LAT, s. Hind. lat, used as a corruption of the English lot, in reference to an auction (Carnegie). LAT, LATH, s. This word, meaning a staff or pole, is used for an obelisk or columnar monument; and is specifically used for the ancient Buddhist columns of Eastern India.

[1861–62.—“The pillar (at Besarh) is known by the people as Bhim-Sen-ka-lat and Bhim-Sen-ka-danda.”—Cunningham, Arch. Rep. i. 61.]

LATERITE, s. A term, first used by Dr. Francis Buchanan, to indicate a reddish brick-like argillaceous formation much impregnated with iron peroxide, and hardening on exposure to the atmosphere, which is found in places all over South India from one coast to the other, and the origin of which geologists find very obscure. It is found in two distinct types: viz. (1) High-level Laterite, capping especially the trap-rocks of the Deccan, with a bed from 30 or 40 to 200 feet in thickness, which perhaps at one time extended over the greater part of Peninsular India. This is found as far north as the Rajmahal and Monghyr hills. (2). Low-level Laterite, forming comparatively thin and sloping beds on the plains of the coast. The origin of both is regarded as being, in the most probable view, modified volcanic matter; the low- level laterite having undergone a further rearrangement and deposition; but the matter is too complex for brief statement (see Newbold, in J.R.A.S., vol. viii.; and the Manual of the Geol. of India, pp. xlv. seqq., 348 seqq.). Mr. King and others have found flint weapons in the low-level formation. Laterite is the usual material for road-metal in S. India, as kunkur (q.v.) is in the north. In Ceylon it is called cabook (q.v.). 1800.—“It is diffused in immense masses, without any appearance of stratification, and is placed over the granite that forms the basis of Malayala.… It very soon becomes as hard as brick, and resists the air and water much better than any brick I have seen in India.… As it is usually cut into the form of bricks for building, in several of the native dialects it is called the brick-stone (Iticacullee) [Malayal. vettukal]. … The most proper English name would be Laterite, from Lateritis, the appellation that may be given it in science.”—Buchanan, Mysore, &c., ii. 440–441.

1860.—“Natives resident in these localities (Galle and Colombo) are easily recognisable elsewhere by the general hue of their dress. This is occasioned by the prevalence along the western coast of laterite, or, as the Singhalese call it, cabook, a product of disintegrated gneiss, which being subjected to detrition communicates its hue to the soil.”—Tennent’s Ceylon, i. 17.

LATTEE, s. A stick; a bludgeon, often made of the male bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus), and sometimes bound at short intervals with iron rings, forming a formidable weapon. The word is Hind. lathi and lathi, Mahr. laththa. This is from Prakrit latthi, for Skt. yashti, ‘a stick,’ according to the Prakrit grammar of Vavaruchi (ed. Cowell, ii. 32); see also Lassen, Institutiones, Ling. Prakrit, 195. Ji ski lathi, us ki bhains, is a Hind. proverb (cujus baculum ejus bubalus), equivalent to the “good old rule, the simple plan.”

1830.—“The natives use a very dangerous weapon, which they have been forbidden by Government to carry. I took one as a curiosity, which had been seized on a man in a fight in a village. It is a very heavy lathi, a solid male bamboo, 5 feet 5 inches long, headed with iron in a most formidable manner. There are 6 jagged semicircular irons at the top, each 2 inches in length, 1 in height, and it is shod with iron bands 16 inches deep from the top.”—Wanderings of a Pilgrim, i. 133.

1878.—“After driving some 6 miles, we came upon about 100 men seated in rows on the roadside, all with latties.”—Life in the Mofussil, i. 114.

LATTEEAL, s. Hind. lathiyal, or, more, cumbrously, lathiwala, ‘a club-man,’ a hired ruffian. Such gentry were not many years ago entertained in scores by planters in some parts of Bengal, to maintain by force their claims to lands for sowing indigo on.

1878.—“Doubtless there were hired lattials … on both sides.”—Life in the Mofussil, ii. 6.

LAW-OFFICER. This was the official designation of a Mahommedan officer learned in the (Mahommedan) law, who was for many years of our Indian administration an essential functionary of the judges’ Courts in the districts, as well as of the Sudder or Courts of Review at the Presidency.

It is to be remembered

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.