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abaya (Arabic) — a long-sleeved outer cloak. For more information, see the Wikipedia entry Abaya.

Aesculapius, Asclepius — legendary Greek physician; son of Apollo and Coronis. His first teacher was the wise centaur Chiron. When he became so skillful in healing that he could revive the dead, Zeus killed him. Apollo persuaded Zeus to make Asclepius the god of medicine. The worship of Asclepius is believed to have originated in Thessaly. Temples were built to him at Epidaurus, Cos, Pergamum, and later Rome, where his worship spread after a plague in 293 BCE. Treatments, including massage and baths, were given to the sick. The serpent and the cock were sacred to Asclepius. People who claimed descent from him and those who followed his teachings were known as Asclepiads. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition.

aedile (Latin) — an elected official of ancient Rome who was responsible for public works and games and who supervised markets, the grain supply, and the water supply. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the article "Aedile" in Wikipedia.

Afridi — a Pathan (Pashtun) tribe inhabiting the mountains on the Peshawar border of the North-West Frontier of India. The Afridis are one of the most powerful and independent border tribes... Excerpted from The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 edition.

Agag (Hebrew) — the Biblical king of the Amalekites whose people were put to the sword by Saul. Contrary to divine injunction, Saul spared the king's life. However Samuel, upon reaching Saul's camp, personally executed Agag. "Then said Samuel, bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately ... And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal." 1 Samuel 15:32-33.

Aholah and Aholibah (or: Oholah and Oholibah) — pejorative names given by the prophet Ezekiel to the kingdom of Israel and Judah, respectively. They appear in Ezekiel 23:4-5, Ezekiel 23:11 Ezekiel 23:22 Ezekiel 23:36 and Ezekiel 23:44. There is a pun in these names in the Hebrew. Oholah means "her tent", and Oholibah means "my tent is in her". Ezekiel's rhetoric portrays Oholah and Oholibah, or Samaria and Jerusalem, as the daughters of one mother. Both are said to be "brides of God", and both are guilty of idolatry and of religious and political alliances with Gentile nations. These kingdoms are described as prostitutes and adulteresses, given up to the abominations and idolatries of the Egyptians and Assyrians. Because of Oholah's crimes, she was carried away captive, and ceased to be a kingdom. (Comp. Psalms 78:67-69; 1 Kings 12:25-33; 2 Chronicles 11:13-16.) The Hebrew prophets frequently compared the sin of idolatry to the sin of adultery, in a frequently reappearing rhetorical figure ... Wikipedia.

ahsti (Hindi) — slow, slowly. Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi and English.

The Akashic Records (Akasha is a Sanskrit word meaning "sky", "space" or "ether") are said to be a collection of mystical knowledge that is stored in the ether; i.e. on a non-physical plane of existence. The concept is common in some New Age religious groups. The Akashic Records are said to have existed since the beginning of the planet. Just as we have various specialty libraries (e.g., medical, law), there are said to exist various Akashic Records (e.g., human, animal, plant, mineral, etc). Most writings refer to the Akashic Records in the area of human experience. Wikipedia.

Akbar — a Mogul emperor of India (1556-1605) who conquered most of northern India and exercised religious tolerance. For more information see the article Akbar in Wikipedia.

Andromeda — in Greek mythology, princess of Ethiopia, daughter of King Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, and Cassiopeia. According to most legends Cassiopeia angered Poseidon by saying that Andromeda (or possibly Cassiopeia herself) was more beautiful than the nereids. Poseidon sent a sea monster to prey upon the country; he could be appeased only by the sacrifice of the king’s daughter. Andromeda, in sacrifice, was chained to a rock by the sea; but she was rescued by Perseus, who killed the monster and later married her. Cassiopeia, Cepheus, and Andromeda were all set among the stars as constellations. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition.

ankus — an elephant goad with a sharp spike and hook, resembling a short-handled boat hook. For more information, see article Ankus in Wikipedia.

anna — a copper coin worth 1/16th of a rupee formerly used in India, Pakistan and parts of Africa. For more information see the Wikipedia article Rupee.

Annuit et totum nutu tremefecit Olympum "(Great Jove) nodded and all Olympus quaked at his consenting brow", Aeneid, Book 10, Line 115.

Antioch — a city of southern Turkey on the Orontes River near the Mediterranean Sea. Founded c. 300 BCE by Seleucus I, it was an important military and commercial center in the Roman era and an early center of Christianity. The American Heritage Dictionary. Now called Antakya.

Anzacs — soldiers from New Zealand and/or Australia. The American Heritage Dictionary.

Apollonius of Tyana — a Greek philosopher of the Neo-Pythagorean school, born a few years before the Christian era. He studied at Tarsus and in the temple of Asclepius at Aegae, where he devoted himself to the doctrines of Pythagoras and adopted the ascetic habit of life in its fullest sense ... The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 edition. For in-depth information about this fascinating individual see the article by Jona Lendering at the website Livius - Articles on Ancient History.

arhant, arhat (Sanskrit: enlightened one) — a Bhuddist who has realized certain high stages of attainment. The implications of the term vary based on the respective schools and traditions. See Arhat in Wikipedia.

Arjuna — In Hindu mythology, Arjuna is one of the heroes of the epic Mahabharata. His name means 'bright', 'shining', or 'silver'. He was the third of the five Pandava brothers, and the youngest of the three children borne by Kunti, the first wife of Pandu. Wikipedia.

askari (Swahili) — native soldier. See the Wikipedia article Askari for more information.

ataman (etymology uncertain) — headman; leader. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Ataman.

atcha, acha (Hindi) — good! all right!

Augustan (63 BCE-14 CE) — an allusion to the first Roman emperor, Augustus, a grandson of the sister of Julius Caesar. Named at first Caius Octavius, he became on adoption by the Julian gens (44 BCE) Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus (Octavian); Augustus was a title of honor granted (27 B.C.) by the senate... The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition.

ayah (Hindi from Portuguese) — a native maid or nursemaid in India. The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.


bibi-kana, beebee khana (Hindi) — women's quarters, zenana.

babu, baboo (Hindi) — gentleman; used as a Hindi courtesy title; equivalent to English "Mr"; also: a Hindu clerk who is literate in English; also, when used derogatively: a native of India who has acquired some superficial education in English. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more detail see the entry Baboo in The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

babuji (Hindi) — an honorific loosely equivalent to "Sir" in English. See Wikipedia entry Babu.

Bacchanale — a dramatic musical composition, often depicting a drunken revel or bacchanal. Wikipedia.

Bacchanalian — a drunken reveler; an adherent of the cult of the wine-god Bacchus, the Roman equivalent of the ancient Greek god Dionysos For information on the this god's cult, see the Wikipedia entry Dionysus.

badmash — (Hindi) a crook, a reprobate, a criminal, a hooligan. For other meanings, see the Budmash entry in The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

badragga — a tribal escort who provides safe passage for travelers through Pashtun territory. See www.khyber.org/cult ure/pashto onwalai.

bahadur (Hindi "hero," "champion") — a title of respect or honor given to European officers in East Indian state papers, and colloquially, and among the natives, to distinguished officials and other important personages. The Hobson Jobson Dictionary (paraphrased. See also the entry Bahadur in Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

ballista (Latin from Greek ballein "to throw") — a powerful ancient weapon, similar to a giant crossbow, which ejected heavy darts or spherical stone projectiles of various sizes. It is considered to be the most complex weapon made before the Industrial Revolution and the only pre-industrial weapon to be designed scientifically. Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

Baluchi — a native of the historical province of Baluchistan, most of which is now in Pakistan. For more detail see the Wikipedia article Baloch.

Bande Materam (Hindi) — Hail the Motherland!

bandeau (French) — a narrow band for the hair.

bandobast, bundobast (Hindi) — practical, detailed organization; settlement. See also the article Bundobast in The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

Bardo Thodol (sometimes called the Tibetan Book Of The Dead) — a funerary text that describes the experiences of the soul after death during the interval known as bardo between death and rebirth. It is recited by lamas over a dying or recently deceased person, or sometimes over an effigy of the deceased. It has been suggested that it is a sign of the influence of shamanism on Tibetan Buddhism. The name means literally "liberation through hearing in the intermediate state". Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

barraff(Hindi): ice

Begum — a title given to women of rank in South Asia. It used to be conferred upon women of royalty or aristocracy at special moments in life including the birth of a son. It derived from Arabic and Urdu signifying that they are void of care ... Wikipedia.

bhisti, bheesty (Hindi) — a water-carrier. See the article Bheesty in The Hobson Jobson Dictionary .

bimbashi, binbashi (Turkish) — a major in the Turkish army. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary.

bint (Arabic: "daughter") — a women, a girl. The American Heritage Dictionary.

Bismillah! (Arabic) — In the name of God! Webster's 1913 Dictionary .

Blavatsky Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (1831-1891) — Russian theosophist and occultist. She was the daughter of a German named Hahn who had settled in Russia and who was distantly connected with the Russian aristocracy. At the age of 16 she married an elderly man, Nicephore Blavatsky, whom she soon left. She traveled extensively in Asia, the United States, and Europe. An imposing and persuasive woman, she claimed to have spent seven years in Tibet, where she was supposedly initiated into mysteries of the occult. In 1873 she went to New York City, and in collaboration with prominent persons interested in spiritism she founded (1875) the Theosophical Society. The society soon experienced serious schisms, and in 1878 Madame Blavatsky, as she was known, left for India, where she established headquarters at Adyar near Madras. There she devoted herself, with some success, to theosophical organization and propaganda. She demonstrated many supernormal phenomena, which were accepted as miracles by her followers, but published claims of fraud in the 1880s and 1890s seriously damaged her reputation. Her major works were "Isis Unveiled" (1877) and "The Secret Doctrine" (1888), which became the textbooks of her disciples. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition. For more information, see the Blavatsky Study Center website.

bodhisattva — in Buddhism an enlightened being who, out of compassion, forgoes nirvana in order to save others. For more information see the Wikipedia article Bodhisattva.

Bön (Tibetan). The oldest extant spiritual tradition of Tibet (see Wikipedia.) Used to describe three distinct traditions:

1. The pre-Buddhist religious practices of Tibetans that are "imperfectly reconstructed [yet] essentially different from Buddhism" and were focused on the personage of a divine king;
2. A syncretic religion that arose in Tibet during the 10th and 11th centuries, with strong shamanistic and animistic traditions, that is often regarded by scholars as "an unorthodox form of Buddhism;"
3. a vast and amorphous body of popular beliefs, including fortune-telling.

Bona Dea (Latin: "Good Goddess") — In Roman mythology, Bona Dea was a goddess of fertility, healing, virginity and women. She was a daughter of Faunus and was sometimes called Fauna ... Her public festival took place on May 1. No men were allowed to participate. Wikipedia.

boxwallah (Anglo-Indian) — a native itinerant pedlar ... The boxwallah sells cutlery, cheap nick-nacks, and small wares of all kinds, chiefly European. In former days he was a welcome visitor to small stations and solitary bungalows. The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

Brahmin — a member of the highest of the Hindu varnas (castes) — that of priests and teachers. The word is related to, but not to be confused with, the Hindu religious conception of the transcendent and immanent supreme soul, "Brahman". For in-depth information, see the Wikipedia article Brahmin.

bromidian, bromidic — stale, trite, or commonplace through overuse; clichéd; platitudinous. The American Heritage Dictionary.

brumby (Australian English) — a wild horse, descended from escaped domestic horses imported for use during the settlement of Australia. See the Australian English Dictionary at www.artistwd.com/joyzine.

Buhl — an elaborate inlay of tortoiseshell, ivory, and metal, used especially in decorating furniture. Named after André Charles Boulle or Buhl (1642—1732), French woodcarver. The American Heritage Dictionary.

bulbul (Persian) — 1) Any of various passerine, chiefly tropical Old World songbirds of the family Pycnonotidae, having grayish or brownish plumage. 2) A songbird often mentioned in Persian poetry and thought to be a nightingale. The American Heritage Dictionary.

bullocky (Australian slang) — a bullock-team driver. Infoplease Dictionary

Bull of Bashan — an allusion to Psalm 22:12-13. "Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion."

bullydam — to reprimand severely; to bawl or chew out.

bunnia, bunya, baniya, baniah, banyan (Hindi from Sanskrit "vanij", a merchant) — a (grain) merchant; also: a money-lender; sometimes used to denote a Hindu is general. For details, see the article Banyan in The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

burrah (Hindi) — great, large or important. MSN Encarta - Dictionary.

burrah-sahib (Hindi) — great master. A term constantly occurring, whether in a family to distinguish the father or the elder brother, in a station to indicate the Collector, Commissioner, or whatever officer may be the recognised head of the society, or in a department to designate the head of that department, local or remote. The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

bushwa — rubbishy nonsense; baloney; bull. Random House Unabridged Dictionary.

busne (Romany) — a Gentile, a non-Gypsy; a savage. Zincali Dictionary.

butcha, batcha (Hindi) — infant; child. See Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi and English.

bwana (Swahili from Arabic 'abuna, our father) — master. Used as a form of respectful address in parts of Africa. The American Heritage Dictionary.


çabuk (Turkish) — Hurry up ... quick! Seslisozluk Turkish-English-German Dictionary.

caestus, cestus (Latin, from "caedere" - to strike, to punch) — a covering for the hand made of leather straps weighted with iron or lead and worn by boxers in ancient Rome. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more detail, see the article Caestus in Wikipedia.

Caius and Caia (Latin) — man and wife, an inseparable couple. An allusion to the phrase "Ubi tu Caius, ego Caia" (wherever thou art, Caius, there I, Caia, am also) spoken by the bride during the ancient Roman wedding ceremony. The phrase corresponds to the "I do" and "love, honor and obey" of our customary marriage formulas. As Caius and Caia were far and away the most frequent names among the Romans the phrase might be rendered: "Where you are Jack, I'm Jill." paraphrased from Andivius Hedulio: Adventures of a Roman Nobleman in the Days of the Empire by Edward Lucas White.

Cappadocia (Latin) — an ancient region of Asia Minor in present-day east-central Turkey. Heart of a Hittite state and later a Persian satrapy, it was annexed by the Romans in C.E. 17. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Cappadocia.

caravansary, caravanserai (Persian) — an inn built around a large court for accommodating caravans along trade routes in central and western Asia; a large inn or hostelry. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Caravanserai.

carceres (Latin, "prison") — Romans did not have prisons that relate to how we think of them in the modern world. Accused wealthy citizens were simply kept under house arrest, provided they behaved, until a trial could take place. The poor generally found justice swift and usually fatal... Actual prisons in Rome ... served as a holding place for those condemned to die. Occasionally the accused might be detained to await trial, but usually those awaiting trial were encouraged to go into voluntary exile. Those awaiting trial were called "carcer" or "publica vincula." Excerpted from the article on Roman Prisons at the website UNVR History — Roman Empire, q.v.

Carnuntum — an important Roman fortress. originally belonging to Noricum, but after the 1st century CE to Pannonia ... Its extensive ruins may still be seen near Hainburg ... in Lower Austria. Wikipedia.

By the Romans called Cassivellaunus. Author's footnote. Cassivellaunus was a historical British chieftain who led the defence against Julius Caesar's second expedition to Britain in 54 BC. He also appears in British legend as Cassibelanus, one of Geoffrey of Monmouth's kings of Britain, and in the Mabinogion and Welsh Triads as Caswallawn, son of Beli Mawr ... Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

Cato the Elder — Marcus Porcius Cato (234-149 BCE), also known as Cato the Censor ... Roman statesman and orator, the first important Latin prose writer. Born of plebeian stock, he fought in the Second Punic War. His oratorical skills paved the way for his political career. He held conservative anti-Hellenic views and opposed the pro-Hellenic Scipio family, whose power he broke. Elected censor (magistrate in charge of censuses, taxes, and the public good) in 184 BCE, he tried to restore the mos majorum ("ancestral custom") and combat Greek influence, which he believed undermined Roman morality. He crafted laws against luxury and the financial freedom of women and never ceased to demand the destruction of Carthage. His writings include works on history, medicine, law, military science, and agriculture... Encyclopedia Britannica.

Caveat emptor (Latin) — Let the buyer beware! The axiom or principle in commerce that the buyer alone is responsible for assessing the quality of a purchase before buying. The American Heritage Dictionary.

cave canem (Latin) — beware of the dog! Annotator.

Cave of Adullam — originally an underground cavern referred to in the Old Testament in which David, already anointed to succeed Saul as king, sought refuge from the latter (e.g. 1 Sam 22:1 ff), however it is used more generally to refer to groups of political outsiders plotting their comeback or the overthrow of the status quo, especially after recent defeat. Wikipedia.

centurion (Latin: "centurio") — a professional officer of the Roman army. In the Roman infantry, centurions commanded a centuria (century) of between 60 and 160 men, depending on force strength and whether or not the unit was part of the First Cohort. In the Roman legions' tactical organization, the centurions ranked above the optios and below the Tribuni Angusticlavii - the aristocratic senior officers of the Equestrian Class, subordinate to the legion commander, the Legatus Legionis. In comparison to a modern military organization, they would be roughly equivalent to an Infantry company commander, with the army rank of Captain, with senior centurions roughly equivalent to Majors. Wikipedia.

chandala (Hindi from Sanskrit) — outcasts, untouchables; members of a mixed caste, or people without caste. In India the term applied to one of the lowest and most despised status; sometimes described as being born from a father of the lowest caste (Sudra) and a mother of the highest caste (Brahmin). Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary.

Chandni Chowk (Silver Street) — one of the oldest and busiest markets in central north Delhi, India. The area is of historical importance to Delhi owing to its location between the Laal Quila (The Red Fort) and Fateh Puri Masjid... Wikipedia. For more information, see the Chandni Chowk website.

chapati (Hindi)— a flat, unleavened, disk-shaped bread of northern India, made of wheat flour, water, and salt. The American Heritage Dictonary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Chapati.

chela (Hindi) — a disciple, a servant. Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary.

Cheloh! (Hindi) — Giddy-up! Get moving!

Chenresi, Chenresig, Chenrezik (Hindi) — the Tibetan name of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the patron deity of Tibet; the god of mercy and universal compassion ... The Dalai Lama ... is considered to be an incarnation of Chenresi ... Chenresi is depicted as a herdsman with four arms or as a composite being with eleven heads, 1000 arms and one eye in the palm of his hand. Genius Loci glossary (Translated by Roy Glashan).

Cherchez la femme (French) — Look for the woman (when seeking the source of a problem). First used in this sense by Alexandre Dumas the Elder in his drama "Les Mohicains de Paris (1864). Blueprints.de.

cheti (Hindi) — a female servant or slave; a hand-maiden. Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

chiteh, chit, chitti (Hindi) — a note, a short letter. The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

Chitragupta (Hindi) — a Hindu god assigned with the task of keeping complete records of actions of human beings on the earth, and upon their death, deciding as regards sending them to the heaven or the hell. Wikipedia.

Chitrali — a native of Chitral, a district, and former princely state in the Malakand Division of the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan. Wikipedia.

chlamys (Greek) — an ancient Greek piece of clothing, namely a cloak. The chlamys was typically worn by Greek soldiers in the 5th to 3rd centuries BCE. The chlamys was made from a rectangle of woollen material about the size of a blanket, typically bordered. It was usually pinned at the right shoulder. It could be worn over another item of clothing, but was often worn as the sole item of clothing by young soldiers. Wikipedia, q.v.

chorten — synonym for stupa (Sanskrit), a vase-shaped stone monument of Buddhist origin. For details, see the Wikipedia entry Stupa.

chota-hazri (Hindi, "little breakfast") — a refreshment taken in the early morning, before or after the morning exercise. The term ... was originally peculiar to the Bengal Presidency. In Madras the meal was called "early tea." The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

chouse— to cheat, trick, defraud. Webster's 1913 Dictionary.

chukker, chukkar (Hindi) — one of the periods of play, lasting 7.5 minutes, in a polo match. The American Heritage Dictionary.

chum (Australian slang) — an Englishman. Australian English Dictionary at www.artistwd.com/joyzine.

chuprassy (Hindi)— a uniformed doorkeeper; also a messenger or servant wearing an official badge. Various sources. For more information, see the article Chuprassy in The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

Cleander (d. CE 190)— a Phrygian freedman who was named Praetorian Prefect (commander of the Praetorian Guard) in 185 CE. He used his office and influence to amass a huge fortune, among other things by selling high public and military appointments. Commodus ordered his execution in 190 CE to placate rioting mobs who believed that Cleander was responsible for a major grain shortage. Various sources, including Gibbon and the German-language Imperium Romanum website (see the section on Cleander in the article on the Emperor Commodus.

Clive — an allusion to Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive of Plassey (1725-1774), the statesman and general who established the empire of British India. Popularly known as "Clive of India." For more information, see the article Clive, Robert, Baron Clive of Plassey in The Columbia Encyclopedia.

Clodius Albinus (c. 150-197 CE) — a Roman usurper proclaimed Emperor by the legions in Britain and Spain upon the murder of Pertinax ... When Pertinax was assassinated, the Praetorian Prefect, Aemilius Laetus, and his men, who had arranged the murder, put the throne up for sale. It was purchased by the wealthy senator Didius Julianus, but a string of mutinies from the troops in the provinces meant the next emperor was far from decided. In the civil war that followed, Albinus was initially allied with Septimus Severus, who had captured Rome, and accepted the title of Caesar from him. Albinus remained effective ruler of much of the western part of the empire with support from three British legions and one Spanish. The two came into conflict after Severus defeated Pescennius Niger in the eastern part of the empire, however, and Severus sent assassins to kill him. Wikipedia. For more detail see Livius - Articles on Ancient History.

Cocytus (Greek Mythology) — one of the five rivers of Hades. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Cocytus.

cohort (Latin: "cohors) — a fairly large military unit, generally consisting of one type of soldier ... Originally, the cohort was a sub-unit of a Roman legion, consisting of 480 infantrymen. The cohort itself was divided into six centuries of 80 men commanded each by a centurion ... Wikipedia.

comes (Latin; plural: comites ) — comrade, companion, associate, fellow-soldier. For more information on this term and its use, see the article in Wikipedia.

Commius — king of the Belgic nation of the Atrebates, initially in Gaul, then in Britain, in the 1st century BCE. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Commius.

Commodus— Lucius Aelius Aurelius Commodus (161-192). Roman emperor (180-192), son and successor of Marcus Aurelius. In 180, reversing his father's foreign policy, he concluded peace with the German and the Sarmatian tribes and returned to his licentious pleasures in Rome. There he vaunted his strength in gladiatorial combats and decreed that he should be worshiped as Hercules Romanus. He changed his own name to Marcus Commodus Antoninus and wanted to rename the city of Rome after himself. Many plots to assassinate him failed, but eventually, on the order of his advisers, he was strangled by a wrestler. Pertinax succeed him. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition.

consul (Latin) title of the two chief magistrates of ancient Rome. The institution is supposed to have arisen with the expulsion of the kings, traditionally in 510 B.C., and it was well established by the early 4th cent. B.C. The consuls led the troops, controlled the treasury, and were supreme in the government. At first only patricians were eligible, but in 367 B.C. the Licinian law opened the office to plebeians. Before becoming consul a man generally had to have experience as quaestor, aedile, and praetor, and the minimum age for a consul was normally set at 40 or 45. Ex-consuls became provincial governors as proconsuls. The year was identified by the names of the two consuls in office during that time. Under the empire the title of consul was continued, but only as a title of honor, sometimes conferred on infants or small boys. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition.

Cornificia (died c. 212 CE) — daughter of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Murdered in old age during the rule of Emperor Caracalla for daring to mourn the death of his brother Geta in public. Wikipedia (German edition).

cornerman— a man at one end of a line of performers in a minstrel show; carries on humorous dialogue with the interlocutor. Dictionary.LaborLawTalk.com .

Cornstalk (British-Australian slang) — a popular 19th century term for a native-born Australian. Diggerspeak: The Language of Australians at War. Nowadays: a native or resident of New South Wales. Australian English Dictionary at the website www.artistwd.com/joyzine.

Covenanters — in Scottish history, groups of Presbyterians bound by oath to sustain each other in the defense of their religion. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition.

Crispina — the wife of Commodus who was banished to the isle of Capreae and there secretly put to death. Footnote by Mundy. For more information, see the article on Crispina in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


daffadar— the equivalent rank to Sergeant in the cavalry of the British Indian Army, the next rank up from Lance Daffadar. The equivalent in other units was Havildar. Like a British sergeant, a Daffadar wore three rank chevrons. Wikipedia.

dak — post; mail; travel by dak — to travel by relays of palanquins or other vehicle; dak bungalow — a travelers' rest-house at the end of a dak stage; dak boat — a mail boat. Various sources, including Webster's 1913 Dictionary.

dakitar (Anglo-Indian) — doctor.

darbar, durbar — an audience or official reception; also: an audience hall; the court of a native prince. For more information, see the Wikipedia article. Durbar.

darbies— manacles; handcuffs. Webster's 1913 Dictionary.

Dea Dia — the ancient Roman goddess of corn and agriculture, identified with Ceres (various sources). In his own comment Mundy calls Dea Dia "the most mysterious of all the Roman deities." For more information, see the article Arval Brothers in The Columbia Encyclopedia.

decurion (Latin: "decurio") — a cavalry officer in command of a troop or turma of thirty soldiers in the army of the Roman Empire. In the infantry, the rank carried less prestige - a decurion only led a squad called a contubernium or "tent group" of 8 men... Wikipedia.

deodar— a tall cedar (Cedrus deodara) native to the Himalaya Mountains and having drooping branches and dark bluish-green leaves, often with white, light green, or yellow new growth in cultivars. It is an important timber tree in India. The American Heritage Dictionary.

diablerie (French) — deviltry; witchcraft; sorcery. The American Heritage Dictionary.

Dioscuri (Latin from the Greek "dioskouroi", boys of Zeus) — Castor and Pollux, the twin sons of Leda and brothers of Helen and Clytemnestra, who were transformed by Zeus into the constellation Gemini. The American Heritage Dictionary.

Domnu — the very ancient sea-god of the Britons. Author's footnote. For more information, see the chapter on "The Gaelic Gods and Their Stories" in Charles Squire's Celtic Myth and Legend, 1905.

doolie, dooly, dhooly, dhoolee — a covered litter consisting of a cot or frame, suspended by the four corners from a bamboo pole, and carried by two or four men. The word is also applied to the meat- (or milk-) safe, which is usually slung to a tree, or to a hook in the verandah. The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

dorje (Tibetan) — a ritual scepter held in the right hand of a Lama while preforming religious ceremonies. As a sacred symbol of Tibetan Buddhism, the dorje represents the 'thunderbolt of enlightenment'; an abrupt change in human consciousness which is recognised by all the great religions as a pivotal episode in the lives of mystics and saints. Wikipedia.

Dorje (Tibetan, lit. "noble stone") — In Buddhism a divine force corresponding to the vajra of Hinduism. Wikipedia, q.v., gives the following definition: "Vajra is a Sanskrit word meaning both thunderbolt and diamond and refers to a symbol important to both Buddhism and Hinduism, but is particularly important in Buddhism. The equivalent word in Tibetan is dorje ... which is also a common male name in Tibet and Bhutan. Dorje can also refer to a small sceptre held in the right hand by Tibetan lamas during religious ceremonies...

dry-blower— a miner who operates equipment used to separate particles of heavy mineral (e.g., gold) from sand or gravel when no water is available. Methods range from simple winnowing in the wind to the use of a dry-blower machine, which had a bellows which blew air through dirt loaded into the top of the machine, separating the lighter sand and gravel from the mineral. See the article A Guide to Common Mining Terminology in The Mining Heritage Places Assessment Manual.

Dugpa (also drugpa, drukpa) — an adherent of the Buddhist religion of Tibet who, previous to the reform by Tsong-kha-pa in the 14th century, followed sorcery and other more or less Tantric practices, which are entirely foreign to the pure teachings of Buddhism. In theosophical literature dugpa has been used as a synonym for "Brother of the Shadow." Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary. In his novel The Devil's Guard Talbot Mundy gives the following description: "Dugpas is the name for sorcerers who cultivate evil for the sake of evil ... they're vaguely like the Kali-worshipers of India." More information on this subject can be gleaned from the following passage in Gustav Meyrink's short story Das Grillenspiel (The Game of the Crickets):

"Well, one morning I learned from lamaistic pilgrims en route to Lhasa that, near my camping ground, there was a most exalted dugpa — one of those devil-priests (recognizable by their scarlet caps) who claim to be direct descendants of the Demon of the Fly Agaric (sacred hallucogenic mushroom, Translator). At any rate the dugpas are reportedly adherents of the ancient Tibetan Bhon religion ... and descendants of a strange race whose origins are lost in the obscurity of time. The pilgrims, turning their little prayer wheels full of supertitious awe, told me that he was a samcheh michebat, that is, a creature which can no longer be called human — a being who can 'bind and release' and for whom, on account of his ability to perceive space and time as illusions, nothing in this world is impossible. I was told that there are two paths by which one can climb those steps which lead beyond the human state: the first is the 'Path of Light' — of becoming one with Buddha; the second — and opposite — is the 'Path of the Left Hand,' whose entry portal is known only to the born dugpa — a spiritual path replete with dread and horror. Such 'born' dugpas — though rare — are said to be found in all climes and are, strangely, almost always the children of especially pious people. 'It is,' said the pilgrim who told me this, 'as if the hand of the Lord of Darkness had grafted a poisonous sprig onto the Tree of Holiness. We know of only one means to determine if a child belongs spiritually to the fellowship of the dugpas — if the cowlick at the back of his head swirls from left to right instead of the other way around.'" Translated by Roy Glashan.


Eblis, Iblis — the principal evil spirit (jinni) in Islamic mythology, made of smokeless fire by God. Often referred to as Shaitan (Satan). For more information, see the Wikipedia article Iblis.

effendi, plural effendim (Turkish) — an educated or respected man in the Near East; used as a title of respect for men in Turkey, equivalent to sir. Selisozluk Turkish-English-German Dictionary.

ek-do-tin (Hindi) — one-two-three.

ekka, ecka (Hindi) — a one-horse, two-wheeled, springless cart. The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

Eleusis — an allusion to the the Eleusinian Mysteries — the annual initiation ceremonies for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece. Of all the mysteries celebrated in ancient times these were held to be the ones of greatest importance. These myths and mysteries later spread to Rome. The rites and cultic worships and beliefs were kept secret, and initiation rites united the worshipper with god, including promises of divine power and rewards in life after death. Wikipedia.

Emin Pasha (1840-1892) — a German explorer, whose original name was Eduard Schnitzer. A physician, he served (1876-1878) under Gen. Charles Gordon in Sudan as a district medical officer. In 1878 he succeeded Gordon as governor of Equatoria, the southernmost province of the Egyptian Sudan. In 1885 he was cut off from the outside world by the Mahdist uprising, and several European explorers—including Sir H. M. Stanley—were sent to rescue him. Although his position was not desperate, he agreed (1889) at length to accompany Stanley to Mombasa. He was murdered while engaged in exploration for Germany in the region of Lake Tanganyika. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Emin Pasha.

en deshabille, dishabille (French) — in a state of partial undress; skimpily clad. See The American Heritage Dictionary.

Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate) For more information, see the Wikipedia article Magnesium Sulfate.

equites (Latin) — an order of knights holding a middle place between the senate and the commonalty; members of the Roman equestrian order. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. For more information, see the article Equites in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

ergastulum, ergastula (Latin) — a Roman building used to hold in chains dangerous slaves, or to punish other slaves. The ergastula was usually subsurface, built as a deep, roofed pit — large enough to allow the slaves to work within it and containing narrow spaces in which they slept... The term is also used to describe any small Roman prison. Wikipedia. For more historical detail, see the article on Ergastulum at LacusCurtius: Into the Roman World.

et hoc genus omne (Latin) — and their ilk. William Whitaker's Words.

Euxine (Euxeinos Pontos = "Hospitable sea") — Greek name for the Black Sea. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Black Sea.

experientia docet (Latin) — experience is the best teacher. William Whitaker's Words.


Fabius Maximus Verrucosus — Roman general who ultimately defeated (209 BCE) the superior forces of Hannibal through delaying tactics, thereby avoiding direct conflict and giving Rome sufficient time to muster a great army. Also known as "Fabius the Procrastinator" (Cunctator). For more information, see the Wikipedia article Fabius Maximus.

Faisal — Faisal I, third son of Emir Hussein, the son of Sharif Husain of Mecca, was born in 1885. Faisal lived in Constantinople and later sat in the Ottoman parliament as deputy for Jidda. During the First World War Faisal served with the Turkish Army. In 1916 he changed sides and began working closely with T. E. Lawrence. He became the leading Arab military commander and led the troops into Damascus on 3rd October 1918. Feisal attended the Paris Peace Conference and on 10th March 1920 declared himself the King of Syria and Palestine. When he was deposed four months later by the French the British authorities agreed that he could become King of Iraq. He took office on 23rd August 1921 ... The British mandate for Iraq came to an end in October, 1932 and Iraq now entered the League of Nations as an independent state. However, Britain bound Iraq closely to the British Empire by a 25 year military alliance. Britain retained military bases in Iraq and exerted a strong political influence in the country. This included ensuring that the concession for oil exploration and exploitation to the Iraq Petroleum Company, a conglomerate of British, French and United States interests. During the 1930s there were seven military coups. These all failed but the king's rule came to an end when he was killed in a car accident in 1939. He was replaced by his son Faisal II. See the article on Faisal I at the website Spartacus Educational.

Falerian (Latin: "vinum Falernum") — In ancient Rome, the preferred wines came from Campania, from the plain area between sea and mountain, crossed by the Volturno River. Because of its unique climate this region was called Campania Felix. The most famous wine was the Falernum (today known as Falerno), produced at the slopes of the Mount Massico in the province of Caserta. It was made with Aglianico and Falanghina grapes grown on ancient vines brought there by the Greeks 3,000 years ago. Red Falernum was made with from Aglianico grapes, white Falernum from Falanghina grapes. Falernum is the "Emperors’ wine" described by the Latin poets. It was so famous that Roman ships delivered it everywhere in the known world. Wine Review - Ancient Roman Wines (paraphrased).

Farangistan (Hindi) — Europe. Literally "Land of the Franks" (Frankistan). Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

feringhee (Hindi from Farangistan, "Land of the Franks," i.e., Europe) — a European. Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

fasces (Latin, plural of "fascis", bundle) — a bundle of rods bound together around an ax with the blade projecting, carried before ancient Roman magistrates as an emblem of authority. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the article Fasces in Wikipedia.

faute de mieux (French) — for lack of a better option.

fellah, plural fellaheen (Arabic) — a peasant or cultivator of the soil among the Egyptians, Syrians, etc. Webster's Dictionary, 1913 edition.

Fiat lex! (Latin) — Let the law be applied! The full expression is: fiat justicia et pereat mundus, "Let justice be done, though the world perish!" See the Wikipedia article Latin Proverbs.

fiscus (Latin) — the government department into which all payments were made, corresponding roughly to a modern treasury department. Footnote by Mundy. The following, more precise definition is given in Wikipedia: "The personal treasury of the emperors of Rome. The word is literally translated as 'basket' or 'purse' and was used to describe those forms of revenue collected from the provinces (specifically the imperial provinces), which were then granted to the emperor. Its existence pointed to the division of power in the early era of the Empire between the imperial court and the Senate. In subsequent years, as the emperors assumed greater control over the finances of the Roman world, the size of the fiscus was increased."

fons et origo (Latin) — the primary cause; literally: the source and the origin. William Whitaker's Words.

frigidarium (Latin) — The cooling room of the Roman thermae, furnished with a cold bath. For more information see The History of Ancient Roman Baths.

furor teutonicus — Teutonic frenzy; ruthless German aggressivity. The phrase is usually atributed to the Roman poet Lucan (39-65 C.E.), who used it to describe the merciless, bloodthirsty frenzy displayed by Teutonic tribesmen in battle. Wikipedia (German edition).

Fuscianus — presumably Publius Seius Fuscianus, who together with Marcus Servilius Silanus was consul of Rome in 188 CE. Wikipedia.


Galen (c.130-c.200 CE) — physician and writer, b. Pergamum, of Greek parents. After study in Greece and Asia Minor and at Alexandria, he returned to Pergamum, where he served as physician to the gladiatorial school. He resided chiefly in Rome from c.162 CE. Noted for his lectures and writings, he established a large practice and became court physician to Marcus Aurelius. He is credited with some 500 treatises, most of them on medicine and philosophy; at least 83 of his medical works are extant. He correlated earlier medical knowledge in all fields with his own discoveries (based in part on experimentation and on dissection of animals) and systematized medicine in accordance with his theories, which emphasized purposive creation. His work in anatomy and physiology is especially notable. He demonstrated that arteries carry blood instead of air and added greatly to knowledge of the brain, nerves, spinal cord, and pulse. Until the 16th century his authority was virtually undisputed, thus discouraging original investigation and hampering medical progress. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition.

Gandharvas (Hindi) — male nature spirits, husbands of the Apsaras. Some are part animal, usually a bird or horse. They have superb musical skills ... In Hindu myths, Gandharvas act as messengers between the gods and humans. In Hindu law, a Gandharva marriage is one contracted by mutual consent and without formality. Wikipedia.

Ganesha (Hindi) — The god of wisdom and the remover of obstacles, son of Shiva and Parvati, depicted as a short fat man with an elephant's head. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Ganesha.

Garudi, Garuda (Sanskrit: "eagle") — a lesser Hindu divinity, the mount (vahanam) of Vishnu, one of the main forms of God in Hinduism. Garuda is depicted as having a golden body, white face, red wings, and an eagle's beak and wings but a man's body. He wears a crown on his head like his master, Vishnu ... Wikipdedia.

Gatling gun — an early form of machine-gun having several barrels that fire in sequence as they are rotated. Named after its inventor Dr. Richard Jordan Gatling (1818-1903). For more information, see the Wikipedia article Gatlin Gun.

Gazi, Ghazi — ruthless Moslem warriors. Ghazi warriors depended upon plunder for their livelihood, and were prone to brigandage and sedition in times of peace. For more detail, see the Wikipedia article Ghazw.

gazette (British English) — a verb denoting the announcement of an official appointment, e.g., to a government post. See The American Heritage Dictionary.

gharry (Hindi) — a cab, carriage or cart, usually horse-drawn. See The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

gharry-wallah (Hindi) — a cab-driver. Compound of "gharry" (a cab or carriage) and "wallah" (a person employed in a particular occupation or activity). See The Hobson Jobson Dictionary and The American Heritage Dictionary.

ghat — a broad flight of steps on the bank of a river in India, used especially by bathers. The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition.

ghee (Hindi) — a clarified semifluid butter used especially in Indian cooking. The American Heritage Dictionary.

giaour (Turkish: gâvur) — a non-Moslem, an infidel; especially, a Christian. Selisozluk Turkish-English-German Dictionary.

godown (Malay) —In India and East Asia, a warehouse, especially one at a dockside. The American Heritage Dictionary.

gonfalon (Italian "gonfalone") — a banner suspended from a crosspiece, especially as a standard in an ecclesiastical procession or as the ensign of a medieval Italian republic. The American Heritage Dictionary.

The Goodwins. Author's footnote. The Goodwin Sands are a 10-mile long sand bank in the English Channel, lying six miles east of Deal in Kent, England. More than 2,000 ships are believed to have been wrecked upon them ... Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

Grand Mufti — the religious head of the Moslem community. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Grand Mufti.

grue (Scots) — shudder. Random House Unabridged Dictionary.

gum-gasted — scared witless; funked out; galoot — a clumsy fool; a clod.

guru — a teacher in Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. See the Wikipedia article Guru for more information.

Gwenhwyfar — Welsh form of the name Guinevere. Annotator.

gyves — chains, shackles. The American Heritage Dictionary.


ha (Hindi) — yes; yes indeed. Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

habet, hoc habet (Latin) — "He's got it!'" The exclamation was shouted when a particularly good blow was struck or the coup de grâce administered. Encyclopedia Romana .

hai (Hindi) — is (here). Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

hajji — a Moslem who has made a pilgramage to Mecca. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Hajj

hakim (Arabic) — a physician, a doctor,a wise man. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Hakim (title).

hamadryad cobra— another name for the king cobra. See The American Heritage Dictionary.

hamal (Arabic) — a porter or bearer in certain Moslem countries. The American Heritage Dictionary.

Haman — in the Bible, a Persian minister who was hanged for plotting the destruction of the Jews. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Haman (Bible).

Ham dekta hai — (Hindi) I'm on the lookout (or watch).

Hanuman (Sanskrit) — the Hindu monkey-god and helper of Rama; the god of devotion and courage; also the patron of love-affairs. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Hanuman.

havildar — in the British Indian armies, a noncommissioned officer of native soldiers, corresponding to a sergeant. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Havildar.

Haydi! (Turkish) — Hurry up! Selisozluk Turkish-English-German Dictionary.

Herodias — a Jewish princess famous for her beauty and love affairs, who — through her daughter Salome — reportedly engineered the plot to behead John the Baptist. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Herodias. The Biblical references to Herodias are: Matthew 14:6ff Mark 6:17ff and Luke 3:19ff.

hospitium (Latin) — hospitality. For information about the concept of hospitality in ancient Greek and Roman times, see the Wikipedia article Hospitium.

hough — literally "to hamstring"; to slaughter; to massacre. See Webster's 1911 Dictionary.

houri (Arabic) — one of the beautiful maidens said by some Moslems to dwell in Paradise for the enjoyment of the faithful. The Columbia Encyclopedia. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Houri.

howdah (Urdu from Arabic) — a seat, usually fitted with a canopy and railing, placed on the back of an elephant or a camel. The American Heritage Dictionary.

hump blue, hump the bluey — to carry a bedroll slung on the back, while travelling on foot: the swagman's (itinerant casual worker) standard mode of carrying his meager possessions. Australian English Dictionary at www.artistwd.com/joyzine.

hundi — (Hindu) a promissory note, a bill-of-exchange. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Hawala.

huzoor (Hindi) — a title of respect; sir. See The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

Hypatia — Hypatia of Alexandria (ca. 370-415 CE). A Greek philosopher. The daughter of another philosopher, Theon of Alexandria, who taught her mathematics. About 400 CE she became head of the Platonist school at Alexandria, where she lectured on the philosophy known as Neoplatonism. This combined Plato's ideas with a mix of Christian, Jewish, and East Asian influences and emphasized striving for an unreachable ultimate reality. Her edition of Euclid's Elements, prepared with her father, became the basis for all later versions. Christians deemed her philosophical views pagan and killed her during antipagan riots. She is considered to be the first woman of any importance in the history of mathematics. History of Science and Technology, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. For more information, visit the Hypatia page at the Encyclopaedia Romana website.


Iceni (Latin) — Celtic tribe of eastern Britain who under Queen Boudicca fought unsuccessfully against the Romans about a.d. 60. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Iceni.

Ifrit (Arabic) — a kind of Jinn mentioned in the Qur'an. Wikipedia, qv. ]

Ikhwan movement — the Wahhabi religious militia which formed the main military force of the Arabian ruler Ibn Saud and played a key role in establishing him as ruler of most of the Arabian Peninsula, in his new state of Saudi Arabia. After the conquest of the Hijaz in 1926 brought all of the current Saudi state under Ibn Saud's control, the monarch found himself in some conflict with elements of the Ikhwan. He succeeded in crushing the Ikhwan's resistance in 1929, following which the militia was reorganised as the Saudi Arabian National Guard. Wikipedia.

Il hamdul illah! (Arabic) — Thanks be to Allah!

image and superscription — an allusion the passages in the New Testament (Matthew 22:20, Mark 12:16 and Luke 20:24) in which Jesus is shown a Roman coin and asked whether it is lawful to pay tribute to Caesar. He replies: "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" ( Mark 12:17).

Imshi! (Arabic) — Go away!

Inch goozek? — What would you like? Author's footnote.

Indra — In Hinduism, Indra is god of weather and war, and Lord of Heaven or Swargaloka. He was also an important figure in non-Hindu traditions. Wikipedia.

in flagrante delicto (Latin: "while the crime is blazing") — a legal term used to indicate that a criminal has been caught in the act of committing an offense ... The colloquial "caught red-handed" or "caught in the act" is an English equivalent... Wikipedia.

in forma pauperis (Latin) — literally "in the form of a poor man," i.e. destitute, in a state of poverty. For more information, see the Wikipedia article In forma pauperis.

Inshallah, Insh'allah (Arabic) — God willing.

istashun (Anglo-Indian) — a railway station

izzat (Persian and Urdu) —honor: the honor or reputation of a person, organization, or institution. MSN Encarta Dictionary. See also Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.


Jahannam (Arabic from Hebrew) — the Islamic equivalent to Hell. Wikipedia.

Jainism — the religion of Jina, a religious system of India practiced by about 5,000,000 persons. Jainism, Ajivika, and Buddhism arose in the 6th cent. B.C. as protests against the overdeveloped ritualism of Hinduism, particularly its sacrificial cults, and the authority of the Veda. Jaina tradition teaches that a succession of 24 tirthankaras (saints) originated the religion. The last, Vardhamana, called Mahavira [the great hero] and Jina [the victor], seems to be historical. He preached a rigid asceticism and solicitude for all life as a means of escaping the cycle of rebirth, or the transmigration of souls. Thus released from the rule of karma, the total consequences of past acts, the soul attains nirvana, and hence salvation. The Columbia Encyclopedia. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Jainism.

jaldee, jaldi (Hindi) — quick, quickly. Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

Jamrud — a town located in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. The town is the doorway to the Khyber pass, part of the Hindu Kush range ... In Undivided India, Jamrud was a strategic location and served as a base for a cantonment of the British Indian Army during the period of the British Raj... Wikipedia.

Jannam! (Hindi) — My soul!

Jason — A hero of classical mythology. Jason was the heir to a kingdom in Greece, but his cousin seized the throne. The cousin insisted that the gods would not allow Jason to become king until Jason brought back the miraculous Golden Fleece from a distant country. After many harrowing adventures with his companions, the Argonauts, and with the help of the sorceress Medea, he brought back the fleece. Medea, through her craft, arranged for Jason's cousin to be killed. Jason and Medea then went into exile, raised a family, and lived happily, until Jason announced plans to divorce Medea and marry a princess. Medea, enraged, killed the children she had borne Jason and Jason's bride as well and used her magic to escape. Jason then wandered about, a man out of favor with the gods, and was eventually killed when his old ship, the Argo, fell on him. The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, 3rd edition.

Jat, Jatt (Hindi) — a member of a large ethnic group who live in the states of Punjab, Western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan in India. The Jats are predominantly farmers and landowners, and Jats occupy many prominent positions in the fields of government, military, academia, and technology. Wikpedia.

jati (Hindi) — class; literally: a subdivision of a varna (Indian caste). For more detail, see the Wikipedia article Jati.

jemadar (Hindi) — an Indian army rank corresponding to lieutenant. For more information see the Wikipedia article Jemadar.

Je m'en bien garderai! (French) — I certainly won't do that!

jezail (Pashtun) — an Afghan matchlock or flintlock musket (an un-rifled long gun) fired from a forked rest. Wikipedia.

jezailchi (Pashtun) — an Afghan soldier armed with a jezail; a musketman.

jihad (Arabic) — holy war. For more information, see the Wikipedia article on Jihad.

Jinendra (also Jineshra) — in Jainism, The fully realised one; the Enlightened One; Tirthankara the Supreme Soul, Arihant, who has triumphed over all the foes to the Pure Self... www.ultimatespirituality. org..

jinnee (Arabic) — a genie; a spirit believed by Moslems to inhabit the earth and influence mankind by appearing in the form of humans or animals. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Genie.

Jonah's gourd — an allusion to the Book of Jonah 4:5-11, in which, at the Lord's behest, a gourd vine grows to provide shade for Jonah but wilts quickly away. "Then the LORD said, 'Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:'" Jonah 4:10.

Josh Billings (pseudonym of Henry Wheeler Shaw, 1818-1885) — American humorist and lecturer, b. Lanesboro, Mass. After a roving life as farmer, explorer, and coal miner, he settled in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., as an auctioneer and real estate dealer. In 1860 he began to write humorous sketches and homespun philosophies in rural dialect and soon became a popular lecturer. His first collection was "Josh Billings: His Sayings" (1869), but his best humor was published in his annual "Farmer's Allminax" (1869-1880). The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition.

Joskins (British slang) — a country bumpkin, a simpleton. See The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

Jumna, Yamuna — a river of northern India rising in the Himalaya Mountains and flowing about 1,384 km (860 mi) generally southeast to the Ganges River at Allahabad. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Yamuna.

jungli, junglee (Hindi) — a savage; a primitive native; a "man of the woods." See the Glossa ry of Inglish (Indian English) Slang at the Writer's Block website.

Jupiter Capitolinus — In Roman mythology, Jupiter (sometimes shortened to Jove) held the same role as Zeus in the Greek pantheon. He was called Jupiter Optimus Maximus (Jupiter Best and Greatest) as the patron deity of the Roman state, in charge of laws and social order ... The largest temple in Rome was that of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the Capitoline Hill. Here he was worshipped alongside Juno and Minerva, forming the Capitoline Triad. Temples to Jupiter Optimus Maximus or the Capitoline Triad as a whole were commonly built by the Romans at the center of new cities in their colonies. Nodeworks Encyclopedia.

Jupiter Hospitalis — the god Jupiter in his capacity of the protector of the laws of hospitality. For more information, see the article on Hospitium in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.


Kachwaha, Kachhwaha, Kachhvaha — a Rajput clan which formerly ruled the kingdom of Jaipur in Rajasthan, India. The Kachwahas claim descent from Rama, ancient king of Ayodhya and hero of the Ramayana ... the Kachwahas furnished the Mughals (Moguls) some of their most distinguished generals. Excerpted from Wikipedia.

kaffir corn — a tropical African variety of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) grown in dry regions and in the Great Plains for grain and forage. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Durra.

kafir (Arabic) — infidel, unbeliever. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Kafir.

kahve (Turkish) — coffee; coffee-house. Selisozluk Turkish-English-German Dictionary.

kaif, keif, kiff — (Arabic) tranquility; drowsy contentment (usually induced by narcotics). For more information, see the Wikipedia article Keif.

Kalamullah (Arabic) — The Speech (or Word) of Allah; the Koran).

Kali (Hindi: "the black one") — important goddess in popular Hinduism and Tantra. Known also as Durga (the Inaccessible) and as Chandi (the Fierce), Kali is associated with disease, death, and destruction. As Parvati she is the consort of Shiva. Although often represented as a terrifying figure, garlanded with skulls and bearing a bloody sword in one of her many arms, she is worshiped lovingly by many as the Divine Mother. Her cult, popular among many lower caste Hindus ... frequently includes animal sacrifice. Kali was patroness of the Thugs. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition. For more information, see the Wikipedia article on Kali.

kali pani (Hindi) — ocean; literally: "black water." See Kala and Pani in Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

kalpak, calpac (Turkish) — a large black cap of sheepskin or other heavy material, worn by Armenians, Turks, etc. Random House Unabridged Dictionary.

kana — police station.

kansamah, khansaamah, consumah, — a house-steward. In Anglo-Indian households this was the title of the chief table servant. The literal meaning of the word is "master of the household gear." The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

karma (Sanskrit "deed", meaning action, effect, destiny) — the sum of all that an individual has done, is currently doing and will do. The effects of all deeds actively create present and future experiences, thus making one responsible for one's own life, and the pain in others. Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

kas-kas, khas-khas, cus-cus (Hindi) — a long grass of the family Poaceae (to which all the grass members belong). Its botanical name is Vetiveria zizanioides. It is used for medicinal purposes and to make to make hand-fans and the well-known hhas-khas mats, which are used as shades over doors and windows ... Excerpted and paraphrased from a Review on Useful Medicinal Herbs at the MouthShut.com website.

Kathiawari — a breed of horse from India, specifically originating in the Kathiawar peninsula. The horses, although small, are not ponies. The animals are up to 14.3 hands in height, and can be any color except black, including palomino and pinto. Wikipedia.

kavass, kavas (Turkish) — a government servant or courier; also: an armed constable. Selisozluk Turkish-English-German Dictionary.

kaymakam (Turkish) — headman, head official of a district. Seslisozluk Turkish-English-German Dictionary.

keffiyeh (Arabic) — a cloth headdress fastened by a band around the crown and hanging down over the shoulders. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Keffiyeh.

kepi — a French military cap with a flat circular top and a visor. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Kepi.

khan, kawn (Arabic) — a Eastern inn or caravanseray. Webster's 1913 Dictionary.

Khanda ka Pahul (baptism by the sword) — a Sikh initiation rite which must be performed in the presence of at least five initiates who are learned in the faith. During the ceremony a sweetmeat is stirred up in water with a double-edged sword while the candidate repeats the articles of faith proclaimed by the officiant. Some of the water is sprinkled on him five times, and he drinks of it five times from the palms of his hands; he then pronounces the Sikh watchword "Khalsa of God, Victory to God!" and promises adherence to the new obligations he has contracted. He must from that date wear the five K's and add the word singh to his name. The five K's are 1) the "kes" or uncut hair of the whole body, 2) the "kachh" or short drawers ending above the knee, 3) the "kara or iron bangle, 4) the "khanda" or small steel dagger, 5) the "khanga" or comb. The five K's and the other esoteric observances of the Sikhs mostly had a utilitarian purpose. When fighting was a part of the Sikh's duty, long hair and iron rings concealed in it protected his head from sword cuts. Excerpted from the article on Sikhism in the Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 edition.

Khedive (from Persian for "lord"), also known as "Viceroy" — a title created in 1867 by the Ottoman Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz for the then-governor of Egypt, Ismail Pasha. From 1882 Egypt was a British dependency. When World War I broke out in 1914, Egypt belonged to Turkey and was ruled by a Khedive. Wikipedia, q.v.

Khinjan — name of a river and town (now Baghlan) in Afghanistan. The Khinjan river joins the Sorkhab at Baghlan, becoming the Kunduz river. For a topographical description, see An Historical Guide to Afghanistan by Nancy Hatch Dupree.

Kinthup — a pundit (native scout, explorer and surveyor) from the Indian Himalayan state of Sikkim who, in the 1880s, was commissioned by the British colonial authorities to explore and map parts of Tibet. Kinthup is famous for his attempt to determine if the Tibetan Tsangpo river, whose source is on Mount Kailash, was in fact the beginning of the Brahmaputra, which flows through India into the Bay of Bengal. Kinthup infiltrated Tibet, posing as the servant of a Chinese lama. As planned, he threw specially marked logs into the Tsangpo while other surveyors kept a look-out for them along the Brahmaputra. However his companion proved unreliable and sold him as a slave to a Tibetan lama. After seven months in slavery, Kinthup escaped and traveled east along the Tsangpo, ultimately finding refuge in a Buddhist monastery, the head lama of which bought him from his previous owner. A few months later Kinthup obtained permission to make a pilgrimage and used his leave of absence to cut and mark more logs. He did not throw them into the water at that time, however, for eighteen months had passed since he left India, and he realized that no one would be looking for the logs anymore. Some time later he requested permission to make another pilgrimage and traveled to Lhasa, where he gave a fellow-Sikkimese a letter for the British Indian Survey authorities, informing them that he intended to throw more marked logs into the Tsangpo. This he did on his next leave of absence from the monastery. He then made his way back to India, where he learned that his letter had never been delivered. The authorities refused to believe the story of his adventure, so Kinthup left the Survey and became a tailor. Only many years later did geographers finally determine that the Tsangpo and the Brahmaputra are in fact the same river. Paraphrased from The Discoverer's Web: The Pundits.

Koi hai (Hindi) — Is anyone there?

köpek (Turkish) — a dog. Seslisozluk Turkish-English-German Dictionary

Kongoni — the Hartebeest (Alcelaphus buselaphus), a grassland antelope found in West, East and Southern Africa. For more information, see the article Hartebeest in The Columbia Encyclopedia.

kos, coss (Hindi) — an Indian unit of length having different values in different localities. Usually about 2 miles (3.2 km). For more information, see the article Coss in the Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

Kreuzblitze! (German) — an antiquated German expletive; literally "crossed" or "forked" lighting. See Das Deutsche Wörterbuch von Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm.

Krishna (Sanskrit) — one of the most popular deities in Hinduism, the eighth avatar, or incarnation of Vishnu. Krishna appears in the Mahabharata epic as a prince of the Yadava tribe and the friend and counselor of the Pandava princes. His divinity is proclaimed in several places in the epic, particularly in the Bhagavad-Gita. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Krishna.

Kshatriya (Hindi) — a member of the second highest of the four castes of traditional Indian society, responsible for upholding justice and social harmony, and including people in governing and military positions. The American Heritage Dictionary.

, khubber (Hindi) — 'news,' especially as a sporting term; news of game, e.g. "There is pucka khubber of a tiger this morning." The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

kukri, khukuri — a heavy, curved Nepalese knife used as both tool and weapon. It is also a part of the regimental weaponry and heraldry of Gurkha fighters. It is known to many people as simply the "Gurkha knife". Wikipedia.

kurbash (Arabic) — a whip or strap about a yard in length, made of the hide of the hippopotamus or rhinoceros. It is an instrument of punishment and torture that was used in various Muslim countries... Excerpted from Wikipedia.

Kutb Minar, Qutub Minar — the tallest brick minaret in the world, and an important example of Islamic architecture. The Qutub Minar is 72.5 metres high and visitors must climb 379 steps to get to the top. The diameter of the base is 14.3 metres wide while the top floor measures 2.7 metres in diameter. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site ... Wikipedia.


lakh, lac, laksha (Hindi) — a unit in a traditional number system, still widely used in India and Bangladesh, equal to a hundred thousand. A hundred lakhs make a crore or ten million ... Wikipedia.

Lalun — an allusion to the beautiful courtesan Lalun in Rudyard Kipling's story On The City Wall (1888). "Lalun is a member of the most ancient profession in the world. Lilith was her very-great-grandmamma, and that was before the days of Eve, as every one knows. In the West, people say rude things about Lalun's profession, and write lectures about it, and distribute the lectures to young persons in order that Morality may be preserved. In the East, where the profession is hereditary, descending from mother to daughter, nobody writes lectures or takes any notice; and that is a distinct proof of the inability of the East to manage its own affairs."

Las Casas — Bartolomé de Las Casas (1474-1566), a Spanish missionary and historian, called the apostle of the Indies. He went to Hispaniola with his father in 1502, and eight years later he was ordained a priest. In 1514 he began to work for the improvement of conditions among the indigenous population, especially for the abolition of their slavery and of the forced labor of the encomienda. He devoted the rest of his life to that cause ... The Columbia Encyclopedia.

lashkar (Persian) — a body of troops; an army; a camp). For more information, see the article Lascar in The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

latro (Latin) — robber, brigand, bandit. William Whitaker's Words.

laudator temporis acti (Latin) — eulogist of bygone times. Horace, De Arte Poetica 173.

Lay of Alha — an epic poem of Rajput chivalry sung by minstrels in northern India. Fore more information, see the page on the history of Chandella Rajput clan at the Mahoba (India) website.

lazaretto — hospital treating contagious diseases; also: a building or ship used as a quarantine station; also a storage space between the decks of a ship. The American Heritage Dictionary.

lebban (Arabic) — coagulated sour milk diluted with water; also: a fermented liquor made of the same. Webster's 1913 Dictionary.

Levant — the countries bordering on the eastern Mediterranean Sea from Turkey to Egypt. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more informations, see the Wikipedia article Levant.

liburnian (Latin "liburna") — a galley, a warship propelled by oars. It was a smaller version of a trireme, but faster, lighter, and more agile. The liburnian was a key part of Rome's navy. NodeWorks Encyclopedia.

lictor (Latin) — a member of a special class of Roman civil servant, with special tasks of attending magistrates of the Roman Republic and Empire who held imperium. The origin of the tradition of lictors goes back to the time when Rome was a kingdom, perhaps acquired by their Etruscan neighbors ... The lictor's main task was to attend as bodyguards to magistrates ... Wikipedia.

Lud, Llud — Celtic river god; in this context, apparently the patron deity of the river Thames. Annotator. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Nuada. Lud was also the name of a legendary British king who gave his name to the town which eventually became the city of London. See the Wikipedia article on King Lud.

Cair Lunden — Town of Lud, London. For more information, see the Wikipedia article on King Lud.

lupanar (Latin: literally, "a wolf's den") — a brothel. William Whitaker's Words .

lustrum (Latin) — a sacrifice for expiation and purification offered by one of the censors of Rome in name of the Roman people at the close of the taking of the census, and which took place after a period of five years, so that the name came to denote a period of that length. Wikipedia, q.v. For more information, see the article Lustrum in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.


Maharajah, Maharaja (Hindi, "high king") — a king or prince in India ranking above a rajah, especially the sovereign of one of the former native states. The female equivalent to Maharaja is Maharani (or Maharanee), a title used either by the wife of a Maharaja or, in the few states where that is possible, by a woman ruling in her own right. Paraphrased from Wikipedia.

Maharati (Hindi) — a native or inhabitant of the Indian state of Maharashtra. See the Wikipedia article Maharashtra.

Mahatma (Hindi/Sanskrit) — in India and Tibet, one of a class of persons venerated for great knowledge and love of humanity; in Hinduism also used as a title of respect for a person renowned for spirituality and high-mindedness. The American Heritage Dictionary For more information, see the Wikipedia article Mahatma.

Mahdi — Muhammad Ahmad ibn as Sayyid Abd Allah (1844-1885) - otherwise known as The Mahdi or Mohammed Ahmed - was a Muslim religious leader, a fakir, in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. He declared a jihad and raised an army after declaring himself the Mahdi in 1881, and led a successful war of liberation from the Ottoman-Egyptian military occupation. He died soon after his liberation of Khartoum, and the state he founded fell victim to colonial maneuverings that doomed it to reconquest in 1899. Wikipedia, q.v. For more information see the Wikipedia article Mahdi.

mahout (Hindi) — an elephant-keeper and driver. Wikipedia.

Mahsudi — (Pashtun) member of a Central Pashtu tribe of the same name. For more informaton see the article on Central Pashtu at the First Choice International website.

maidan (Hindi and Persian) — an open space, as for military exercises, or for a market place; an open grassy tract; an esplanade. Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary.

majlis (Arabic) — an term used to describe various types of councils or legislative assemblies with linguistic or cultural connections to Islamic countries. Also it stands for the term parliament in some Islamic-culture states ... Wikipedia.

make a wake (Australian slang) — to set sail; to head for.

makkin' sikkar (Scots) — making sure.

ma'lim (Arabic and Pashtun) — a teacher, usually in a Koranic school. See the Pashto Dictionary.

Manjusri — The Bodhisattva of keen awareness in Buddhism. A disciple of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni, he represents wisdom, intelligence and realization ... Together with Shakyamuni and fellow disciple Samantabhadra he forms the Shakyamuni ... In Tibetan Buddhism he is sometimes depicted in a trinity with Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani. Wikipedia.

manumission (Latin) — the act of freeing a person from slavery. For historical background, see the article Manumission in Wikipedia.

marle, marl — a crumbly mixture of clays, calcium and magnesium carbonates, and remnants of shells that is sometimes found under desert sands and used as fertilizer for lime-deficient soils. The American Heritage Dictionary.

Martini — a Martini-Henry rifle. "The Martini-Henry rifle is a weapon of Empire... It was England's first service rifle designed from the ground up as a breechloading metallic cartridge firearm. It protected and served the British Empire and her colonies for over 30 years. This robust weapon utilized a falling block, self-cocking, lever operated, single-shot action designed by Friedrich von Martini of Switzerland... The first Martini adopted for service in the British Army was the M-H Mark I, which entered service in June of 1871." Excerpted from the website Martini-Henry Rifles and Carbines.

Mashallah! (Arabic) — May Allah be praised!

maskin — a poor devil. Author's footnote.

mastika (from Greek "mastikhe") — an anise-flavored liqueur popular in the Southern Balkans ... considered the national drink of Macedonia and Bulgaria. It contains 45% alcohol, has a fiery taste not unlike that of brandy and is usually made from grapes, plums or figs. Wikipedia.

Maternus (Latin) — the name is derived from the Latin adjective maternus, meaning "motherly" or "maternal." William Whitaker's Words.

Maitreya (Sanskrit) — a Bodhisattva who some Buddhists believe will eventually appear on earth, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure dharma. Maitreya Bodhisattva will be the successor of the historic S'a-kyamuni Buddha. He is predicted to be a "world-ruler," uniting those over whom he rules. The prophecy of the arrival of Maitreya is found in the canonical literature of all Buddhist sects ... and is accepted by most Buddhists as a statement about an actual event that will take place in the distant future. Excerpted from Wikpedia

Ma'uzbillah! (Arabic) — May Allah protects us!

maya (Sanskrit) — illusion. In Hinduism 1) the power of a god or demon to transform a concept into an element of the sensible world; 2) the transitory, manifold appearance of the sensible world, which obscures the undifferentiated spiritual reality from which it originates; the illusory appearance of the sensible world. The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition.

meed (Archaic) — a fitting recompense; a merited gift or wage. The American Heritage Dictionary.

Melachrino — a cigarette or cigar manufactured by the now defunct tobacco company Miltiades Melachrino & Co., For more informations, see the pages devoted to Melachrino, Crocodile Egyptian, Miltiades, and Melachrino's Golden Jubilee cigarettes at the Jim's Burnt Offerings website.

mem-sahib (Anglo-Indian: ma'am + sahib) — a form of respectful address for a European woman in colonial India. The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

mens germanica (Latin) — the German mind. William Whitaker's Words.

millième (French) — a coin worth one tenth of a piaster. Coins World website.

Miyan — the rather contemptuous form of address that Arabs use toward Indian Moslems. Author's footnote.

mohur (Hindi) — the official name of the chief gold coin of British India ... The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

Moody and Sankey — Dwight Lyman Moody (1837-1899) and Ira David Sankey (1840-1908) — famous American evangelists who conducted major revivalist campaigns and published immensely popular hymnals. Sankey's "Sacred Songs and Solos" and "Gospel Hymns" brought in more than a million dollars in royalties by 1900. For more information, see the following web pages devoted to Dwight Lyman Moody and Ira David Sankey at the Christian Biography Resources website.

Moplah Rebellion — a British-Muslim and Hindu-Muslim conflict in Kerala, SW India, that happened in 1921. The reasons for the conflict were rooted in increased religious awareness among the Muslim Moplahs (also known as Mappilas), disaffection with British governance, and resentment at the land-owning Nair community. On Aug 20, 1921 the first incident of the rebellion occurred at Tirurangadi when the District Magistrate of Calicut with the help of troops attempted to arrest a few Moplah leaders who were in the possession of arms, resulting in clashes. Arsonists took to the street, burning and destroying government property. The initial focus was on the British, but when the limited presence of the British was eliminated, the Moplahs turned their attention to the land owning Nairs and other Hindus... Massacres, forced conversions, desecration of temples and rape were perpetrated by a section of the Moplahs... Wikipedia.

Mother Shipton — a legendary English prophetess. She was first mentioned in an anonymous pamphlet, published in 1641, which described her as having prophesied various events of the reign of Henry VIII and later. She rapidly entered the folklore of English literature, her fame being increased by the great fire of London (1666), which she was also alleged to have predicted. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition. For more information, see the essay published by William H. Harrison in 1881 Mother Shipton — The Yorkshire Sibyl Investigated.

mtama (Swahili) — millet. The Swahili-English xFried Dictionary.

muballir (Arabic) — a Moslem priest who recites prayers.

mufti — civilian dress, especially when worn by one who normally wears a uniform. The American Heritage Dictionary. Also: an Islamic scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law (Sharia). The American Heritage Dictionary.

mugger (Hindi magar, "crocodile") — a large crocodile (Crocodilus palustris) of southwest Asia, having a very broad wrinkled snout. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Mugger Crocodile.

muleted, mulcted — fined, punished by fining. For more information, see "mulct" in The American Heritage Dictonary.

municipium (Latin) — a community incorporated into the Roman state after the dissolution of the Latin League. Initially, inhabitants of such municipalities were considered Roman citizens without voting rights. As the Italian provinces were incorporated into the Roman state, residents of the municipia were registered in the tribes and accorded full political rights. Encyclopedia Britannica.

mussuk (Hindi) — a water-bag, usually of goatskin. See The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.


nabob, nawab (Urdu from Arabic) — 1) a governor in India under the Mogul Empire; 2) a person of wealth and prominence. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Nawab.

naik (Hindi) — the equivalent rank to Corporal in the British Indian Army, ranking between Lance Naik and Havildar. In cavalry units the equivalent was Lance Daffadar. Like a British corporal, he wore two rank chevrons. Wikipedia.

nautch (Hindi) — an intricate traditional dance in India performed by professional dancing (nautch) girls. WordNet For more information, see the Wikipedia article Nautch.

neem-tree (Hindi) — a large semi-evergreen tree of East India; the trunk exudes a tenacious gum; the bitter bark used as a tonic; the seeds yield an aromatic oil; synomym: margosa. WordNet.

Nikalseyn — General John Nicholson (1822-1857), a charismatic and authoritarian military figure ... in the frontier provinces of the British Empire in India ... (He) gained the respect of the Afghan tribes ... for his fairhandedness and sense of honour ... and inspired the short-lived cult of Nikal Seyn, despite the fact that he did not conceal his distaste for Indians and even went as far as to have some of his worshippers imprisoned and whipped. Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

Nirvana (Sanskrit) — in Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism, a state of supreme liberation and bliss, contrasted to samsara or bondage in the repeating cycle of death and rebirth. The word in Sanskrit refers to the going out of a flame once its fuel has been consumed; it thus suggests both the end of suffering and the cessation of desires that perpetuate bondage. Epithets of nirvana in Buddhism include "the free," "the immortal," and "the unconditioned." Nirvana is attainable in life, and the death of one who has attained it is termed parinirvana, or complete nirvana. This has often been interpreted as annihilation, but in fact the Buddhist scriptures say that the state of the enlightened man beyond death cannot be described. Nirvana in the different Indian traditions is achieved by moral discipline and the practice of yoga leading to the extinction of all attachment and ignorance. The Columbia Encyclopedia. For more information, see the page on Nibbana (Nirvana) at the website Access to Insight — Readings in Theravada Buddhism.

Nizam (Urdu from Arabic) — 1) used formerly as a title for Moslem rulers of Hyderabad, India; 2) the Turkish army, especially in the 19th century. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Nizam.

Nobiles (Latin) — strictly speaking, members of families of both patrician and plebeian origin whose ranks had included a consul. Annotator. For more information and historical background, see the article Nobiles in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

Nodens — a sea-god of the Britons, later confused with Neptune by the Romans. Author's note. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Nodens.

noumenon (Greek) — in the philosophical system of Immanuel Kant, a "thing-in-itself" (Ding-an-Sich); it is opposed to phenomenon, the thing that appears to us. Noumena are the basic realities behind all sensory experience. According to Kant, they are not knowable because they cannot be perceived, but they must be thinkable because moral decision making and scientific investigation cannot proceed without the assumption that they exist. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition.

Nuklao — nickname for the city of Lucknow, India.

nullah (Hindi) — a ravine or gully, especially in southern Asia. The American Heritage Dictionary.

Numidia — an ancient African Berber kingdom and later a Roman province on the northern coast of Africa between the province of Africa (where Tunisia is now) and the province of Mauretania (which is now the western part of Algeria's coastal area). What was Numidia then is now the eastern part of Algeria's coast... Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

nylghau, nilgai — a large Indian antelope; male is blue-grey with white markings; female is brownish with no horns. WordNet.


oakum — a preparation of tarred fibre used in shipbuilding, for caulking or packing joints of timbers in wood vessels and the deck planking of iron and steel ships. Oakum is made by preference from old tarry ropes and cordage of vessels, and its picking and preparation has been a common penal occupation in prisons and workhouses. Wikipedia.

odabashi (Turkish) — concierge. Selisozluk Turkish-English-German Dictionary.

olla podrida (Spanish) — hodgepodge; mixture; literally: a stew of highly seasoned meat and vegetables. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Olla podrida.

Aum, Om (Sanskrit) — a most sacred syllable used in Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. In Buddhism, it is more usually transliterated as "Om". For more information, see the Wikipedia article Aum.

Om mani padme hum (Sanskrit) — sacred phrase: Om — of the heavenly world; Ma — of the world of spirits; Ni — of the human world; Pad — of the animal world; Me — of the world of ghosts; Hum — of the spaces of hell. Author's footnote. For more information on this mantra, see the Wikipedia articles Aum (Om) and Om mani padme hum.

Orakzai — a Pathan tribe on the Kohat border of the North-West Frontier Province of India. The Orakzais inhabit the mountains to the north-west of Kohat district, bounded on the N. and E. by the Afridis, on the S. by the Miranzai valley and on the W. by the Zaimukht country and the Safed Koh mountains. Their name means "lost tribes," and their origin is buried in obscurity; though they resemble the Afghans in language, features and many of their customs, they are rejected by them as brethren ... Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th Edition, 1911.

Orcus — the messenger of Dis, who carried dead souls to the underworld. The masked slaves who dragged dead gladiators out of the arena were disguised to represent Orcus. Mundy's own footnote. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Orcus (mythology).

Osmanli (Turkish) — an Ottoman Turk. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Ottoman Turks.

Outram's Own — the 123rd Outram's Rifles, a famous infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. For more information, see the Wikipedia article 123rd Outram's Rifles.


Pali (Sanskrit) — A Prakrit language that is a scriptural and liturgical language of Theravada Buddhism. The American Heritage Dictionary. See also the entry Pali in Wikipedia.

pallium (Latin) — a cloak or mantle worn by the ancient Greeks and Romans... The American Heritage Dictionary. Usually made of wool.

pan, paan — a type of Indian snack, which consists of fillings wrapped in a triangular package using leaves of the Betel pepper (Piper betle) and held together with a toothpick or a clove. Paan is chewed in India as a palate cleanser, and a breath freshener. Wikipedia.

Pannonia — an ancient Roman province ... southwest of the Danube, including parts of modern Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia and Montenegro. Its natives, the warlike Pannonians, were Illyrians. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition.

Parsee, Parsi (Persian) — a member of a religious community of India, practicing Zoroastrianism. The Parsis ... are concentrated in Maharashtra and Gujarat states, especially in Bombay. Their ancestors migrated from Iran in the 8th century to avoid Moslem persecution. They use the ancient Pahlavi scriptures and are faithful to much of the Zoroastrian dogma. The Parsis deny the frequent assertion that they worship fire; rather they reverence fire (along with other aspects of nature) as manifestations of the divinity of Ahura Mazdah. To avoid contaminating fire, earth, or water, the Parsis dispose of their dead by exposing the bodies in "towers of silence" (circular structures some 6 meters high surrounding a stone courtyard) where vultures devour them ... The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition.

Parthians — the Parthian Empire was the dominating force on the Iranian plateau beginning in the late 3rd century BCE, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca. 190 BCE and 224 CE. Parthia was the arch-enemy of the Roman Empire in the east and it limited Rome's expansion beyond Cappadocia (central Anatolia). The Parthian empire was the most enduring of the empires of the ancient Near East ... (It) occupied all of Iran proper, as well as the modern countries of Iraq, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, eastern Turkey, eastern Syria, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, the Persian Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. The end of this loosely organized empire came in 224 CE, when the last king was defeated by one of the empire's vassals, the Persians of the Sassanid dynasty. Paraphrased from the Wikipedia article Parthia, q.v.

Parthian shot — a tactic employed by ancient Persian horse archers. The horsemen would feign retreat at full gallop, then suddenly turn their bodies around and fire arrows at the pursuing enemy. Wikipedia. Used metaphorically in this context.

Parvati (Sanskrit) — a Hindu goddess; one of the major aspects of Devi, the universal goddess. She is known as one of the benevolent forms (while Durga and Kali are the wrathful forms). She appears as Shiva's consort, and is considered in this form to be a mountain goddess. Excerpted from the article on Parvati at the Siamese Dream website.

pasderma — sun-dried meat. Author's footnote.

, Pashtuns, Pathans — a semi-nomadic Pushtu-speaking people consisting of more than 60 tribes, numbering 10 million in the North-West-Frontier Province of Pakistan and 6 million in Afghanistan. The Pathans, also known as Pashtuns, Pushtuns, Pakhtuns, and Pakhtoons, have a reputation as fierce fighters. British punitive expeditions in the late 19th and early 20th century failed to subdue the Pathans who were eventually granted the North-West-Frontier Province as a semi-autonomous homeland. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Pashtun people.

patchouli — a small southeast Asian shrub (Pogostemon cablin) in the mint family, having leaves that yield a fragrant oil used in the manufacture of perfumes; also; a perfume made from the oil of this plant. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article on Patchouli.

patria potestas (Latin) — the power held by the pater familias (the eldest or ranking male in a Roman household) ... Under the laws of the Twelve Tables, the pater familias had vitae necisque potestas - the "power of life and death" - over his children, his wife, and his slaves, all of whom were said to be sub manu, "under his hand." Wikipedia (paraphrased).

patteran (Romany) — trail. The following explanation of this term is given George Borrow in his book The Romany Rye (see Chapter XI).

"...at last, coming to four cross roads, I saw my husband's patteran."
"You saw your husband's patteran?"
"Yes, brother. Do you know what patteran means?"
"Of course, Ursula; the gypsy trail, the handful of grass which the gypsies strew in the roads as they travel, to give information to any of their companions who may be behind, as to the route they have taken. The gypsy patteran has always had a strange interest for me, Ursula."
"Like enough, brother; but what does patteran mean?"
"Why, the gypsy trail, formed as I told you before."
"And you know nothing more about patteran, brother?"
"Nothing at all, Ursula; do you?"
"What's the name for the leaf of a tree, brother?"
"I don't know," said I; "it's odd enough that I have asked that question of a dozen Romany chals and chies, and they always told me that they did not know."
"No more they did, brother; there's only one person in England that knows, and that's myself — the name for a leaf is patteran. Now there are two that knows it — the other is yourself."

paunlagi, paalagi(e) (Hindi) — greetings.

pearler — 1) a pearl-diver; 2) a boat engaged in seeking or trading pearls. The American Heritage Dictionary.

peling (Tibetan) — a foreigner in general, but applied by Tibetans particularly to Englishmen. The Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary.

Pelion — an allusion to the Greek myth in which the Aloadae — two giants named Otus and Ephialtes — attempted to storm Olympus and overthrow the gods by piling Mount Ossa on top of Mount Pelion. The phrase "to pile Ossa on Pelion" means "to attempt an enormous but fruitless task." The Columbia Encyclopedia.

pembe (Swahili) — ivory. The Kamusi Project Swahili-English Dictionary.

Pertinax — Publius Helvius Pertinax (126-193 CE) Roman general who succeeded Commodus as emperor. The son of a charcoal-burner, Pertinax was born at Alba Pompeia in Liguria. From being a teacher of grammar he rose through many important offices, both civil and military, to the consulate, which he held twice. Chosen, at an advanced age and against his will, on the 1st of January 193 CE, to succeed Commodus, he was himself assassinated in a soldiers' mutiny on the 28th of March 193. Enc yclopedia Britannica, 1911 edition. For more details on the life of Pertinax follow this link to "De Imperatoribus Romanis", an online encyclopedia of Roman emperors.

pesa, pice, paise, poisha — a monetary unit currently equivalent to 1/100th of a Rupee or Bangladeshi Taka ... used in several countries, including Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Variant spellings include Poisha (especially in Bangladesh), and Pice, (during British rule). Until the 1950s in India and Pakistan (and before that in British India), the Paisa was equivalent to 3 Pies, 1/4th of an Anna, or 1/64 of a Rupee. After the transition from a non-decimal currency to a decimal currency, the Paisa was known as a Naya Paisa ("New Paisa") for a few years. Wikipedia.

Penscennius Niger (c. 140-194 CE) — a Roman usurper in the Eastern Roman Empire from 193 to 194. ... Niger was a governor of Syria who was proclaimed Emperor by the eastern legions after the murder of Pertinax and the auctioning off of the imperial title to Didius Julianus. Among the provinces that fell under his direct control was Egypt, and he also enjoyed support from the government of Asia. However, Septimius Severus, having succeeded in taking Rome first, then marched east to confront Niger. Niger was defeated at Cyzicus and Nicea (193) and then, definitively, at Issus; forced to retreat to Antioch, Niger was killed while attempting to flee to Parthia. Wikipedia (paraphrased). For more detail see Livius - Articles on Ancient History.

Phoebus (Latin from Greek "phoibos", shining) — synonym for Apollo, the Greek god of light; god of prophesy and poetry and music and healing; son of Zeus and Leto; twin brother of Artemis. Wordnet. For more detail, see the article Apollo in The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition.

piaster — originally a dollar-size silver coin, the piastre served as the major unit of currency of French Indochina, ... Ottoman Turkey and a number of Arab countries ... The piastre still exists as the subdivision of the Egyptian and Syrian pound... The kuru, the subvision of the Turkish new lira, is commonly known as the piastre. Wikipedia.

pipal — a fig tree (Ficus religiosa) native to India, having broadly ovate leaves with a long terminal projection. It is regarded as sacred by Buddhists. Also called bo tree. The American Heritage Dictionary.

plebes (Latin) — an Ancient Rome, the plebs was the general body of Roman citizens, distinct from the privileged class of the patricians ... Later on, "plebeian" came to mean the poorer members of society in general. During the Empire it was often used of anyone not in the senatorial or equestrian orders. Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

Pogal, poggul, poogle, puggly (Hindi) — a fool; an idiot; a madman; often used colloquially by Anglo-Indians. The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

Pompey (the Great) Gnaeus or Cnaeus Pompeius Magnus (September 29, 106 BCE — September 29, 48 BCE) — a distinguished military and political leader of the late Roman republic. Hailing from an Italian provincial background, he went on to establish a place for himself in the ranks of Roman nobility, earning the cognomen of Magnus (the Great) for his military exploits against pirates in the Mediterranean Sea after the dictatorship of Lucius Cornelius Sulla ... Pompey was a rival and an ally of Marcus Licinius Crassus and Gaius Julius Caesar. The three politicians would dominate the Roman republic through a political alliance called the First Triumvirate. After the death of Crassus, Pompey and Caesar would dispute the leadership of the entire Roman state amongst themselves. Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

Porta Capena (Latin) — a gate in the Servian Wall near Caelian Hill, in Rome ... It was one of the main entries to the city of Rome, since it opened on the Appian Way. The origin of the name is unknown, although it may refer to the fact that the road leads to Capua, an important city in Campania, south of Rome. Wikipedia.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc (Latin) — "after this, therefore because of this." It is often shortened to simply post hoc... Post hoc, also known as "coincidental correlation" or "false cause", is a logical fallacy which assumes or asserts that if one event happens after another, then the first must be the cause of the second. It is a particularly tempting error because temporal sequence is integral to causality -- it is true that a cause always happens before its effect. The fallacy lies in coming to a conclusion based only on the order of events, which is not an accurate indicator. That is to say, it is not always true that the first event caused the second event. Wikipedia.

praetor (Latin) — originally a consul, and later a judicial magistrate (from c.366 BCE). In 242 BCE two praetors were appointed, the urban praetor (praetor urbanus), deciding cases to which citizens were parties, and the peregrine praetor (praetor peregrinus) deciding cases between foreigners. The urban praetor exercised the functions of the consuls in their absence and of the peregrine praetor when he was holding a military command. Two additional praetors were appointed (227 BCE) to administer Sicily and Sardinia, and two more (197 BCE) to administer Spain. A principal duty of praetors was the production of the public games. Under the empire the functions of the praetor were gradually taken over by other magistrates. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition. For more detail, see the article Praetor in Wikipedia.

Praetorian Guard (Latin: "praetoriani") — a special force of bodyguards used by Roman Emperors. Before the Emperors, the guard was employed under warlords, dating at least to the Scipio family — around 275 BC. The members of the Praetorian Guard were among the most skilled and celebrated warriors in ancient history ... Wikipedia.

praetorium (Latin) — in this context the term is used to signify the building occupied by the Praetor's office. More generally it means; 1) the general's tent in a Roman camp; hence, a council of war, because held in the general's tent; 2) the official residence of a governor of a province; hence, a place; a splendid country seat. The Online Plain Text English Dictionary.

Prakrit (Sanskrit) — 1) any of the vernacular and literary Indic languages recorded from the third century BCE to the fourth century CE, as opposed to Sanskrit. 2) any of the modern Indic languages. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Prakrit.

pranam (Hindi) — obeisance, usually offered by placing together the palms and bowing the head. The Heart of Hinduism Glossary. For more information, see the article Hindu Symbols at the same website.

prefect and subprefect (Latin: "praefectus" and "subpraefectus") — "praefectus" (from the verb "praeficere," to make in front, i.e. put in charge) was the formal title of many, fairly low to high-ranking, military and civil officials in the Roman Empire, whose powers were not embodied in their person (as it was with elected Magistrates) but conferred by delegation from a higher authority. The title often included a qualifier denoting the official's area of responsibility: e.g. "praefecti urbi" - city prefect in charge of the administration of Rome; "praefectus equitum" - a cavalry commander; "praefectus praetorio" - Praetorian Prefect, commander of the Praetorian Guard. Wikipedia (paraphrased). A "subpraefectus" was a junior or subordinate official or commmander.

privy councilor — a member of the Privy Council of the British sovereign that until the 17th century was the supreme legislative body, that now consists of cabinet ministers ex officio and others appointed for life, and that has no important function except through its Judicial Committee, which in certain cases acts as a supreme appellate court in the Commonwealth. The American Heritage Dictionary.

proconsul (Latin) — In the Roman Republic, a proconsul was a promagistrate (like a propraetor) who, after serving as consul, spent a year as a governor of a province. Certain provinces were reserved for proconsuls; who received which one by senatorial appointment was determined by random choosing or negotiation between the two proconsuls. Under the Empire, the Emperor derived a good part of his powers (alongside the military imperium and the tribunician power and presidency of the senate in Rome) from a constitutionally "exceptional" (but permanent) mandate as the holder of proconsular authority over all hence so-called Imperial provinces, generally with one or more legions garrisoned (often each under a specific legate); however, he would appoint legates and other promagistrates to govern each such province in his name. The former Consuls (constitutionally still eponymic chief magistrates of the res publica, but politically powerless) would still receive a term as proconsul of one of the other, so-called Senatorial provinces. Wikipedia.

proscription (Latin: "proscriptio") — the public identification and official condemnation of enemies of the state. It is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as a "decree of condemnation to death or banishment" and is a heavily politically-charged word frequently used to refer to state-approved murder or persecution. Proscription implies the elimination en masse of political rivals or personal enemies... Wikipedia.

pugree, puggry, puggerie (Hindi: "pagri," turban) — a scarf of cotton or silk wound round the hat in turban-form, to protect the head from the sun. The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

puja, pooja — in Hinduism or Buddhism, the ritual daily devotion involving offering food, drink and prayers to a deity. For more information see the Wikipedia article Puja.

pukka, pucka (Hindi: "ripe", "cooked") — genuine, authentic; superior, first-class. The American Heritage Dictonary, 4th edition. For more information see the entry Pucka in The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

pundit, pandit (Hindi) — a Hindu Brahmin who has memorized a substantial portion of the Vedas, along with the corresponding rhythms and melodies for chanting or singing them. Pandits are hired to chant Vedic verses at yagyas and other events, both public and private. The chanting is meant to be listened to with a quiet mind for the purpose of spiritual development for the listener as well as enlivening of the atmosphere at an event... In India today, pandit is a term of great respect given to Indian classical musicians (usually Hindu) acknowledged to be masters, such as Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Pran Nath, or Pandit Ravi Shankar... Wikipedia.

In the second half of the 19th century, the term "pundit" was also used to denote native surveyors who explored regions to the north of India for the British. For more information on this subject, see the Wikipedia article Pundit (explorer).

punkah — a large fixed and swinging fan, formed of cloth stretched on a rectangular frame, and suspended from the ceiling, which is used to agitate the air in hot weather. The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

Punjab — a historical region of the northwest Indian subcontinent bounded by the Indus and Yamuna rivers ... Muslims occupied the western part of the region by the 8th century, introducing Islam, and although they later conquered the eastern part, Hinduism remained entrenched there. The Moguls brought the region to cultural eminence until their empire declined in the 18th century. The Punjab was controlled by Sikhs from 1799 to 1849, when it was annexed by Great Britain. It was partitioned between India and Pakistan in 1947. The American Heritage Dictionary.

purdah (Urdu) — 1) a curtain or screen, used mainly in India to keep women separate from men or strangers; 2) the Hindu or Muslim system of sex segregation, practiced especially by keeping women in seclusion; 3) social seclusion. The American Heritage Dictionary.

Pururavas — an allusion to the play Vikramorvashe or Urvashi Conquered by Valor by the Sanskrit poet Kalidasa, in which King Pururavas falls in love with a celestial nymph named Urvashi. After writing her mortal suitor a love letter on a birch leaf, Urvashi returns to the heavens to perform in a celestial play. However, she is so smitten that she misses her cue and pronounces her lover's name during the performance. As a punishment for ruining the play, Urvashi is banished from heaven, but cursed to return the moment her human lover lays eyes on the child that she will bear him. After a series of mishaps, including Urvashi's temporary transformation into a vine, the curse is eventually lifted, and the lovers are allowed to remain together on Earth. See the page on Kalidasa at the Moonstruck Drama Store website. For information on poet's life and other works, see the Wikipedia article on Kalidasa.

Pye-dog (Anglo-Indian from Hindi pahi - outsider) — ownerless half-wild mongrel dog common around Asian villages, especially in India.

Pytheas (c.380-c.310 BCE) — a Greek merchant, geographer and explorer from the Greek colony Massilia (today Marseille). He made a voyage of exploration to northwestern Europe around 325 BCE. He traveled around a considerable part of Great Britain, circumnavigating it between 330 and 320 BCE. Pytheas is the first person on record to describe the Midnight Sun, the aurora and Polar ice, and the first to mention the name Britannia and Germanic tribes ... Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.


quadriga (Latin) — a four-horse chariot, raced in the Olympic Games and other sacred games, and represented in profile as the usual chariot of gods and heroes on Greek vases and bas-reliefs. The quadriga was adopted in ancient Roman chariot racing... Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

quaestor (Latin) — a Roman magistrate, with responsibility for the treasury; in early times a quaestor also had judicial powers. At first there were two quaestors. Sulla named 20, and Caesar set 40 as the number (45 BCE), but Augustus reduced them to 20. Quaestors were in theory deputies for consuls, praetors, or proconsuls. A quaestorship was the first magistracy sought by an ambitious young man. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition. For more detail, see the article Quaestor at Livius - Articles on Ancient History.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Latin) — Who will guard the guards themselves? Juvenal (55 CE-127 CE), Satire VI "Against Women," verse 345. For more information, see the Wikipedia articles Juvenal and Satire VI (Juvenal). For an English translation of Satire VI, see the Internet Ancient History Sourcebook website.

quartarius (Latin) — a Roman liquid measure; the fourth part of a sextarius. William Whitaker's Words. The sextarius held about 530 milliliters, very close to the capacity of the British and U.S. pint. A Dictionary of Units of Measurement, q.v.


radong (Tibetan) — a long, trumpet-like ritual instrument with a bell-shaped end. Often telescopic.

ragyabas (Tibetan) — untouchables. The lowest class in Tibetan society. They live on the outskirts of towns and dispose of the dead. Various sources, including the article on Lha sa in the Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 edition.

Raj — the British Raj (also simply known as the Raj) was a historical period during which the Indian subcontinent, or present-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were under the colonial authority of the British; also included from 1886 was Burma. It lasted from 1858, when the rule of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown, until 1947, when British India was partitioned into two fully independent states, India and Pakistan. Excerpted from Wikipedia.

rajah (Hindi) — a king, or princely ruler... The female equivalent is rani (sometimes spelled ranee) ... The word maharaja connotes a rajah who has conquered other rajahs, thus becoming a great ruler. Excerpted from Wikipedia.

Rajasthani — the native language of Rajputana. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Rajasthani languages.

Rajput (Hindi) — a member of the dominant Hindu landowning and military lineages inhabiting northern and central India. For more information, see the Wikipedia articles Rajput and Rajputana.

Rajputana — an historic region of Northwest India; roughly coextensive with the modern Indian state of Rajasthan. The name means "land of the Rajputs." Rajput tribal power rose here between the 7th and 13th cent., and the princes resisted the early Moslem incursions, which began in the 11th cent. Rajput power reached its peak in the early 16th cent., but the area fell to the Mughals when Akbar captured the fort of Chitor in 1568. From their seat at Ajmer the Mughals ruled Rajputana until the early 18th cent. The Marathas held feudatories in the region from c.1750 to 1818, when it passed to Great Britain. Under the British, Rajputana included more than 20 princely states, notably Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, and Ajmer. The internal autonomy of many of the states was guaranteed. Most of these states were incorporated into Rajasthan after India gained independence in 1947. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Rajputana.

raki (Turkish from Arabic) — an anise-flavored liqueur that is similar to several kinds of alcoholic beverages available in the Mediterranean and parts of the Balkans, including pastis, sambuca, arak, ouzo, tsikoudia, tsipouro, and mastica. Wikipedia.& amp; lt; /p>

Rampore, Rampore hound — a breed of large, strong-limbed, big-boned dogs... They are a cross-breed from the original upcountry dog and the Persian greyhound. Some call them the Indian greyhound... Sport and Work on the Nepaul Frontier (1878) by James Inglis.

Rangar, Ranghar — a Moslem of Hindu extraction who (or whose ancestors) have converted to Islam. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Muslim Rajputs.

rat-run — a network of short-cuts and escape routes; in modern British English the term is sometimes used as an epithet for minor streets used by drivers to avoid congestion on main roads. Various sources, including The Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary.

Regulus — Marcus Atilius Regulus (d. ca. 250 BCE), a Roman general in the First Punic War. While consul (267 BCE) he conquered the Sallentini and captured Brundisium (now Brindisi). He became consul a second time (256), defeated the Carthaginians at sea, and waged war against them in Africa, at first with success. Soon afterward the Carthaginians won a complete victory and captured (255) Regulus. He was sent on parole to solicit peace from the Romans, but instead he advised the senate against accepting the Punic terms or exchanging prisoners. Resisting persuasions to break his parole, he returned to Carthage, where he was supposedly tortured to death. The story made Regulus famous as a Roman patriot-martyr. The Columbia Emcyclopedia.

Rekis ("desert people") — scattered tribes of nomads in Baluchistan, the Mohamadani being the most numerous. They are probably of Arab origin. Excerpted from the article on Baluchistan in The Classic Encyclopedia.

retiarius (Latin) — a gladiator armed with a net for entangling his adversary and a trident for despatching him. Webster's 1913 Dictionary.

Ringding Gelong Lama (Tibetan) — a fully-ordained Tibetan Buddhist monk of middle rank. See the website About Religion and Spirituality and The Hobson Jobson Dictionary. According to Mundy's own somewhat vague definition (see below), "a Ringding Gelong Lama does not rank as high in the Lamaistic scale as a cardinal does in the Roman Catholic Church."

Risaldar — a mid-level rank in cavalry and armoured units of the Indian Army... A Risaldar ranks above a Naib-Risaldar (called a Jemadar in the British Indian Army) and below a Risaldar-Major. Risaldars generally command squadrons. In other arms the equivalent is a Subedar. Wikipedia. Equivalent of a captain.

rom (Romany from Sanskrit) — Gypsy husband, or family man. Author's footnote. See also the entries Rom and Romany&l t;/ a> in the Online Etymology Dictionary.

rostra (Latin) — the platform in the Roman Forum from which orators spoke to the assembled people. Its name was taken from the bronze ships' beaks (rostrum) which decorated the front of the platform ... Paraphrased and excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

roup — An infectious disease of poultry and pigeons characterized by inflammation of and mucous discharge from the mouth and eyes. The American Heritage Dictionary.

rupee (Sanksrit "silver") — the common name for the currencies used in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Mauritius, and the Seychelles ... The Pakistani rupee and the Indian rupee are subdivided into one hundred paise or pice (singular paisa). Excerpted from Wikipedia.

rutch — to slide; to push back (e.g. a chair); from German "rutschen." For other meanings, see The Urban Dictionary.

ryot, raiyat (Hindi from Arabic) — a nomenclature used customarily and legally for the peasantry of Bengal during the Mughal and British periods, but in its widest sense, also used for subjects of the state and of the ruling classes. The term seems to have been used first in the Todar Mall settlement (1582) and since then it was in currency until the term expired legally and practically on the enactment of the East Bengal Estate Acquisition Act of 1950 under which the raiyats got a new legal nomenclature, malik. But the new term never received popular recognition. Jotedar (very rich peasant), Grhastha (quite rich peasant), Krsak (ordinary peasant), chasi (marginal peasant), bargadar (sharecropper), mazur (farm labourer) are the words which are now used for describing various categories of peasants. Banglapedia. See also Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

ryotwari, raiyatwari (Hindi from Arabic) — a peasant farmer. See the article Ryo t in the Enclyclopedia Britannica, 1913 edition. See also Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.


saddhu, sadhu (Hindi) — In Hinduism, an ascetic or practitioner of yoga (yogi) who has given up pursuit of the first three Hindu goals of life: kama (pleasure), artha (wealth and power) and even dharma (duty). The sadhu is solely dedicated to achieving moksha (liberation) through meditation and contemplation of God. Although the term Sadhu has its roots in Hinduism it is also used for followers of other religions, if they live a Sadhu life...Wikipedia.

sahib (Hindi from Arabic) — lord, master, sir; also formerly used as a term of respect for white Europeans in colonial India. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Sahib. For more information on this term, see the entry Sahib in Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

sais, saice, syce (Hindi) — a coachman, a groom. The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

Saladin (1137-1193) — Sultan of Syria and Egypt; reconquered Jerusalem from the Christians in 1187 but was defeated by Richard Coeur de Lion in 1191. The Free Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Saladin.

sambar, sambur (Hindi) — A large deer (Cervus unicolor) of southern Asia, having three-tined antlers and a reddish-brown coat. The American Heritage Dictionary.

Samothrace — an island in Greece, in the northern Aegean Sea. The name of the island means Thracian Samos ... Samothrace was part of the Athenian Empire in the 5th century BCE, and then passed successively through Macedonian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman rule before being returned to Greek rule in 1913 following the Balkan War. Excerpted from Wikipedia.

sanyassin (Hindi) — a wandering religious beggar. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Sanyasa.

Saraswati (Sanskrit) — the first of the three great goddesses of Hinduism, the other two being Lakshmi and Durga. Saraswati is the consort of Lord Brahma, the Creator, and, among other things, the goddess of wisdom ... Wikipedia.

sauve-qui-peut (French) — "every man for himself;" literally: let everyone who can save himself; a panicked departure; a rout. MSN Encarta Dictionary (paraphrased).

scald, skald (Icelandic) — a court poet in Scandinavia or Iceland during the Viking age. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Skald.

Scapin — clown; an allusion to the clownish, crafty servant of that name in Molière's comedy "Les Fourberies de Scapin" (Scapin's Schemings).

scoff (British slang) — food. Probert Encyclopedia.

semsem (Arabic, Swahili) — sesame; sesame seeds. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Sesame.

sepoy (Persian sipâhi, "soldier") — a native of India employed as a soldier in the service of a European power, usually of the United Kingdom. Specifically, it was the term used in the British Indian Army for an infantry private (a cavalry trooper was a sowar). The same Persian word has reached English via another route in the form of "Spahis." Wikipedia.

Sepoy Rebellion a revolt of the sepoy (native) troops in British India (1857—59), resulting in the transfer of the administration of India from the East India Company to the Crown. Also called Sepoy Mutiny, Indian Mutiny. For more information, see the article Indian Mutiny in the Columbia Encyclopedia.

sestertius (Latin) — an ancient Roman coin. During the Roman Republic it was a small silver coin and during the Roman Empire it was a large bronze coin ... In older English texts the French form sesterce is sometimes used. The sestertius was introduced c. 211 BCE as a small silver coin that was one quarter of a denarius (and thus one hundredth of an aureus), and itself valued at ten asses... Wikipedia.

Severus — Lucius Septimius Severus (146-211 CE). A Roman general, consul and — after the murder of Pertinax — Roman emperor from April 193 to February 211 CE. For more detail, see the article in Wikipedia.

Shabash (Hindi) — Well done! bravo! excellent! Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

Shambala — In Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Shambhala (also spelled Shambala or Shamballa) is a mystical kingdom hidden somewhere beyond the snowpeaks of the Himalayas. It is mentioned in various ancient texts including the Kalachakra and the ancient texts of the Zhang Zhung culture which pre-dated Tibetan Buddhism in western Tibet. Wikipedia.

sharm (Hindi, Urdu) — shame. Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

shatir (Persian) — a servant who runs before a personage's horse. Author's footnote. See also the entry Shatir in Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

Shereef, Sherif (Arabic) — a traditional Arab tribal title given to those to serve as the protector of the tribe and all tribal assets, property, land, wells etc. It is used, in the Islamic tradition (both Sunni and Shia Islam), to refer to those claiming descent from Muhammad through Hasan, son of his daughter Fatima Zahra and son-in-law Ali. (Descendants of another son, Husayn, are often referred to as Sayyid.) From 1201, this family held the office of the Shari-f of Makkah and descendants now rule Jordan. Note: The English term sheriff is not related to the Arabic term. Wikipedia.

Shiah — the second largest denomination of the religion of Islam. Shi'a Muslims adhere to the teachings of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his Ahlul Bayt (family). Thus, Shi'as reject the rule of the initial three Sunni Caliphs as Sunnis reject the Imamate of the Shi'a Imams... Wikipedia.

shikari (Hindi) — a big-game hunter; a guide for big-game hunting. The American Heritage Dictionary.

Shri (Sanskrit) — an alternate name for the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. Shri/Lakshmi is the goddess of wealth, light and fortune, as well as (secondarily) luck, beauty and fertility. For more information, see the Wikipedia article on Lakshmi.

shroff (Hindi from Arabic) — a banker or money changer in the Far East; especially: one who tests and evaluates coin. Merriam-Webster Online. See also Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

Shwai-ya shwai-ya! (Arabic) — Go slow! Slow down!

Sic semper tyrannus (Latin) — literally, "Thus always to tyrants," i.e., "This will always happen to tyrants." See Wikipedia article Sic semper tyrannis.

Sikh (Hindi) — an adherent of Sikhism, a monotheistic religion founded in northern India in the 16th century and combining elements of Hinduism and Islam. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Sikhism.

Sircar, Sirkar (Hindi, "head of affairs") — various meanings: 1) the State, the Government, the Supreme authority; also "the Master" or head of the domestic government. Thus a servant, if asked "Whose are those horses?" in replying "They are the sircar’s," may mean according to circumstances, that they are Government horses, or that they belong to his own master. 2) In Bengal the word was applied to a domestic servant who is a kind of house-steward, keeps the accounts of household expenditure, and makes miscellaneous purchases for the family; also, in merchants' offices, to any native accountant or native employed in making purchases, etc. 3) Under the Mahommedan governments, as in the time of the Mogul Empire, and later in the Deccan, the word was applied to certain extensive administrative divisions of territory. The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

Sirdar (Hindi from Persian) — here, the title given to the British commander of the Egyptian army. MSN Encarta Dictionary, q.v. For other meanings of this term, see the articles in The Hobson Jobson Dictionary and Wikipedia.

sirdar (Hindi from Persian) — a leader, a commander, and officer, a chief or a lord; honorific for a person of importance in India; also, in Tibet: a Sherpa mountain guide who manages all the other Sherpas in a climbing expedition or trekking group. Various sources. See articles in The Hobson Jobson Dictionary and Wikipedia.

sistrum (Latin; plural: sistra) — a musical instrument of the percussion family, chiefly associated with ancient Egypt. It consists of a handle and a U-shaped metal frame, made of brass or bronze and between 10 and 30 cm in width. When shaken the small rings or loops of thin metal on its moveable crossbars produce a sound that can range from a soft tinkling to a loud jangling. Wikipedia.

Siva, Shiva — one of the principal Hindu deities, worshiped as the destroyer and restorer of worlds and in numerous other forms. Shiva is often conceived as a member of the triad also including Brahma and Vishnu. The American Heritage Dictonary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Siva.

skilly — gruel: a watery type of soup, made from oatmeal or something similar. MSN Encarta Dictionary.

softa (orig. Persian) — anyone attached to a Mohammedan mosque, especially a student of the higher branches of theology in a mosque school. Webster's 1913 Dictionary.

Solon, Socrates, Aristides, Hypatia — famous Greeks:
Solon (638?-559? BCE) - an Athenian lawgiver and poet. His reforms preserved a class system based on wealth but ended privilege by birth.
Socrates (470?-399 BCE) - a philosopher whose indefatigable search for ethical knowledge challenged conventional mores and led to his trial and execution on charges of impiety and corrupting the youth. Although Socrates wrote nothing, his method of question and answer is captured in the dialogues of Plato, his greatest pupil.
Aristides (530?-468? BCE) - an Athenian statesman and general. One of the 10 generals who commanded the Athenians at the battle of Marathon (490 BCE. Is considered to be a classic example of probity in public life and was called Aristides the Just.
Hypatia of Alexandria (370-415 CE) - a Greek philosopher and mathematician. About 400 ce she became head of the Platonist school at Alexandria, where she lectured on the philosophy known as Neoplatonism. This combined Plato's ideas with a mix of Christian, Jewish, and East Asian influences and emphasized striving for an unreachable ultimate reality. Her edition of Euclid's "Elements," prepared with her father, became the basis for all later versions. Christians deemed her philosophical views pagan and killed her during antipagan riots. She is considered to be the first woman of any importance in the history of mathematics.
For more information, see the Wikipedia articles Solon, Socrates, Aristides and Hypatia of Alexandria.

sonar, sunar (Hindi) — a worker in gold, a goldsmith; also: the goldsmith's quarter (of a town). Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

souk, suq (Arabic) — bazaar, market. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Souk.

sowar, suwar — a horse-soldier, a cavalryman. See Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English.

Spartacus (d. 71 BCE) — a Thracian gladiator who led a slave revolt in Italy (73-71 BCE). He defeated Roman armies in southern Italy, but his forces were crushed at Lucania (71), where Spartacus was killed and many of his troops were crucified. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Spartacus.

spifflicate (British slang) — to treat roughly or severely; to destroy; to wipe out. See the WorldWideWords.org website.

Spiti — a former district in the Indian West Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh, now part of the district of Lahul and Spiti. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Lahul and Spiti.

spoliarium (Latin) — the room in which the bodies of killed gladiators were stored pending disposal. Annotator.

S.P.Q.R. (Latin) — Senatus Populusque Romanus, "The Senate and the People of Rome." For more information, see the Wikipedia article S.P.Q.R.

squib (Australian slang) — a mean, parsimonious person; also: a coward; a despicable person. Australian English Dictionary.

stupa — A dome-shaped monument, used to house Buddhist relics or to commemorate significant facts of Buddhism or Jainism. Also called tope. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Stupa.

subahdar, subadar, subedar, — an Indian Army mid-rank infantry officer equal to a Captain. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Subedar.

Sudra (Hindi) — a member of the lowest of the four major castes of traditional Indian society, comprising artisans, laborers, and menials. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Sudra.

suttee — the now illegal practice of a Hindu widow cremating herself on her husband's funeral pyre in order to fulfill her true role as wife; a widow who commits such an act. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Sati (practice).

Sven Anders Hedin (1865-1952) — a Swedish explorer, geographer and geopolitician. Between 1886 and 1892 he studied geology, mineralogy, zoology, and Latin in Stockholm, Uppsala, Berlin, and Halle. Between his graduation in 1892 and 1935 he led several expeditions to Central Asia... He became a member of the Swedish Academy in 1913. His achievements include the production of the first detailed maps of vast parts of Pamir, Taklamakan, Tibet, the ancient Silk Road, and the Himalayas... Although primarily an explorer, Hedin was also the first westerner to unearth the ruins of ancient Buddhist cities in Chinese Central Asia. In 1899 he discovered the ancient Chinese garrison town of Loulan in the Taklamakan desert. The many manuscripts he unearthed there proved to be of great historical importance. In his later expeditions he mapped large parts of the Tibetan highlands but never reached his ultimate goal: the then forbidden city of Lhasa... Excerpted from Wikipedia.


tableau vivant (French) — a scene presented on stage by costumed actors who remain silent and motionless as if in a picture. The American Heritage Dictionary.

tantalus — a lockable stand or case for decanters of alcoholic drinks, especially spirits. MSN Encarta Dictionary.

tarboosh, tarbush (Arabic) — a red cap worn by Turks and other Eastern nations, sometimes alone and sometimes swathed with linen or other stuff to make a turban. Webster's Dictionary, 1913 edition.

Tashi Lama — any of a succession of Tibetan monks and spiritual leaders, second in importance only to the Dalai Lama. Also called Bainquen Lama, Panchen Lama, Panchen Rimpoche. Random House Unabridged Dictionary.

thalukdar, talookdar, taluqdar (Hindi) — the owner of an estate. The Hobson Jobson Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Taluqdar.

thaldukari(Hindi) — a landed estate. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Taluqdar.

Thermae of Titus — a public bathhouse built near the Colosseum by Emperor Titus in 80 CE. For more information on this bathhouse, see the article Thermae Titi in Platner's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome. For more information on Roman baths in general, see the Wikipedia article Thermae.

thermantidote — a primitive form of air-conditioning with a fan inside, worked by hand, which drives a current of air cooled by passing through wet grass mats into a bedroom. It is described in British Life in India [Ed.R.V.Vernède, Oxford 1996, p. 73] thus: "A fearsome machine nine feet long, four feet broad and seven feet high, which sat on the verandah outside a window. The window was removed and in its place a grass mat was fixed. A hole was cut in this to take a funnel projecting from the thermantidote. Inside were four fans turned by hand which drove the air into the room. To cool the air two large circular holes were cut in the side of this infernal machine in which grass mats were fixed and water was dripped from perforated troughs above onto these mats, and the surplus water fell into other troughs below to be used again in the troughs above." Excerpted from John McGivering's Notes on Rudyard Kipling's story "In the House of Suddhoo".

The Toy Cart (Sanskrit: "Mrichchhakati") — a drama in ten acts by King Sudraka, supposed to be the oldest Sanskrit drama extant and to have been written in the first or second century BCE. The following synopsis is taken from the website of Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania:
"The Toy Cart" is an epic drama full of adventure, political intrigue, comedy and romance. The story revolves around a love affair between a beautiful courtesan and a virtuous Brahmin merchant (Chardutta). Their private story becomes intertwined with affairs of state when the courtesan (Vasantasena) is pursued by the king's brother-in-law, who is obsessed with her... It is attributed to the playwright Sudraka who, in the preface to the play, describes himself as "a king, a mathematician, knowledgeable in love and skilled in the training of elephants". The Wikipedia article on Sanskrit literature notes that the play was met with "widespread admiration when staged in New York in 1924" and that, in 1984, is was made into a Bollywood movie titled "Utsav" and directed by Girish Karnad.

Tiberius (42 BCE-37 CE) — second Roman emperor (14-37 CE). He was the son of Tiberius Claudius Nero and Livia Drusilla and was originally named Tiberius Claudius Nero. He campaigned (20 BCE) in Armenia, became (19 BCE) governor of Transalpine Gaul, and aided (12 BCE) his brother Drusus on the Rhine and the Danube. Augustus, his stepfather, compelled him (12 BCE) to divorce his wife, Vipsania Agrippina, and to marry Julia, the widow of Agrippa and daughter of Augustus. After the death of Drusus (9 BCE) he campaigned in Germany, and following a second consulship (7 BCE) he retired to Rhodes for seven years. On his return he was adopted as heir of the emperor and was sent (4 CE) into Germany. Five years later he subjugated Illyricum. Tiberius succeeded without difficulty on the death of Augustus in 14 CE. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition. For more detail, see the article Tiberius at Wikipedia.

tiffin (Anglo-Indian) — midday meal, luncheon. The The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

tikka-gharry — a one-horse open cab; a hired carriage. For more information, see the article Ticca in The Hobson Jobson Dictionary.

Timour Ilang, Timur Leng, Tamerlane — notoriously ruthless and bloodthirsty Mongolian conqueror (ca. 1336-1405) who led his nomadic hordes from their capital at Samarkand in central Asia to overrun vast areas of Persia, Turkey, Russia, and India. For more information, see the article Timur in The Columbia Encycopedia.

Katherine Tingley — Katherine Augusta Westcot Tingley (1847-1929), a social worker and prominent theosophist. Tingley was a social worker in New York when she met William Quan Judge (1851-1896), a prominent founding member of the original Theosophical Society ... After the Society split and after Judge's death she suceeded him as head of the faction of the Society that went with him. On February 13, 1900, she transferred the Society's international headquarters from New York City to Point Loma, California. Tingley founded the Raja-Yoga School and Theosophical University in Point Loma. Wikipedia.

Tippoo Tib — Tippu Tib (1837-1905), real name Hamed bin Mohammed el Marjebi, was a Swahili-Zanzibari trader, plantation owner and governor. Working for a succession of sultans of Zanzibar, he led many trading expeditions into east-central Africa, sometimes involving slave trade. Tippu Tip met and helped several famous western explorers of the African continent, including Henry Morton Stanley. Between 1884 and 1887 Tip claimed the Eastern Congo. In 1887, he was named governor of Stanley Falls District in the Congo Free State. He died in 1905 in his home in Stone Town, the main town on the island of Zanzibar. Wikipedia.

Tirah — a mountainous tract of country in the west-central North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan. It lies between the Khyber Pass and the Khanki Valley, and is inhabited by the Afridi and Orakzai tribes ... The Tirah Campaign was an Indian frontier war in 1897-98. The Afridis had for sixteen years received a subsidy from the government of British India for the safeguarding of the Khyber Pass, in addition to which the government had maintained for this purpose a local regiment entirely composed of Afridis, who were stationed in the pass. Suddenly, however, the tribesmen rose, captured all the posts in the Khyber held by their own countrymen, and attacked the forts on the Samana Ridge near Peshawar... Wikipedia.

toe-rag (British slang) — contemptible; worthless. "toe-rag" was the name given to the strips of cloth that convicts or tramps wrapped around their feet as a ... substitute for socks. WorldWideWords.org.

Tophet — in the Bible, a place near Jerusalem associated with the worship of Molech; Tophet became a synonym for Hell. The Columbia Encyclopedia. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Tophet. The Biblical references to Tophet are: Isaiah 30:33, Jeremiah 7:31-32, Jeremiah 19:6, and Jeremiah 19:11-14.

Transjordan — The Emirate of Transjordan was an autonomous political division of the British Mandate of Palestine, created as an administrative entity in April 1921 before the Mandate came into effect. It was geographically equivalent to today's Kingdom of Jordan, and remained under the nominal auspices of the League of Nations, until its independence in 1946. Excerpted from Wikipedia.

tribune (Latin: "tribunus") — a title shared by several elected magistracies and other governmental and/or (para)military offices of the Roman Republic and Empire... The "tribunes of the plebs" were elected by the plebeians to protect their rights from arbitrary acts of the patrician magistrates ... Each Roman legion had six "military tribunes", who were senior officers ranking after the legate (commander); one tribune, the second in command, was entitled the "tribunus laticlavius" and was drawn from the senatorial class and beginning his career, the other five were from the equestrian class and were in the midst of their career progression. Various sources. For more detail, see Livius - Articles on Ancient History.

Trichinopoly — a brand of "lunkah," i.e., a kind of strong cheroot. Named after the city of Tiruchirapalli (Trichnopoly) in Tamil Nadu state, India. Various sources, including The Hobson Jobson Dictionary. These cheroots figure prominently in a short story by P. Raghu Nandan entitled " On the Golf Course", which was published in the Indian national newspaper The Hindu on July 14, 2001). Here, we read that the central character, an Indian caddy by the name of Munnu, "used to smoke a cheroot every evening before retiring for the night. This was the only indulgence he had. It was a cheap brand, costing one anna for two dozens. It came wrapped in paper, on which were printed the words in Tamil 'Trichnopoly Cheroots, Abdul Jabbar, Blacktown, Madras. Estb. 1870.'" "Lunkah" cheroots are also mentioned by Sherlock Holmes in Arthur Conan Doyle's novel The Sign of the Four.

Trinobantes, Trinovantes — one of the Celtic tribes that lived in pre-Roman Britain. Their territory was on the north side of the Thames estuary in current Essex and Suffolk, and included lands now located in Greater London. Their name derives from the Celtic intensive prefix "tri-" and "novio" - new - so the name literally means "very new", probably with the sense of "newcomers". Their capital was Camulodunum (modern Colchester), one proposed site of the legendary Camelot ... Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

Triumvirate — in ancient Rome, a ruling board or commission of three men. Triumvirates were common in the Roman republic. The First Triumvirate was the alliance of Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Marcus Licinius Crassus formed in 60 B.C. This was not strictly a triumvirate, since the alliance had no official sanction. The three men were able to control Rome, and the alliance aided Caesar’s rise to power by giving him the opportunity to pursue the Gallic Wars... Excerpted from The Columbia Encyclopedia, q.v.

Tullianum (Latin) — synonym for the Mamertine Prison ... located in the Forum Romanum in Ancient Rome... Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

tulwar, talwar — a type of saber from Mogul India dating back to at least the 17th century. In what was called Hindustan this became by far the most popular choice of sword. In outline it bears a resemblance to the Persian shamshir and the Turkish kilic; however, the blade of a talwar is wider in the ricasso than a shamshir, and will taper less toward the point. It also has a less extreme curve in the 28-30 inch blade. Wikipedia.


Vasuki (Hindi) — a naga, or one of the serpents of Hindu mythology. He is also the king of the nagas and has a gem (Nagamani) on his head ... The most famous legend in Hinduism that Vasuki takes part in was when ... he agreed to allow the Devas and the Asuras to use him as a churning rope ... when they churned an ocean of milk to make the ambrosia of immortality. Wikipedia.

Vedas — a corpus of ancient Indo-Aryan religious literature that is considered by adherents of Hinduism to be revealed knowledge. The word Veda means Knowledge and is cognate with the word "wit" in English (as well as "vision" through Latin). Many Hindus believe the Vedas existed since the beginning of creation ... The newest parts of the Vedas are estimated to date back to around 500 BCE. The oldest text (RigVeda) found is now dated to around 1,500 BCE, but most Indologists agree that a long oral tradition possibly existed before it was written down. Excerpted from Wikipedia.

Venus Genetrix (Latin "Mother Venus") — Venus in her role as the ancestress of the Roman people, a goddess of motherhood and domesticity. A festival was held in her honor on September 26. As Venus was regarded as the mother of the Julian gens in particular, Julius Caesar dedicated a temple to her in Rome. Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

Vesta — in Roman religion and mythology, hearth goddess. She was highly honored in every household from early times to the beginning of Christianity. Her public cult maintained a sacred building in which her priestesses, the Vestal Virgins, tended the communal hearth and fire, which was never allowed to die out. Vesta was identified with the Greek Hestia. The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition. For more information, see the article on Vesta in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.

sacerdos vestalis — in Ancient Rome, the Vestal Virgins (sacerdos Vestalis), were the virgin holy priestesses of Vesta, the goddess of the hearth. Their primary task was to maintain the sacred fire of Vesta. The Vestal duty brought great honor and afforded greater privileges to women who served in that role ... There were six Vestal virgins. The high priest (Pontifex Maximus) chose by lot from a group of young girl candidates between their sixth and tenth year ... Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

victoria — 1) a low, light four-wheeled carriage for two with a folding top and an elevated driver's seat in front; 2) a touring car with a folding top usually covering only the rear seat. The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition.

Volapük — a constructed language, created in 1879-1880 by Johann Martin Schleyer, a Catholic priest in Baden, Germany. Schleyer felt that God had told him in a dream to create an international language. Wikipedia.

Volstead Act — the National Prohibition Enforcement Act, passed on October 28, 1919, which provided for enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or transportation of alcoholic beverages in the United States. For more information, see Answers.com.

Gaius Volusenus Quadratus — a Roman tribune under Julius Caesar. In 55 BCE Volusenus was sent out by Caesar in a single warship to undertake a week-long survey of the coast of south eastern Britain prior to Caesar's invasion. He probably examined the Kent coast between Hythe and Sandwich. When Caesar set off with his troops however he arrived at Dover and saw that landing would impossible. Instead he travelled north and beached his ships near Walmer. Volusenus failed to find the great natural harbor at Richborough, used by Claudius in his later invasion ... There is no record of Caesar's reaction to Volusenus' apparent intelligence failings ... Excerpted from Wikipedia, q.v.

vorloeper, voorloper, forelooper (Dutch and Afrikaans) — a scout; a member of an advance party. See LookWAYupDutch to English Dictionary.

Vox populi vox dei (Latin) — The voice of the people (is) the voice of God. See Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.


Wahabi (Arabic) — a member of a puritanical Muslim sect founded in Arabia in the 18th century by Muhammad ibn-Abdul Wahhab and revived by ibn-Saud in the 20th century. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Wahhabism.

waler — a light saddle horse of mixed breed developed in Australia and exported to the British military forces in India during the 19th century. The American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition.

wallah (Hindi) — 1) one employed in a particular occupation or activity: a kitchen wallah; a rickshaw wallah; 2) an important person in a particular field or organization. The American Heritage Dictionary.

W'Allah! (Arabic) — By God! By Allah!

Wassmuss — Wilhelm Wassmuss (1880-1931): A German diplomat, also known as the "German Lawrence" or the "Lawrence of Persia". Wassmuss was born in Hanover and after a university education entered the German Foreign Service. He was posted first to Madagascar, then the United States, and by 1914 was the German consul to Persia. Based in Bushire, Wassmuss organised the Qashghâi tribe to revolt against the British in the south of the country. In the same year he lost his copy of the German Diplomatic Code Book which fell into the hands of the British and enabled them to read German diplomatic communications throughout much of World War I. Excerpted from Wikipedia.

Widyadhara, Vidyadhara (Sanskrit) — 'Bearer of Knowledge'; mythical air-space being in human form having magical knowledge. AsiaSource. For more information, see the essay The Vidyadhara in India, Burma and Tibet at the Dharma Fellowship website.

wowser (Australian slang) — straight-laced person, prude, puritan, spoilsport. KoalaNet Australian Slang Dictionary.


Xenophon (430?-355? BCE) — a Greek soldier and writer. A disciple of Socrates, he joined Cyrus the Younger in an attack on Persia. After the death of Cyrus, Xenophon led the Greek troops to the Black Sea, an ordeal he recounted in "Anabasis." The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Xenophon.

Xerxes (519?-465 BCE) — King of Persia (486-465 BCE) who organized a vast army that defeated the Greeks at Thermopylae and destroyed Athens (480). After the defeat of his navy at Salamis (480) and of his army at Plataea (479), he retreated to Persia, where he was later assassinated. The American Heritage Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Xerxes.


Yalla kawam! (Arabic) — Hurry up! Footnote by Mundy.

Francis Younghusband (1863-1942) — British explorer, b. India. He explored Manchuria in 1886. The following year he journeyed from China to India, crossing the Gobi desert and the Mustagh Pass (ca. 5,791 m) of the Karakorum Range. Lord Curzon, the British viceroy in India, sent Younghusband with a military expedition into Tibet in 1904, where he forced a treaty upon the Dalai Lama, opening Tibet to Western trade. Later he surveyed the Brahmaputra and Sutlej rivers and the upper reaches of the Indus. He three times tried and failed to scale Mt. Everest... The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th edition.

yuldash (Turkish) — (traveling companion, sidekick.

Yum, Yama (Sanskrit) — a Hindu god; the king of the infernal regions, corresponding to the Greek Pluto, and also the judge of departed souls. In later times he is more exclusively considered the dire judge of all, and the tormentor of the wicked. He is represented as of a green color, with red garments, having a crown on his head, his eyes inflamed, and sitting on a buffalo, with a club and noose in his hands. Webster's 1913 Dictionary. For more information, see the Wikipedia article Yama.

yunani, unani (Arabic for "Ionian" i.e., Greek) — a formal medicine that has been practiced for 6,000 years. Also known as "hikmat," it was developed by the Greek physician Hippocrates (460?—377? BCE) from the medicine and traditions of the ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.... When the Mongols invaded Persia and Central Asia many scholars and physicians of Unani fled to India... It is still practiced today amongst Moslems of Xinjiang, China as a part of Uighur medicine, in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Excerpted from the article Hikmat (Unani Medicine) by Hwaa Irfan at the IslamOnline website


Zakka Khels — members of the Zakka Khel clan of the Afridi tribe. For more information, see the article Afridi in The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 edition.

zamindar, zemindar (Hindi) — land-holder, land-owner, landlord, landed proprietor; farmer. Platt's Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi, and English. For other meanings and more information, see the Wikipedia article Zamindar.

zamindari, zemindary — a system of tax collection employed by the Mughals to collect and continued under British rule. After independence, however, the system was abolished in India and East Pakistan (present day Bangladesh), but is still current in Pakistan. The word 'Zamindar' has for some time been used for a peasant who owns land. Wikipedia.

zaptiah (Turkish) — policeman. Selisozluk Turkish-English-German Dictionary

Zeitoonli — from the town of Zeitun (now Süleymanli, Turkey), which at the time of the narrative was an autonomous city in Ottoman Armenia. In 1915, the Armenian population of Zeitun was deported after an uprising against the Turkish authorities. For more information about Zeitun and its role in Turkish and Armenian history, see the following articles:
The Armenians of Zeitun (Louise Nalbandian, The Armenian Revolutionary Movement, Berkeley and Los Angeles 1963., pp. 67-78)
New Light on the Armenian Massacres (1914-1915) (George Horton, The Blight of Asia, 1926, Chapter VII et al.

zenana (Hindi) — the part of a house in Asian countries reserved for the women of the household. Wikipedia.