FIRMAUN, s. Pers. farman, ‘an order, patent, or passport,’ der. from farmudan, ‘to order.’ Sir T. Roe below calls it firma, as if suggestive of the Italian for ‘signature.’

[1561.—“… wrote him a letter called Firmao.…”—Castanheda, Bk. viii. ch. 99.

[1602.—“They said that he had a Firmao of the Grand Turk to go overland to the Kingdom of (Portugal).…”—Couto, Dec. viii. ch. 15.]

1606.—“We made our journey having a Firman (Firmão) of safe conduct from the same Soltan of Shiraz.”—Gouvea, f. 140b.

[1614.—“But if possible, bring their chaps, their Firms, for what they say or promise.” —Foster, Letters, ii. 28.]

1616.—“Then I moued him for his favour for an English Factory to be resident in the Towne, which hee willingly granted, and gave present order to the Buxy to draw a Firma … for their residence.”—Sir T. Roe, in Purchas, i. 541; [Hak. Soc. i. 93; also see i. 47].

1648.—“The 21st April the Bassa sent me a Firman or Letter of credentials to all his lords and Governors.”—T. Van den Broecke, 32.

1673.—“Our Usage by the Pharmaund (or charters) granted successively from their Emperors, is kind enough, but the better because our Naval Power curbs them.”— Fryer, 115.

1683.—“They (the English) complain, and not without a Cause; they having a Phirmaund, and Hodgee Sophee Caun’s Perwannas thereon, in their hands, which cleared them thereof; and to pay Custome now they will not consent, but will rather withdraw their trading. Wherefore their desire is that for 3,000 rup. Piscash (as they paid formerly at Hugly) and 2,000 r. more yearly on account of Jidgea, which they are willing to pay, they may on that condition have a grant to be Custome Free.”—Nabob’s Letter to Vizier (MS.), in Hedges’ Diary, July 18; [Hak. Soc. i. 101].

1689.—“… by her came Bengal Peons who brought in several letters and a firmaun from the new Nabob of Bengal.”—Wheeler, i. 213.

c. 1690.—“Now we may see the Mogul’s Stile in his Phirmaund to be sent to Surat, as it stands translated by the Company’s Interpreter.”—A. Hamilton, i. 227; [ed. 1744, i. 230].

FISCAL, s. Dutch Fiscaal; used in Ceylon for ‘Sheriff’; a relic of the Dutch rule in the island. [It was also used in the Dutch settlements in Bengal (see quotation from Hedges, below). “In Malabar the Fiscal was a Dutch Superintendent of Police, Justice of the Peace and Attorney General in criminal cases. The office and title of Fiscal was retained in British Cochin till 1860, when the designation was changed into Tahsildar and Sub-Magistrate.”—(Logan, Malabar, iii. Gloss. s.v.)]

[1684.—“… the late Dutch Fiscall’s Budgero.…”—See quotation from Hedges, under DEVIL’S REACH.]

FLORICAN, FLORIKIN, s. A name applied in India to two species of small bustard, the ‘Bengal Florican’ (Sypheotides bengalensis, Gmelin), and the Lesser Florican (S. auritus, Latham), the likh of Hind., a word which is not in the dictionaries. [In the N.W.P. the common name for the Bengal Florican is charas, P. charz. The name Curmoor in Bombay (see quotation from Forbes below) seems to be khar-mor, the ‘grass peacock.’ Another Mahr. name, tanamora, has the same meaning.] The origin of the word Florican is exceedingly obscure; see Jerdon below. It looks like Dutch. [The N.E.D. suggests a connection with Flanderkin, a native of Flanders.] Littré has: “Florican … Nom à Ceylon d’un grand échassier que l’on présume être un grue.” This is probably mere misapprehension in his authority.

1780.—“The floriken, a most delicious bird of the buzzard (sic!) kind.”—Munro’s Narrative, 199.


“A floriken at eve we saw
And kill’d in yonder glen,
When lo! it came to table raw,
And rouzed (sic) the rage of Ben.”

In Seton-Karr, i. 98.

1807.—“The floriken is a species of the bustard. … The cock is a noble bird, but its flight is very heavy and awkward … if only a wing be broken … he will run off at such a rate as will baffle most spaniels. … There are several kinds of the floriken … the bastard floriken is much smaller. … Both kinds … delight in grassy plains, keeping clear of heavy cover.”—Williamson, Oriental Field Sports, 104.

1813.—“The florican or curmoor (Otis houbara, Lin.) exceeds all the Indian wild fowl in delicacy of flavour.”—Forbes, Or. Mem. ii. 275; [2nd ed. i. 501].

1824.—“… bringing with him a brace of florikens, which he had shot the previous day. I had never seen the bird before; it is somewhat larger than a blackcock, with brown and black plumage, and evidently of the bustard species.”—Heber, i. 258.

1862.—“I have not been able to trace the origin of

  By PanEris using Melati.

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