[PHOORZA, s. A custom-house; Gujarati phurja, from Ar. furzat ‘a notch,’ then ‘a bight,’ ‘river-mouth,’ ‘harbour’; hence ‘a tax’ or ‘custom-duty.’

[1791.—The East India Calendar (p. 131) has “John Church, Phoorza-Master, Surat.”

[1727.—“And the Mogul’s Furza or custom-house is at this place (Hughly).”—A. Hamilton, ed. 1744, ii. 19.

[1772.—“But as they still insisted on their people sitting at the gates on the Phoorzer Coosky …”—Forrest, Bombay Letters, i. 386, and see 392, “Phoorze Master.” Coosky= P.—Mahr. Khushki, “inland transit-duties.”

[1813.—“… idols … were annually imported to a considerable number at the Baroche Phoorza, when I was custom- master at that settlement.”—Forbes, Or. Mem. 2nd ed. ii. 334.]

PIAL, s. A raised platform on which people sit, usually under the verandah, or on either side of the door of the house. It is a purely S. Indian word, and partially corresponds to the N. Indian chabutra (see CHABOOTRA). Wilson conjectures the word to be Telugu, but it is in fact a form of the Portuguese poyo and poyal (Span. poyo), ‘a seat or bench.’ This is again, according to Diez (i. 326), from the Lat. podium, ‘a projecting base, a balcony.’ Bluteau explains poyal as ‘steps for mounting on horseback’ (Scoticè, ‘a louping-on stone’) [see Dalboquerque, Hak. Soc. ii. 68]. The quotation from Mr. Gover describes the S. Indian thing in full.

1553.—“… paying him his courtesy in Moorish fashion, which was seating himself along with him on a poyal.”—Castanheda, vi. 3.

1578.—“In the public square at Goa, as it was running furiously along, an infirm man came in its way, and could not escape; but the elephant took him up in his trunk, and without doing him any hurt deposited him on a poyo.”—Acosta, Tractado, 432.

1602.—“The natives of this region who are called Iaos, are men so arrogant that they think no others their superiors … insomuch that if a Iao in passing along the street becomes aware that any one of another nation is on a poyal, or any place above him, if the person does not immediately come down, … until he is gone by, he will kill him.”—Couto, IV. iii. 1. [For numerous instances of this superstition, see Frazer, Golden Bough, 2nd ed. i. 360 seqq.]

1873.—“Built against the front wall of every Hindu house in southern India … is a bench 3 feet high and as many broad. It extends along the whole frontage, except where the house-door stands. … The posts of the veranda or pandal are fixed in the ground a few feet in front of the bench, enclosing a sort of platform: for the basement of the house is generally 2 or 3 feet above the street level. The raised bench is called the Pyal, and is the lounging-place by day. It also serves in the hot months as a couch for the night. … There the visitor is received; there the bargaining is done; there the beggar plies his trade, and the Yogi (see JOGEE) sounds his conch; there also the members of the household clean their teeth, amusing themselves the while with belches and other frightful noises. …”—Pyal Schools in Madras, by E. C. Gover, in Ind. Antiq. ii. 52.

PICAR, s. Hind. paikar, [which again is a corruption of Pers. pa’e-kar, pa’e, ‘a foot’], a retail-dealer, an intermediate dealer or broker.

1680.—“Picar.” See under DUSTOOR.

1683.—“Ye said Naylor has always corresponded with Mr. Charnock, having been always his intimate friend; and without question either provides him goods out of the Hon. Comp.’s Warehouse, or connives at the Weavers and Piccars doing of it.”—Hedges, Diary, Hak. Soc. i. 133.

[1772.—“Pykârs (Dellols (see DELOLL) and Gomastahs) are a chain of agents through whose hands the articles of merchandize pass from the loom of the manufacturer, or the store-house of the cultivator, to the public merchant, or exporter.”—Verelst, View of Bengal, Gloss. s.v.]

PICE, s. Hind. paisa, a small copper coin, which under the Anglo-Indian system of currency is ¼ of an anna, 1/64 of a rupee, and somewhat less than 3/2 of a farthing. Pice is used slangishly for money in general. By Act XXIII. of 1870 (cl. 8) the following copper coins are current:—1. Double Pice or Half- anna, 2. Pice or ¼ anna. 3. Half-pice or 1/8 anna. 4. Pie or 1/12 anna. No. 2 is the only one in very common use. As with most other coins, weights, and measures, there used to be pucka pice, and cutcha pice. The distinction was sometimes between the regularly minted copper of the Government and certain amorphous pieces of copper which did duty for small change (e.g. in the N.W. Provinces

  By PanEris using Melati.

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