WANGHEE, WHANGEE, s. The trade name for a slender yellow bamboo with beautifully regular and short joints, imported from Japan. We cannot give the origin of the term with any conviction. The two following suggestions may embrace or indicate the origin. (1). Rumphius mentions a kind of bamboo called by him Arundinarbor fera, the native name of which is Bulu Swangy (see in vol. iv. cap. vii. et seqq.). As buluh is Malay for bamboo, we presume that swangi is also Malay, but we do not know its meaning. (2). Our friend Professor Terrien de la Couperie notes: “In the K’ang-hi-tze-tien, 118, 119, the Huang-tchu is described as follows: ‘A species of bamboo, very hard, with the joints close together; the skin is as white as snow; the larger kind can be used for boats, and the smaller used for pipes, &c.’ See also Wells Williams, Syllabic Dict. of the Chinese Lang. p. 251.

[On this Professor Giles writes: “ ‘Whang’ clearly stands for ‘yellow,’ as in Whangpoo and like combinations. The difficulty is with ee, which should stand for some word of that sound in the Cantonese dialect. There is such a word in ‘clothes, skin, sheath’; and ‘yellow skin (or sheath)’ would form just such a combination as the Chinese would be likely to employ. The suggestion of Terrien de la Couperie is not to the purpose.” So Mr. C. M. Gardner writes: “The word hwang has many meanings in Chinese according to the tone in which it is said. Hwang-chi têng or hwangee- têng might be ‘yellow-corticled cane.’ The word chuh means ‘bamboo.’ and hwang-chuh might be ‘yellow or Imperial bamboo.’ Wan means a ‘myriad,’ ch’i ‘utensil’; wan-chi têng might mean a kind of cane ‘good for all kinds of uses.’ Wan-chuh is a particular kind of bamboo from which paper is made in W. Hapei.”

Mr. Skeat writes: “ ‘Buluh swangi’ is correct Malay. Favre in his Malay- Fr. Dict. has ‘suwangi, esprit, spectre, esprit mauvais.’ ‘Buluh swangi’ does not appear in Ridley’s list as the name of a bamboo, but he does not profess to give all the Malay plant names.”]

WATER-CHESTNUT. The trapa bispinosa of Roxb.; Hind. singhara, ‘the horned fruit.’ See SINGARA.


WEST-COAST, n.p. This expression in Dutch India means the west coast of Sumatra. This seems also to have been the recognised meaning of the term at Madras in former days. See SLAVE.

[1685.—“Order’d that the following goods be laden aboard the Syam Merchant for the West Coast of Sumatra. …”—Pringle, Diary Ft. St. Geo. 1st ser. IV. 136; also see 136, 138, 163, &c.]

1747.—“The Revd. Mr. Francis Fordyce being entered on the Establishment … and having several months’ allowance due to him for the West Coast, amounting to Pags. 371. 9. …”—Ft. St. David’s Consn., April 30, MS. in India Office. The letter appended shows that the chaplain had been attached to Bencoolen. see also Wheeler, i. 148.

WHAMPOA, n.p. In former days the anchorage of European ships in the river of Canton, some distance below that city. [The name is pronounced Wongpo (Ball, Things Chinese, 3rd ed. 631).]

1770.—“Now all European ships are obliged to anchor at Houang-poa, three leagues from the city” (Canton).—Raynal, tr. 1777, ii. 258.

WHISTLING TEAL, s. This in Jerdon is given as Dendrocygna Awsuree of Sykes. Latin names given to birds and beasts might at least fulfil one object of Latin names, in being intelligible and pronounceable by foreign nations. We have seldom met with a more barbarous combination of impossible words than this. A numerous flock of these whistlers is sometimes seen in Bengal sitting in a tree, a curious habit for ducks.


WHITE JACKET, s. The old custom in the hot weather, in the family or at bachelor parties, was to wear this at dinner; and one or more dozens of white jackets were a regular item in an Indian outfit. They are now, we believe, altogether, and for many years obsolete. [They certainly came again into common use some 20 years ago.] But though one reads under every generation of British India that they had gone out of use, they did actually survive to the middle of the last century, for I can remember a white-jacket dinner in Fort William in 1849. [The late Mr. Bridgman of Gorakhpur, whose recollection of India dated

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