PADDY, s. Rice in the husk; but the word is also, at least in composition, applied to growing rice. The word appears to have in some measure, a double origin.

There is a word batty (see BATTA) used by some writers on the west coast of India, which has probably helped to propagate our uses of paddy. This seems to be the Canarese batta or bhatta, ‘rice in the husk,’ which is also found in Mahr. as bhat with the same sense, a word again which in Hind. is applied to ‘cooked rice.’ The last meaning is that of Skt. bhakta, which is perhaps the original of all these forms.

But in Malay padi [according to Mr. Skeat, usually pronounced padi] Javan. pari, is ‘rice in the straw. And the direct parentage of the word in India is thus apparently due to the Archipelago; arising probably out of the old importance of the export trade of rice from Java (see Raffles, Java, i. 239–240, and Crawfurd’s Hist. iii. 345, and Descript. Dict., 368). Crawfurd, (Journ. Ind. Arch., iv. 187) seems to think that the Malayo-Javanese word may have come from India with the Portuguese. But this is impossible, for as he himself has shown (Desc. Dict., u.s.), the word pari, more or less modified, exists in all the chief tongues of the Archipelago, and even in Madagascar, the connection of which last with the Malay regions certainly was long prior to the arrival of the Portuguese.

1580.—“Certaine Wordes of the naturall language of Jaua…Paree, ryce in the huske.”—Sir F. Drake’s Voyage, in Hakl. iv. 246.

1598.—“There are also divers other kinds of Rice, of a lesse price, and slighter than the other Ryce, and is called Batte…”—Linschoten, 70; [Hak. Soc. i. 246].

1600.—“In the fields is such a quantity of rice, which they call bate, that it gives its name to the kingdom of Calou, which is called on that account Batecalou.”—Lucena, Vida do Padre F. Xavier, 121.

1615.—“…oryzae quoque agri feraces quam Batum incolae dicunt.”—Jarric, Thesaurus, i. 461.

1673.—“The Ground between this and the great Breach is well ploughed, and bears good Batty.”—Fryer, 67, see also 125. But in the Index he has Paddy.

1798.—“The paddie which is the name given to the rice, whilst in the husk, does not grow…in compact ears, but like oats, in loose spikes.”—Stavorinus, tr. i. 231.

1837.—“Parrots brought 900,000 loads of hill-paddy daily, from the marshes of Chandata,—mice husking the hill-paddy, without breaking it, converted it into rice.”—Turnour’s Mahawanso, 22.

1871.—“In Ireland Paddy makes riots, in Bengal raiyats make paddy; and in this lies the difference between the paddy of green Bengal, and the Paddy of the Emerald Isle.”—Govinda Samanta, ii. 25.

1878.—“Il est établi un droit sur les riz et les paddys exportés de la Colonie, excepté pour le Cambodge par la voie du fleuve.”—Courrier de Saigon, Sept. 20.

PADDY-BIRD, s. The name commonly given by Europeans to certain baser species of the family Ardeidae or Herons, which are common in the rice-fields, close in the wake of grazing cattle. Jerdon gives it as the European’s name for the Ardeola leucoptera, Boddaert, andha bagla (‘blind heron’) of the Hindus, a bird which is more or less coloured. But in Bengal, if we are not mistaken, it is more commonly applied to the pure white bird—Herodias alba, L., or Ardea Torra, Buch. Ham., and Herodias egrettoides, Temminck, or Ardea putea, Buch. Ham.

1727.—“They have also Store of wild Fowl; but who have a Mind to eat them must shoot them. Flamingoes are large and good Meat. The Paddy-bird is also good in their season.”—A. Hamilton, i. 161; [ed. 1744, i. 162–3].

1868.—“The most common bird (in Formosa) was undoubtedly the Padi bird, a species of heron (Ardea prasinosceles), which was constantly flying across the padi, or rice-fields.”—Collingwood, Rambles of a Naturalist, 44.

PADDY-FIELD, s. A rice-field, generally in its flooded state.

1759.—“They marched onward in the plain towards Preston’s force, who, seeing them coming, halted on the other side of a long morass formed by paddy-fields.”—Orme, ed. 1803, iii. 430.

1800.—“There is not a single paddy-field in the whole county, but plenty of cotton ground (see REGUR) swamps, which in this wet weather are delightful.”—Wellington to Munro, in Despatches, July 3.

1809.—“The whole country was in high cultivation, consequently the paddy-fields were nearly impassable.”—Ld. Valentia, i. 350.

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