PIGEON ENGLISH. The vile jargon which forms the means of communication at the Chinese ports between Englishmen who do not speak Chinese, and those Chinese with whom they are in the habit of communicating. The word “business” appears in this kind of talk to be corrupted into “pigeon,” and hence the name of the jargon is supposed to be taken. [For examples see Chamberlain, Things Japanese, 3rd ed. pp. 321 seqq.; Ball, Things Chinese, 3rd ed. 430 seqq. (See BUTLER ENGLISH.)]

1880.—“… the English traders of the early days … instead of inducing the Chinese to make use of correct words rather than the misshapen syllables they had adopted, encouraged them by approbation and example, to establish Pigeon English—a grotesque gibberish which would be laughable if it were not almost melancholy.”—Capt. W. Gill, River of Golden Sand, i. 156.

1883.—“The ‘Pidjun English’ is revolting, and the most dignified persons demean themselves by speaking it. … How the whole English-speaking community, without distinction of rank, has come to communicate with the Chinese in this baby talk is extraordinary.”—Miss Bird, Golden Chersonese, 37.

PIG-STICKING. This is Anglo-Indian hog-hunting, or what would be called among a people delighting more in lofty expression, ‘the chase of the Wild Boar.’ When, very many years since, one of the present writers, destined for the Bengal Presidency, first made acquaintance with an Indian mess-table, it was that of a Bombay regiment at Aden — in fact of that gallant corps which is now known as the 103rd Foot, or Royal Bombay Fusiliers. Hospitable as they were, the opportunity of enlightening an aspirant Bengalee on the short-comings of his Presidency could not be foregone. The chief counts of indictment were three: 1st. The inferiority of the Bengal Horse Artillery system; 2nd. That the Bengalees were guilty of the base effeminacy of drinking beer out of champagne glasses; 3rd. That in pig-sticking they threw the spear at the boar. The two last charges were evidently ancient traditions, maintaining their ground as facts down to 1840 therefore; and showed how little communication practically existed between the Presidencies as late as that year. Both the allegations had long ceased to be true, but probably the second had been true in the 18th century, as the third certainly had been. This may be seen from the quotation from R. Lindsay, and by the text and illustrations of Williamson’s Oriental Field Sports (1807), [and much later (see below)]. There is, or perhaps we should say more diffidently there was, still a difference between the Bengal practice in pig-sticking, and that of Bombay. The Bengal spear is about 6½ feet long, loaded with lead at the butt so that it can be grasped almost quite at the end and carried with the point down, inclining only slightly to the front; the boar’s charge is received on the right flank, when the point, raised to 45° or 50° of inclination, if rightly guided, pierces him in the shoulder. The Bombay spear is a longer weapon, and is carried under the armpit like a dragoon’s lance. Judging from Elphinstone’s statement below we should suppose that the Bombay as well as the Bengal practice originally was to throw the spear, but that both independently discarded this, the Qui-his adopting the short overhand spear, the Ducks the long lance.

1679.—“In the morning we went a hunting of wild Hoggs with Kisna Reddy, the chief man of the Islands” (at mouth of the Kistna) “and about 100 other men of the island (Dio) with lances and Three score doggs, with whom we killed eight Hoggs great and small, one being a Bore very large and fatt, of greate weight.”—Consn. of Agent and Council of Fort St. Geo. on Tour. In Notes and Exts. No. II.

The party consisted of Streynsham Master “Agent of the Coast and Bay,” with “Mr. Timothy Willes and Mr. Richard Mohun of the Councell, the Minister, the Chyrurgeon, the Schoolmaster, the Secretary, and two Writers, an Ensign, 6 mounted soldiers and a Trumpeter,” in all 17 Persons in the Company’s Service, and “Four Freemen, who went with the Agent’s Company for their own pleasure, and at their own charges.” It was a Tour of Visitation of the Factories.

1773.—The Hon. R. Lindsay does speak of the “Wild-boar chase”; but he wrote after 35 years in England, and rather eschews Anglo-Indianisms:

“Our weapon consisted only of a short heavy spear, three feet in length, and well poised; the boar being found and unkennelled by the spaniels, runs with great speed across the plain, is pursued on horse-back, and the first rider who approaches him throws the javelin. …”—Lives of the Lindsays, iii. 161.

1807.—“When (the hog) begins to slacken, the attack should be commenced by the horseman who may be nearest pushing on to his left side; into which the spear should be thrown, so as to lodge behind the shoulder blade, and about six inches from the backbone.”—Williamson, Oriental Field Sports, p. 9. (Left must mean hog’s right.) This author says that the bamboo shafts were 8 or 9 feet long, but that very short ones had formerly been in use; thus

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