SPIN, s. An unmarried lady; popular abbreviation of ‘Spinster.’ [The Port. equivalent soltera (soltiera) was used in a derogatory sense (Gray, note on Pyrard de Laval, Hak. Soc. ii. 128).]

SPONGE-CAKE, s. This well-known form of cake is called throughout Italy pane di Spagna, a fact that suggested to us the possibility that the English name is really a corruption of Spanish-cake. The name in Japan tends to confirm this, and must be our excuse for introducing the term here.

1880.—“There is a cake called kasateira resembling sponge-cake. … It is said to have been introduced by the Spaniards, and that its name is a corruption of Castilla.”—Miss Bird’s Japan, i. 235.

SPOTTED-DEER, s. Axis maculatus of Gray; [Cervus axis of Blanford (Mammalia, 546)]; Hind. chital, Skt. chitra, ‘spotted.’ 1673.—“The same Night we travelled easily to Megatana, using our Fowling- Pieces all the way, being here presented with Rich Game, as Peacocks, Doves, and Pigeons, Chitrels, or Spotted Deer.”—Fryer, 71.

[1677.—“Spotted Deare we shall send home, some by ye Europe ships, if they touch here.”—Forrest Bombay Letters, i. 140.]

1679.—“There being conveniency in this place for ye breeding up of Spotted Deer, which the Hon’ble Company doe every yeare order to be sent home for His Majesty, it is ordered that care be taken to breed them up in this Factory (Madapollam), to be sent home accordingly.”—Ft. St. George Council (on Tour), 16th April, in Notes and Exts., Madras, 1871.

1682.—“This is a fine pleasant situation, full of great shady trees, most of them Tamarins, well stored with peacocks and Spotted Deer like our fallow-deer.”—Hedges, Diary, Oct. 16; [Hak. Soc. i. 39].

SQUEEZE, s. This is used in Anglo-Chinese talk for an illegal exaction. It is, we suppose, the translation of a Chinese expression. It corresponds to the malatolta of the Middle Ages, and to many other slang phrases in many tongues.

1882.—“If the licence (of the Hong merchants) … was costly, it secured to them uninterrupted and extraordinary pecuniary advantages; but on the other hand it subjected them to ‘calls’ or ‘squeezes’ for contributions to public works, … for the relief of districts suffering from scarcity … as well as for the often imaginary … damage caused by the overflowing of the ‘Yangtse Keang’ or the ‘Yellow River.’ ”—The Fankwae at Canton, p. 36.

STATION, s. A word of constant recurrence in Anglo-Indian colloquial. It is the usual designation of the place where the English officials of a district, or the officers of a garrison (not in a fortress) reside. Also the aggregate society of such a place. [1832.—“The nobles and gentlemen are frequently invited to witness a ‘Station ball.’ …”—Mrs. Meer Hassan Ali, Observations, i. 196.]


“And if I told how much I ate at one Mofussil station,
I’m sure ’twould cause at home a most extraordinary sensation.”

Trevelyan, The Dawk Bungalow, in Fraser, lxxiii. p. 391.

„ “Who asked the Station to dinner, and allowed only one glass of Simkin to each guest.”—Ibid. 231.

STEVEDORE, s. One employed to stow the cargo of a ship and to unload it. The verb estivar [Lat. stipare] is used both in Sp. and Port. in the sense of stowing cargo, implying originally to pack close, as to press wool. Estivador in the sense of a wool-packer only is given in the Sp. Dictionaries, but no doubt has been used in every sense of estivar. See Skeat, s.v.

STICK-INSECT, s. The name commonly applied to certain orthopterous insects, of the family Phasmidae, which have the strongest possible resemblance to dry twigs or pieces of stick, sometimes 6 or 7 inches in length.

1754.—“The other remarkable animal which I met with at Cuddalore was the animated Stalk, of which there are different kinds. Some appear like dried straws tied together, others like grass. …”—Ives, 20.


  By PanEris using Melati.

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