TEA-CADDY, s. This name, in common English use for a box to contain tea for the daily expenditure of the household, is probably corrupted, as Crawfurd suggests, from catty, a weight of 1 1/3 lb. (q.v.). A ‘catty-box,’ meaning a box holding a catty, might easily serve this purpose and lead to the name. This view is corroborated by a quotation which we have given under caddy (q.v.) A friend adds the remark that in his youth ‘Tea-caddy’ was a Londoner’s name for Harley Street, due to the number of E.I. Directors and proprietors supposed to inhabit that district.

TEAPOY, s. A small tripod table. This word is often in England imagined to have some connection with tea, and hence, in London shops for japanned ware and the like, a teapoy means a tea-chest fixed on legs. But this is quite erroneous. Tipai is a Hin dustani, or perhaps rather an Anglo-Hindustani word for a tripod, from Hind. tin, 3, and Pers. pae, ‘foot.’ The legitimate word from the Persian is sipai (properly sihpaya), and the legitimate Hindi word tirpad or tripad, but tipai or tepoy was probably originated by some European in analogy with the familiar charpoy (q.v.) or ‘four-legs,’ possibly from inaccuracy, possibly from the desire to avoid confusion with another very familiar word sepoy, seapoy. [Platts, however, gives tipai as a regular Hind. word, Skt. tri-pad-ika.] The word is applied in India not only to a three-legged table (or any very small table, whatever number of legs it has), but to any tripod, as to the tripod-stands of surveying instruments, or to trestles in carpentry. Sihpaya occurs in ’Ali of Yezd’s history of Timur, as applied to the trestles used by Timur in bridging over the Indus (Elliot, iii. 482). A teapoy is called in Chinese by a name having reference to tea: viz. Ch’a-chi’rh. It has 4 legs.

[c. 1809.—“(Dinajpoor) Sepaya, a wooden stand for a lamp or candle with three feet.”—Buchanan, Eastern India, ii. 945.]

1844.—“ ‘Well, to be sure, it does seem odd—very odd;’—and the old gentleman chuckled,—‘most odd to find a person who don’t know what a tepoy is.…Well, then, a tepoy or tinpoy is a thing with three feet, used in India to denote a little table, such as that just at your right.’

“ ‘Why, that table has four legs,’ cried Peregrine.

“ ‘It’s a tepoy all the same,’ said Mr. Havethelacks.”—Peregrine Pulteney, i. 112.

TEAK, s. The tree, and timber of the tree, known to botanists as Tectona grandis, L., N.O. Verbenaceae. The word is Malayal. tekka, Tam. tekku. No doubt this name was adopted owing to the fact that Europeans first became acquainted with the wood in Malabar, which is still one of the two great sources of supply; Pegu being the other. The Skt. name of the tree is saka, whence the modern Hind. name sagwan or sagun and the Mahr. sag. From this last probably was taken saj, the name of teak in Arabic and Persian. And we have doubtless the same word in the [Greek Text] sagalina of the Periplus, one of the exports from Western India, a form which may be illustrated by the Mahr. adj. sagali, ‘made of the teak, belonging to teak.’ The last fact shows, in some degree, how old the export of teak is from India. Teak beams, still undecayed, exist in the walls of the great palace of the Sassanid Kings at Seleucia or Ctesiphon, dating from the middle of the 6th century. [See Birdwood, First Letter Book, Intro. XXIX.] Teak has continued to recent times to be imported into Egypt. See Forskal, quoted by Royle (Hindu Medicine, 128). The gopher-wood of Genesis is translated saj in the Arabic version of the Pentateuch (Royle). [It was probably cedar (see Encycl. Bibl. s.v.)]

Teak seems to have been hardly known in Gangetic India in former days. We can find no mention of it in Baber (which however is indexless), and the only mention we can find in the Ain, is in a list of the weights of a cubic yard of 72 kinds of wood, where the name “Ságaun” has not been recognised as teak by the learned translator (see Blochmann’s E.T. i. p. 228).

c. A.D. 80.—“In the innermost part of this Gulf (the Persian) is the Port of Apologos, lying near Pasine Charax and the river Euphrates.

“Sailing past the mouth of the Gulf, after a course of 6 days you reach another port of Persia called Omana. Thither they are wont to despatch from Barygaza, to both these ports of Persia, great vessels with brass, and timbers and beams of teak ( [Greek Text] zulwu sagalinwn kai dokwn), and horns and spars of shisham (see SISSOO) ( [Greek Text] sasaminwn), and of ebony.…”—Peripl. Maris Erythr. § 35–36.

c. 800.—(under Harun al Rashid) “Fazl continued his story ‘…I heard loud wailing from the house of Abdallah…they told me he had been struck with the judam, that his body was swollen and all black.…I went to Rashid to tell him, but I had not finished when they came to say Abdallah was dead. Going out at once I ordered them to hasten the obsequies.…I myself said the funeral prayer. As they let down the bier a slip took place, and the bier and earth fell in together; an intolerable stench

  By PanEris using Melati.

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