MOORA, s. Sea Hind. mura, from Port. amura, Ital. mura; a tack (Roebuck).

MOORAH, s. A measure used in the sale of paddy at Bombay and in Guzerat. The true form of this word is doubtful. From Molesworth’s Mahr. Dict. it would seem that muda and mudi are properly cases of rice-straw bound together to contain certain quantities of grain, the former larger and the latter smaller. Hence it would be a vague and varying measure. But there is a land measure of the same name. See Wilson, s.v. Múdi. [The Madras Gloss. gives mooda, Mal. muta, from mutu, ‘to cover,’ “a fastening package; especially the packages in a circular form, like a Dutch cheese, fastened with wisps of straw, in which rice is made up in Malabar and Canara.” The mooda is said to be 1 cubic foot and 1,116 cubic inches, and equal to 3 Kulsies (see CULSEY).]

1554.—“(At Baçaim) the Mura of batee (see BATTA) contains 3 candis (see CANDY), which (batee) is rice in the husk, and after it is stript it amounts to a candy and a half, and something more.”—A. Nunes, p. 30.

[1611.—“I send your worship by the bearer 10 moraes of rice.”—Danvers, Letters, i. 116.]

1813.—“Batty Measure.—
25 parahs ..... make1 moorah.1
4 candies ..... „1 moorah.”
Milburn, 2nd ed. p. 143.

MOORPUNKY, s. Corr. of Morpankhi, ‘peacock-tail ed,’ or ‘peacock-winged’; the name given to certain state pleasure-boats on the Gangetic rivers, now only (if at all) surviving at Murshidabad. They are a good deal like the Burmese ‘war-boats;’ see cut in Mission to Ava (Major Phayre’s), p. 4. [A similar boat was the Feelchehra (Hind. fil-chehra; ‘elephant-faced’). In a letter of 1784 Warren Hastings writes: “I intend to finish my voyage to-morrow in the feelchehra” (Busteed, Echoes, 3rd ed. 291).]

1767.—“Charges Dewanny, viz.:—

“A few moorpungkeys and beauleahs (see BOLIAH) for the service of Mahomed Reza Khan, and on the service at the city some are absolutely necessary … 25,000 : 0 : 0.”—Dacca Accounts, in Long, 524.

1780.—“Another boat … very curiously constructed, the Moor-punky: these are very long and narrow, sometimes extending to upwards of 100 feet in length, and not more than 8 feet in breadth; they are always paddled, sometimes by 40 men, and are steered by a large paddle from the stern, which rises in the shape of a peacock, a snake, or some other animal.”—Hodges, 40.

[1785.—“… moor-punkees, or peacock-boats, which are made as much as possible to resemble the peacock.”—Diary, in Forbes, Or. Mem. 2nd ed. ii. 450.]

MOORS, THE, s. The Hindustani language was in the 18th century commonly thus styled. The idiom is a curious old English one for the denomination of a language, of which ‘broad Scots’ is perhaps a type, and which we find exemplified in ‘Malabars’ (see MALABAR) for Tamil, whilst we have also met with Bengals for Bengali, with Indostans for Urdu, and with Turks for Turkish. The term Moors is probably now entirely obsolete, but down to 1830, at least, some old officers of the Royal army and some old Madras civilians would occasionally use the term as synonymous with what the former would also call ‘the black language.’ [Moors for Urdu was certainly in use among the old European pensioners at Chunar as late as 1892.]

The following is a transcript of the title-page of Hadley’s Grammar, the earliest English Grammar of Hindustani:2

“Grammatical Remarks | on the | Practical and Vulgar Dialect | Of the | Indostan Language | commonly called Moors | with a Vocabulary | English and Moors. The Spelling according to | The Persian Orthography | Wherein are | References between Words resembling each other in | Sound and different in Significations | with Literal Translations and Explanations of the Com- | pounded Words and Circumlocutory Expressions | For the more easy attaining the Idiom of the Language | The whole calculated for

The Common Practice in Bengal.

“— Si quid novisti rectius istis,
Candidus imperti; si non his utere mecum.”

By Capt. George Hadley.

Printed for T. Cadell in the Strand.

Captain Hadley’s orthography is on a detestable system. He writes chookerau, chookeree, for chhokra, chhokri (‘boy, girl’); dolchinney for dal-chini (‘cinnamon’), &c. His etymological ideas also are loose. Thus he gives ‘shrimps=chînghra mutchee, ‘fish with legs and claws,’ as if the word was from chang (Pers.), ‘a hook or claw.’ Bagdor, ‘a

  By PanEris using Melati.

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