SHEERMAUL, s. Pers.—Hind. shirmal, a cake made with flour, milk and leaven; a sort of brioche. [The word comes from Pers. shir, ‘milk,’ mal, ‘crushing.’ Riddell (Domest. Econ. 461) gives a receipt for what he calls “Nauna Sheer Mhal,” nan being Pers., ‘bread.’]

[1832.—“The dishes of meetah (mitha, ‘sweet’) are accompanied with the many varieties of bread common to Hindoostaun, without leaven, as Sheah-maul, bacherkaunie (bakir-khani), chapaatie (chupatty), &c.; the first two have milk and ghee mixed with the flour, and nearly resemble our pie-crust.”—Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, Observations, i. 101.

[SHEIKH, s. Ar. shaikh; an old man, elder, chief, head of an Arab tribe. The word should properly mean one of the descendants of tribes of genuine Arab descent, but at the present day, in India, it is often applied to converts to Islam from the lower Hindu tribes. For the use of the word in the sense of a saint, see under PEER. [1598.—“Lieftenant (which the Arabians called zequen).”—Linschoten, Hak. Soc. i. 24.

[1625.—“They will not haue them iudged by any Custome, and they are content that their Xeque doe determine them as he list.”—Purchas, Pilgrimage, ii. 1146.

1727.—“… but if it was so, that he (Abraham) was their Sheek, as they alledge, they neither follow him in Morals or Religion.”—A. Hamilton, ed. 1744, i. 37.

[1835.—“Some parents employ a sheykh or fikee to teach their boys at home.”—Lane, Mod. Egypt., ed. 1871, i. 77.]

SHERBET, s. Though this word is used in India by natives in its native (Arab. and Pers.) form sharbat,1 ‘draught,’ it is not a word now specially in Anglo-Indian use. The Arabic seems to have entered Europe by several different doors. Thus in Italian and French we have sorbetto and sorbet, which probably came direct from the Levantine or Turkish form shurbat or shorbat; in Sp. and Port. we have xarabe, axarabe (ash-sharab, the standard Ar. sharab, ‘wine or any beverage’), and xarope, and from these forms probably Ital. sciroppo, siroppo, with old French ysserop and mod. French sirop; also English syrup, and more directly from the Spanish, shrub. Mod. Span. again gets, by reflection from French or Italian, sorbete and sîrop (see Dozy, 17, and Marcel Devic, s.v. sirop). Our sherbet looks as if it had been imported direct from the Levant. The form shrab is applied in India to all wines and spirits and prepared drinks, e.g. Port-shraub, Sherry-shraub, Lall-shraub, Brandy-shraub, Beer-shraub.

c. 1334.—“… They bring cups of gold, silver, and glass, filled with sugar-candy-water; i.e. syrup diluted with water. They call this beverage sherbet” (ash-shurbat).—Ibn Batuta, iii. 124.

1554.—“… potio est gratissima praesertim ubi multa nive, quae Constantinopoli nullo tempore deficit, fuerit refirgerata, Arab Sorbet vocant, hoc est, potionem Arabicam.”—Busbeq. Ep. i. p. 92.

1578.—“The physicians of the same country use this xarave (of tamarinds) in bilious and ardent fevers.”—Acosta, 67.

c. 1580.—“Et saccharo potum jucundissimum parant quem Sarbet vocant.”—Prosper Alpinus, Pt. i. p. 70.

1611.—“In Persia there is much good wine of grapes which is called Xaràb in the language of the country.”—Teixeira, i. 16.

c. 1630.—“Their liquor may perhaps better delight you; ’tis faire water, sugar, rose-water, and juyce of Lemons mixt, call’d Sherbets or Zerbets, wholsome and potable.”—Sir T. Herbert, ed. 1638, p. 241.

1682.—“The Moores … dranke a little milk and water, but not a drop of wine; they also dranke a little sorbet, and jacolatt (see JOCOLE).”—Evelyn’s Diary, Jan 24.

1827.—“On one occasion, before Barakel-Hadgi left Madras, he visited the Doctor, and partook of his sherbet, which he preferred to his own, perhaps because a few glasses of rum or brandy were usually added to enrich the compound.”—Sir W. Scott, The Surgeon’s Daughter, ch. x.

1837.—“The Egyptians have various kinds of sherbets. … The most common kind (called simply shurbát or shurbát sook’har …) is merely sugar and water … lemonade (ley’moónáteh, or sharáb el- leymoón) is another.”—Lane, Mod. Egypt., ed. 1837, i. 206.

1863.—“The Estate overseer usually gave a dance to the people, when the most dissolute of both sexes were sure to be present, and to indulge too freely in the shrub made for the occasion.”—Waddell, 29 Years in the W. Indies, 17.

SHEREEF, s. Ar. sharif, ‘noble.’ A dignitary descended from Mahommed.

1498.—“The ambassador was a white man who was Xarife, as much as to say a creligo” (i.e. clerigo).—Roteiro, 2nd ed. 30.

[1672.—“Schierifi.” See under CASIS.

[c. 1666.—“The first (embassage) was from

  By PanEris using Melati.

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