TUXALL to TYRE
TUXALL, TAKSAUL, s. The Mint. Hind. taksal, from Skt. tankasala, coin-hall.
[1757.Our provisions were regularly sent us from the Dutch Tanksal.
Holwells Narr. of Attack on
Calcutta, p. 34; in Wheeler, Early Records, 248.
[1811.The Ticksali, or superintendent of the mint.
TYPHOON, s.A tornado or cyclone-wind; a sudden storm, a norwester (q.v.). Sir John Barrow (see
Autobiog. 57) ridicules learned antiquarians for fancying that the Chinese took typhoon from the Egyptian
Typhon, the word being, according to him, simply the Chinese syllables, ta-fung, Great Wind. His ridicule
is misplaced. With a monosyllabic language like the Chinese (as we have remarked elsewhere) you
may construct a plausible etymology, to meet the requirements of the sound alone, from anything and
for anything. And as there is no evidence that the word is in Chinese use at all, it would perhaps be
as fair a suggestion to derive it from the English tough un. Mr. Giles, who seems to think that the
balance of evidence is in favour of this (Barrows) etymology, admits a serious objection to be that the
Chinese have special names for the typhoon, and rarely, if ever, speak of it vaguely as a great wind.
The fact is that very few words of the class used by seafaring and trading people, even when they refer
to Chinese objects, are directly taken from the Chinese language. E.g. Mandarin, pagoda, chop, cooly,
tutenague; none of these are Chinese. And the probability is that Vasco and his followers got the
tufão, which our sailors made into touffon and then into typhoon, as they got the monçuo which
our sailors made into monsoon, direct from the Arab pilots.
The Arabic word is tufan, which is used
habitually in India for a sudden and violent storm. Lane defines it as meaning an overpowering rain,
Noahs flood, etc. And there can be little doubt of its identity with the Greek [Greek Text] tufwn or
[Greek Text] tufwn [But Burton (Ar. Nights, iii. 257) alleges that it is pure Arabic, and comes from the
root tauf, going round.] This word [Greek Text] tufwn (the etymologists say, from [Greek Text] tufw,
I raise smoke) was applied to a demon-giant or Titan, and either directly from the etym. meaning or
from the name of the Titan (as in India a whirlwind is called a Devil or Pisachee) to a waterspout,
and thence to analogous stormy phenomena. Waterspout seems evidently the meaning of [Greek Text]
tufwn in the Meteorologica of Aristotle ( [Greek Text] gignetai men oun tufwn
[Greek Text] k. t. l.)
iii. 1; the passage is exceedingly difficult to render clearly); and also in the quotation which we give from
Aulus Gellius. The word may have come to the Arabs either in maritime intercourse, or through the
translations of Aristotle. It occurs (al-tufan) several times in the Koran; thus in sura, vii. 134, for a flood
or storm, one of the plagues of Egypt, and in s. xxix. 14 for the Deluge.
Dr. F. Hirth, again (Journ. R.
Geog. Soc. i. 260), advocates the quasi-Chinese origin of the word. Dr. Hirth has found the word Tai
(and also with the addition of fung, wind) to be really applied to a certain class of cyclonic winds, in
a Chinese work on Formosa, which is a re-issue of a book originally published in 1694. Dr. Hirth thinks
tai as here used (which is not the Chinese word ta or tai, great, and is expressed by a different character)
to be a local Formosan term; and is of opinion that the combination tai-fung is a sound so near that
of typhoon as almost to exclude all other conjectures, if we consider that the writers using the term in
European languages were travellers distinctly applying it to storms encountered in that part of the China
Sea. Dr. Hirth also refers to F. Mendes Pinto and the passages (quoted below) in which he says tufão
is the Chinese name for such storms. Dr. Hirths paper is certainly worthy of much more attention than
the scornful assertion of Sir John Barrow, but it does not induce us to change our view as to the origin
Observe that the Port. tufão distinctly represents tufan and not tai-fung, and the oldest
English form tuffon does the same, whilst it is not by any means unquestionable that these Portuguese
and English forms were first applied in the China Sea, and not in the Indian Ocean. Observe also Lord
Bacons use of the word typhones in his Latin below; also that tufan is an Arabic word, at least as old
as the Koran, and closely allied in sound and meaning to [Greek Text] tufwn whilst it is habitually used
for a storm in Hindustani. This is shown by the quotations below (18101836); and Platts defines tufan
as a violent storm of wind and rain, a tempest, a typhoon; a flood, deluge, inundation, the universal
deluge etc.; also tufani, stormy, tempestuous
boisterous, quarrelsome, violent, noisy, riotous.
importance is to be attached to Pintos linguistic remarks such as that quoted, or even to the like dropt
by Couto. We apprehend that Pinto made exactly the same mistake that Sir John Barrow did; and we
need not wonder at it, when so many of our countrymen in India have supposed hackery to be a Hindustani
word, and when we find even the learned H. H. Wilson assuming tope (in the sense of grove) to be in