PUNSAREE, s. A native drugseller; Hind. pansari. We place the word here partly because C. P. Brown says ‘it is certainly a foreign word,’ and assigns it to a corruption of dispensarium; which is much to be doubted. [The word is really derived from Skt. panyasala, ‘a market, warehouse.’]

[1830.—“Beside this, I purchased from a pansaree some application for relieving the pain of a bruise.”—Frazer, The Persian Adventurer, iii. 23.]

PURDAH, s. Hind. from Pers. parda, ‘a curtain’; a portière; and especially a curtain screening women from the sight of men; whence a woman of position who observes such rules of seclusion is termed pardanishin, ‘one who sits behind a curtain.’ (See GOSHA.) 1809.—“On the fourth (side) a purdah was stretched across.”—Led. Valentia, i. 100.

1810.—“If the disorder be obstinate, the doctor is permitted to approach the purdah (i.e. curtain, or screen) and to put the hand through a small aperture…in order to feel the patient’s pulse.”—Williamson, V.M. i. 130.

[1813.—“My travelling palankeen formed my bed, its purdoe or chintz covering my curtains.”—Forbes, Or. Mem. 2nd ed. ii. 109.]

1878.—“Native ladies look upon the confinement behind the purdah as a badge of rank, and also as a sign of chastity, and are exceedingly proud of it.”—Life in the Mofussil, i. 113.

[1900.—“Charitable aid is needed for the purdah women.”—Pioneer Mail, Jan. 21.]

PURDESEE, s. Hind. paradesi usually written pardesi, ‘one from a foreign country.’ In the Bombay army the term is universally applied to a sepoy from N. India. [In the N.W.P. the name is applied to a wandering tribe of swindlers and coiners.]

PURWANNA, PERWAUNA, s. Hind. from Pers. parwana, ‘an order; a grant or letter under royal seal; a letter of authority from an official to his subordinate; a license or pass.’

1682.—“…we being obliged at the end of two months to pay Custom for the said goods, if in that time we did not procure a Pherwanna for the Duan of Decca to excuse us from it.”—Hedges, Diary, Oct. 10; [Hak. Soc. i. 34].

1693.—“…Egmore and Pursewaukum were lately granted us by the Nabob’s purwannas.”—Wheeler, i. 281.

1759.—“Perwanna, under the Coochuck (or the small seal) of the Nabob Vizier Ulma Maleck, Nizam ul Muluck Bahadour, to Mr. John Spenser.”—In Cambridge’s Acct. of the War, 230. (See also quotation under HOSBOLHOOKUM.)

1774.—“As the peace has been so lately concluded, it would be a satisfaction to the Rajah to receive your parwanna to this purpose before the departure of the caravan.”—Bogle’s Diary, in Markham’s Tibet, p. 50. But Mr. Markham changes the spelling of his originals.

PUTCHOCK, s. This is the tradenam e for a fragrant root, a product of the Himalaya in the vicinity of Kashmir, and forming an article of export from both Bombay and Calcutta to the Malay countries and to China, where it is used as a chief ingredient of the Chinese pastille-rods commonly called jostick. This root was recognised by the famous Garcia de Orta as the Costus of the ancients. The latter took their word from the Skt. kustha, by a modification of which name—kut—it is still known and used as a medicine in Upper India. De Orta speaks of the plant as growing about Mandu and Chitore, whence it was brought for sale to Ahmadabad; but his informants misled him. The true source was traced in situ by two other illustrious men, Royle and Falconer, to a plant belonging to the N. O. Compositae, Saussurea Xappe, Clarke, for which Dr. Falconer, not recognising the genus, had proposed the name of Aucklandia Costus verus, in honour of the then Governor-General. The Costus is a gregarious plant, occupying open, sloping sides of the mountains, at an elevation of 8000 to 9000 feet. See article by Falconer in Trans. Linn. Soc. xix. 23–31.

The trade-name is, according to Wilson, the Telugu pach’chaku, ‘green leaf,’ but one does not see how this applies. (Is there, perhaps, some confusion with Patch? see PATCHOULI). De Orta speaks as if the word, which he writes pucho, were Malay. Though neither Crawfurd nor Favre gives the word, in this sense, it is in Marsden’s earlier Malay Dict.: “Puchok, a plant, the aromatic leaves of which are an article of trade; said by some to be Costus indicus, and by others the Melissa, or Laurus.” [On this Mr. Skeat writes: “Puchok is the Malay word for a young sprout, or the growing shoot of a plant. Puchok in the special sense here used is also a Malay word, but it may be separate from the other. Klinkert gives puchok as a sprout or shoot and also as a radish-like root

  By PanEris using Melati.

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