dict. s.v.]

1653.—“Han est vn Serrail ou enclos que les Arabes appellent fondoux où se retirent les Carauanes, ou les Marchands Estrangers, … ce mot de Han est Turq, et est le mesme que Kiarauansarai ou Karbasara (see CARAVANSERAY) dont parle Belon. …”—De la Boullaye- le-Gouz, edition 1657, page 540.

1827.—“He lost all hope, being informed by his late fellow-traveller, whom he found at the Khan, that the Nuwaub was absent on a secret expedition.”—W. Scott, The Surgeon’s Daughter, ch. xiii.

KHANNA, CONNAH, &c. s. This term (Pers. khana, ‘a house, a compartment, apartment, department, receptacle,’ &c.) is used almost ad libitum in India in composition, sometimes with most incongruous words, as bobachee (for bawarchi) connah, ‘cook-house,’ buggy-connah, ‘buggy, or coach-house,’ bottle-khanna, tosha-khana (q.v.), &c. &c.

1784.—“The house, cook-room, bottle-connah, godown, &c., are all pucka built.”—In Seton-Karr, i. 41.


KHANUM, s. Turki, through Pers. khanum and khanim, a lady of rank; the feminine of the title Khan, a (q.v.)

1404.—“… la mayor delles avia nobre Cañon, que quiere dezir Reyna, o Señora grande.”—Clavijo, f. 52v.

„ “The great wall and tents were for the use of the chief wife of the Lord, who was called Caño, and the other was for the second wife, called Quinchi Caño, which means ‘the little lady.’ ”—Markham’s Clavijo, 145.

1505.—“The greatest of the Begs of the Sagharichi was then Shîr Haji Beg, whose daughter, Ais-doulet Begum, Yunis Khan married. … The Khan had three daughters by Ais-doulet Begum. … The second daughter, Kullûk Nigar Khânum, was my mother. … Five months after the taking of Kabul she departed to God’s mercy, in the year 911” (1505).—Baber, page 12.

1619.—“The King’s ladies, when they are not married to him … and not near relations of his house, but only concubines or girls of the Palace, are not called begum, which is a title of queens and princesses, but only canum, a title given in Persia to all noble ladies.”—P. della Valle, ii. 13.

KHASS, KAUSS, &c., adj. Hind. from Ar. khass, ‘special, particular, Royal.’ It has many particular applications, one of the most common being to estates retained in the hands of Goyernment, which are said to be held khass. The khass-mahal again, in a native house, is the women’s apartment. Many years ago a white-bearded khansaman (see CONSUMAH), in the service of one of the present writers,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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