PLASSEY, n.p. The village Palasi, which gives its name to Lord Clive’s famous battle (June 23, 1757). It is said to take its name from the palas (or dhawk) tree.

1748.—“… that they have great reason to complain of Ensign English’s conduct in not waiting at Placy … and that if he had staid another day at Placy, as Tullerooy Caun was marching with a large force towards Cutway, they presume the Mahrattas would have retreated inland on their approach and left him an open passage. …”—Letter from Council at Cossimbazar, in Long, p. 2.

[1757.—Clive’s original report of the battle is dated on the “plain of Placis.”—Bird-wood, Report on Old Records, 57.]

1768–71.—“General CLIVE, who should have been the leader of the English troops in this battle (Plassy), left the command to Colonel COOTE, and remained hid in his palankeen during the combat, out of the reach of the shot, and did not make his appearance before the enemy were put to flight.”—Stavorinus, E.T. i. 486. This stupid and inaccurate writer says that several English officers who were present at the battle related this “anecdote” to him. This, it may be hoped, is as untrue as the rest of the story. Even to such a writer one would have supposed that Clive’s mettle would be familiar.

PODÁR, s. Hind. poddar, corrn. of Pers. fotadar, from fota, ‘a bag of money.’ A cash-keeper, or especially an officer attached to a treasury, whose business it is to weigh money and bullion and appraise the value of coins.

[c. 1590.—“The Treasurer. Called in the language of the day Fotadar.”—Ain, ed. Jarrett, ii. 49.]

1680.—“Podar.” (See under DUSTOOR.)

1683.—“The like losses in proportion were preferred to be proved by Ramchurne Podar, Bendura bun Podar, and Mamoobishwas who produced their several books for evidence.”—Hedges, Diary, Hak. Soc. i. 84.

[1772.—“Podar, a money-changer or teller, under a shroff.”—Verelst, View of Bengal, Gloss. s. v.]

POGGLE, PUGGLY, &c., s. Properly Hind. pagal; ‘a madman, an idiot’; often used colloquially by Anglo- Indians. A friend belonging to that body used to adduce a macaronic adage which we fear the non- Indian will fail to appreciate: “Pagal et pecunia jaldè separantur!” [See NAUTCH.]

1829.—“It’s true the people call me, I know not why, the pugley.”—Mem. John Shipp, ii. 255.

1866.—“I was foolish enough to pay these budmashes beforehand, and they have thrown me over. I must have been a paugul to do it.”—Trevelyan, The Dawk Bungalow, 385.

[1885.—“He told me that the native name for a regular picnic is a ‘Poggle-khana,’ that is, a fool’s dinner.”—Lady Dufferin, Viceregal Life, 88.]

POISON-NUT, s. Strychnos nux vomica, L.

POLEA, n.p. Mal. pulayan, [from Tam. pulam, ‘a field,’ because in Malabar they are occupied in rice cultivation]. A person of a low or impure tribe, who causes pollution (pula) to those of higher caste, if he approaches within a certain distance. [The rules which regulate their meeting with other people are given by Mr. Logan (Malabar, i. 118).] From pula the Portuguese formed also the verbs empolear- se, ‘to become polluted by the touch of a low-caste person,’ and desempolear-se, ‘to purify oneself after such pollution’ (Gouvea, f. 97, and Synod. f. 52v), superstitions which Menezes found prevailing among the Christians of Malabar. (See HIRAVA.)

1510.—“The fifth class are called Poliar, who collect pepper, wine, and nuts … the Poliar may not approach either the Naeri (see NAIR) or the Brahmins within 50 paces, unless they have been called by them. …”—Varthema, 142.

1516.—“There is another lower sort of gentiles called puler. … They do not speak to the nairs except for a long way off, as far as they can be heard speaking with a loud voice. … And whatever man or woman should touch them, their relations immediately kill them like a contaminated thing. …”—Barbosa, 143.


“A ley, da gente toda, ricca e pobre,
De fabulas composta se imagina:
Andão nus, e somente hum pano cobre
As partes que a cubrir natura ensina.
Dous modos ha de gente; porque a nobre
Nayres chamados são, e a minos dina
Poleas tem por nome, a quem obriga
A ley não misturar a casta antiga.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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