it is from Tamil pachcha, ‘green,’ and élâ, êlam, an aromatic perfume for the hair. [The Madras Gloss, gives Tamil paççilai, paççai, ‘green,’ ilai, ‘leaf.’]

1673.—“Note, that if the following Goods from Acheen hold out the following Rates, the Factor employed is no further responsible.

* * * * *
Patch Leaf, 1 Bahar Maunds 7 20 sear.”—Fryer, 209.

PATECA, s. This word is used by the Portuguese in India for a water-melon (Citrullus vulgaris, Schrader; Cucurbita Citrullus, L.). It is from the Ar. al-battikh or al-bittikh. F. Johnson gives this ‘a melon, musk- melon. A pumpkin; a cucurbitaceous plant.’ We presume that this is not merely the too common dictionary looseness, for the chaos of cucurbitaceous nomenclature, both vulgar and scientific, is universal (see A. De Candolle, Origine des Plantes cultivées). In Lane’s Modern Egyptians (ed. 1837, i. 200) the word butteekh is rendered explicitly ‘water-melon.’ We have also in Spanish albadeca, which is given by Dozy and Eng. as ‘espèce de melon’; and we have French pastèque, which we believe always means a water-melon. De Candolle seems to have no doubt that the water-melon was cultivated in ancient Egypt, and believes it to have been introduced into the Graeco-Roman world about the beginning of our era; whilst. Hehn carries it to Persia from India, ‘whether at the time of the Arabian or of the Mongol domination, (and then) to Greece, through the medium of the Turks, and to Russia, through that of the Tartar States of Astrakan and Kazan.’

The name pateca, looking to the existence of the same word in Spanish, we should have supposed to have been Portuguese long before the Portuguese establishment in India; yet the whole of what is said by Garcia de Orta is inconsistent with this. In his Colloquio XXXVI. the gist of the dialogue is tha t his visitor from Europe, Ruano, tells how he had seen what seemed a most beautiful melon, and how Gar cia’s housekeeper recommended it, but on trying it, it tasted only of mud instead of melon! Garcia then tells him that at Diu, and in the Balaghat, &c., he would find excellent melons with the flavour of the melons of Portugal but “those others which the Portuguese here in India call patecas are quite another thing—huge round or oval fruits, with black seeds—not sweet (doce) like the Portugal melons, but bland (suave), most juicy and cooling, excellent in bilious fevers, and congestions of the liver and kidneys, &c.” Both name and thing are represented as novelties to Ruano. Garcia tells him also that the Arabs and Persians call it batiec indi, i.e. melon of India (F. Johnson gives ‘bittikh- i-hindi, the citrul’; whilst in Persian hinduwana is also a word for water-melon) but that the real Indian country name was (calangari Mahr. kalingar, [perhaps that known in the N.W.P. as kalinda, ‘a water- melon’]). Ruano then refers to the budiecas of Castille of which he had heard, and queries if these were not the same as these Indian patecas, but Garcia says they are quite different. All this is curious as implying that the water-melon was strange to the Portuguese at that time (1563; see Colloquios, f. 141v. seqq.).

[A friend who has Burnell’s copy of Garcia De Orta tells me that he finds a note in the writing of the former on bateca: “i.e. the Arabic term. As this is used all over India, water-melons must have been imported by the Mahommedans.” I believe it to be a mistake that the word is in use all over India. I do not think the word is ever used in Upper India, nor is it (in that sense) in either Shakespear or Fallon. [Platts gives: A. bittikh, s.m. The melon (kharbuza); the water-melon, Cucurbita citrullus.] The most common word in the N.W.P. for a water-melon is Pers. tarbuz, whilst the musk-melon is Pers. kharbuza. And these words are so rendered from the Ain respectively by Blochmann (see his E.T. i. 66, “melons…water-melons,” and the original i. 67, “kharbuzatarbuz”). But with the usual chaos already alluded to, we find both these words interpreted in F. Johnson as “water-melon.” And according to Hehn the latter is called in the Slav tongues arbuz and in Mod. Greek [Greek Text] karpousia, the first as well as the last probably from the Turkish karpuz, which has the same meaning, for this hard k is constantly dropt in modern pronunciation.—H. Y.]

We append a valuable note on this from Prof. Robertson-Smith:

“(1) The classical form of the Ar. word is bittikh. Battikh is a widely-spread vulgarism, indeed now, I fancy, universal, for I don’t think I ever heard the first syllable pronounced with an i.

“(2) The term, according to the law-books, includes all kinds of melons (Lane); but practically it is applied (certainly at least in Syria and Egypt) almost exclusively to the water-melon, unless it has a limiting adjective. Thus “the wild bittikh” is the colocynth, and with other adjectives it may be used of very various cucurbitaceous fruits (see examples in Dozy’s Suppt.)

“(6) The biblical form is abattikh (e.g. Numbers xi. 5, where the E.V. has ‘melons’). But this is only the ‘water-melon’; for in the Mishna it is distinguished from the sweet melon, the latter being named by a mere transcription in Hebrew letters of the Greek [Greek Text] mhlopepwn. Low justly concludes that the Palestinians (and the Syrians, for their name only differs slightly)

  By PanEris using Melati.

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