PENANG, n.p. This is the proper name of the Island adjoining the Peninsula of Malacca (Pulo, properly Pulau, Pinang), which on its cession to the English (1786) was named ‘Prince of Wales’s Island.’ But this official style has again given way to the old name. Pinang in Malay signifies an areca-nut or areca- tree, and, according to Crawfurd, the name was given on account of the island’s resemblance in form to the fruit of the tree (vulgo, ‘the betel-nut’).

1592.—“Now the winter coming vpon vs with much contagious weather, we directed our course from hence with the Ilands of Pulo Pinaou (where by the way is to be noted that Pulo in the Malaian tongue signifieth an Iland) … where we came to an anker in a very good harborough betweene three Ilands. … This place is in 6 degrees and a halfe to the Northward, and some fiue leagues from the maine betweene Malacca and Pegu.”—Barker, in Hakl. ii. 589–590.

PENANG, LAWYER s. The popular name of a handsome and hard (but sometimes brittle) walking- stick, exported from Penang and Singapore.

It is the stem of a miniature palm (Licuala acutifida, Griffith). The sticks are prepared by scraping the young stem with glass, so as to remove the epidermis and no more. The sticks are then straightened by fire and polished (Balfour). The name is popularly thought to have originated in a jocular supposition that law-suits in Penang were decided by the lex baculina. But there can be little doubt that it is a corruption of some native term, and pinang liyar, ‘wild areca’ [or pinang layor, “fire-dried areca,” which is suggested in N.E.D.], may almost be assumed to be the real name. [Dennys (Descr. Dict. s.v.) says from “Layor, a species of cane furnishing the sticks so named.” But this is almost certainly wrong.]

1883.—(But the book—an excellent one—is without date—more shame to the Religious Tract Society which publishes it). “Next morning, taking my ‘Penang lawyer’ to defend myself from dogs. …” The following note is added: “A Penang lawyer is a heavy walking-stick, supposed to be so called from its usefulness in settling disputes in Penang.”—Gilmour, Among the Mongols, 14.

PENGUIN, s. Popular name of several species of birds belonging to the genera Aptenodytes and Spheniscus. We have not been able to ascertain the etymology of this name. It may be from the Port. pingue, ‘fat.’ See Littré. He quotes Clausius as picturing it, who says they were called a pinguedine. It is surely not that given by Sir Thomas Herbert in proof of the truth of the legend of Madoc’s settlement in America; and which is indeed implied 60 years before by the narrator of Drake’s voyage; though probably borrowed by Herbert direct from Selden. 1578.—“In these Islands we found greate relief and plenty of good victuals, for infinite were the number of fowle which the Welsh men named Penguin, and Magilanus tearmed them geese. …”—Drake’s Voyage, by F. Fletcher, Hak. Soc. p. 72.

1593.—“The pengwin described.”—Hawkins, V. to S. Sea, p. 111, Hak. Soc.

1606.—“The Pengwines bee as bigge as our greatest Capons we have in England, they have no winges nor cannot flye … they bee exceeding fatte, but their flesh is verie ranke. …”—Middleton, f. B. 4.

1609.—“Nous trouvâmes beauco up de Chies de Mer, et Oyseaux qu’on appelle Penguyns, dont l’Escueil en estait quasi couvert.”—Houtman, p. 4.

c. 1610.—“… le reste est tout couvert … d’vne quantité d’Oyseaux nommez pinguy, qui font là leurs oeufs et leurs petits, et il y en a une quantité si prodigieuse qu’on ne sçauroit mettre … le pied en quelque endroit que ce soit sans toucher.”—Pyrard de Laval, i. 73; [Hak. Soc. i. 97, also see i. 16].

1612.—“About the year CIO. C.LXX. Madoc brother to David ap Owen, prince of Wales, made this sea voyage (to Florida); and by probability these names of Capo de Briton in Norumbeg, and Pengwin in part of the Northern America, for a white pepper rock, and a white-headed bird, according to the British, were relicks of this discovery.”—Selden, Notes on Drayton’s Polyolbion, in Works (ed. 1726), iii. col. 1802.

1616.—“The Island called Pen-guin Island, probably so named by some Welshman, in whose Language Pen-guin signifies a white head; and there are many great lazy fowls upon, and about, this Island, with great cole-black bodies, and very white heads, called Penguins.”—Terry, ed. 1665, p. 334.

1638.—“… that this people (of the Mexican traditions) were Welsh rather than Spaniards or others, the Records of this Voyage writ by many Bardhs and Genealogists confirme it … made more orthodoxall by Welsh names given there to birds, rivers, rocks, beasts, &c., as … Pengwyn, refer’d by them to a bird that has a white head. …”—Herbert, Some Yeares Travels, &c., p. 360.

Unfortunately for this etymology the head is precisely that part which seems in all species of the bird to be olack! But M. Roulin, quoted by Littré, maintains the Welsh (or Breton)

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