VERDURE, s. This word appears to have been used in the 18th century for vegetables, adapted from the Port. verduras.

1752.—Among minor items of revenue from duties in Calcutta we find:

RS. A. P. “Verdure, fish pots, firewood 216 10 6.” —In Long, 35.

[VERGE, s. A term used in S. India for rice lands. It is the Port. Vársea, Varzia, Vargem, which Vieyra defines as ‘a plain field, or a piece of level ground, that is sowed and cultivated.’

[1749.—“…as well as vargems lands as hortas” (see OART).—Treaty, in Logan, Malabar, iii. 48.

[1772.—“The estates and verges not yet assessed must be taxed at 10 per cent.”— Govt. Order, ibid. i. 421.]

VETTYVER, s. This is the name generally used by the French for the fragrant grass which we call cuscus (q.v.). The word is Tamil vettiver, [from vettu, ‘digging,’ ver, ‘root’].

1800.—“Europeans cool their apartments by means of wetted tats (see TATTY) made of straw or grass, and sometimes of the roots of the wattie waeroo, which, when wetted, exhales a pleasant but faint smell.” —Heyne’s Tracts, p. 11.

VIDANA, s. In Ceylon, the title of a village head man. “The person who conveys the orders of Government to the people” (Clough, s.v. vidán). It is apparently from the Skt. vadana, “… the act of speaking … the mouth, face, countenance … the front, point,” &c. In Javanese wadana (or wadono, in Jav pronunciation) is “the face, front, van; a chief of high rank: a Javanese title” (Crawfurd, s.v.). The Javanese title is, we imagine, now only traditional; the Ceylonese one has followed the usual downward track of high titles; we can hardly doubt the common Sanskrit origin of both (see Athenaeum, April 1, 1882, p. 413, and May 13, ibid. p. 602). The derivation given by Alwis is probably not inconsistent with this. 1681.—“The Dissauvas (see DISSAVE) by these Courli vidani their officers do oppress and squeez the people, by laying Mulcts upon them. … In Fine this officer is the Dissauva’s chief Substitute, who orders and manages all affairs incumbent upon his master.”—Knox, 51.

1726.—“Vidanes, the overseers of villages, who are charged to see that no inhabitant suffers any injury, and that the Land is sown betimes. …”—Valentijn (Ceylon), Names of Officers, &c., 11.

1756.—“Under each (chief) were placed different subordinate headmen, called Vidána-Aratchies and Vidáns. The last is derived from the word (vidana), ‘commanding,’ or ‘ordering,’ and means, as Clough (p. 647) defines it, the person who conveys the orders of the Government to the People.” —J. de Alwis, in Ceylon Journal, 8, p. 237.

VIHARA, WIHARE, &c., s. In Ceylon a Buddhist temple. Skt. vihara, a Buddhist convent, originally the hall where the monks met, and thence extended to the buildings generally of such an institution, and to the shrine which was attached to them, much as minster has come from monasterium. Though there are now no Buddhist viharas in India Proper, the former wide diffusion of such establishments has left its trace in the names of many noted places: e.g. Bihar, and the great province which takes its name; Kuch Behar; the Vihar water-works at Bombay; and most probably the City of Bokhara itself. [Numerous ruins of such buildings have been unearthed in N. India. as, for instance, that at Sarnath near Benares, of which an account is given by Gen. Cunningham Arch. Rep. i. 121). An early use of the word (probably in the sense of a monastery) is found in the Mathura Jain inscription of the 2nd century, A.D. in the reign of Huvishka (ibid. iii. 33).]

1681.—“The first and highest order of priests are the Tirinanxes1, who are the priests of the Buddou God. Their temples are styled Vehars. … These … only live in the Vihar, and enjoy great Revenues.”— Knox, Ceylon, 74.

[1821.—“The Malwatte and Asgirie wihares … are the two heads of the Boodhaical establishment in Ceylon.”— Davy, An Account of the Interior of Ceylon, 369.]

1877.—“Twice a month, when the rules of the order are read, a monk who had broken them is to confess his crime; if it be slight, some slight penance is laid upon him, to sweep the court-yard of the wihara, sprinkle the dust round the sacred bo-tree.”—Rhys Davids, Buddhism, 169.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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