PUTLAM, n.p. A town in Ceylon on the coast of the bay or estuary of Calpentyn; properly Puttalama; a Tamil name, said by Mr. Fergusson to be puthu- (pudu ?) alam, ‘New Saltpans.’ Ten miles inland are the ruins of Tammana Newera, the original Tambapanni (or Taprobane), where Vijaya, the first Hindu immigrant, established his kingdom. And Putlam is supposed to be the place where he landed.

1298.—“The pearl-fishers…go post to a place callen Bettelar, and (then) go 60 miles into the gulf.”—Marco Polo, Bk. iii. ch. 16.

c. 1345.—“The natives went to their King and told him my reply. He sent for me, and I proceeded to his presence in the town of Battala, which was his capital, a pretty little place, surrounded by a timber wall and towers.”—Ibn Batuta, iv. 166.

1672.—“Putelaon…”—Baldaeus (Germ.), 373.

1726.—“Portaloon or Putelan.”—Valentijn, Ceylon, 21.


a. Hind. and Beng. pattani, or patni, from v. pat-ni, ‘to be agreed or closed’ (i.e. a bargain). Goods commissioned or manufactured to order.

1755.—“A letter from Cossimbazar mentions they had directed Mr. Warren Hastings to proceed to the Putney aurung (q.v.) in order to purchase putney on our Honble. Masters’ account, and to make all necessary enquiries.”—Fort William Consns., Nov. 10. In Long, 61.

b. A kind of sub-tenure existing in the Lower Provinces of Bengal, the patnidar, or occupant of which “holds of a Zemindar a portion of the Zemindari in perpetuity, with the right of hereditary succession, and of selling or letting the whole or part, so long as a stipulated amount of rent is paid to the Zemindar, who retains the power of sale for arrears, and is entitled to a regulated fee or fine upon transfer” (Wilson, q.v.). Probably both a and b are etymologically the same, and connected with patta (see POTTAH).
[1860.—“A perpetual lease of land held under a Zumeendar is called a putnee,—and the holder is called a putneedar, who not only pays an advanced rent to the Zumeendar, but a handsome price for the same.”—Grant, Rural Life in Bengal, 64.]

PUTTÁN, PATHÁN, n.p. Hind. Pathan. A name commonly applied to Afghans, and especially to people in India of Afghan descent. The derivation is obscure. Elphinstone derives it from Pushtun and Pukhtun, pl. Pukhtana, the name the Afghans give to their own race, with which Dr. Trumpp [and Dr. Bellew (Races of Afghanistan, 25) agree. This again has been connected with the Pactyica of Herodotus (iii. 102, iv. 44).] The Afghans have for the name one of the usual fantastic etymologies which is quoted below (see quotation, c. 1611). The Mahommedans in India are sometimes divided into four classes, viz. Pathans; Mughals (see MOGUL), i.e. those of Turki origin; Shaikhs, claiming Arab descent; and Saiyyids, claiming also to be descendants of Mahommed.

1553.—“This State belonged to a people called Patane, who were lords of that hill-country. And as those who dwell on the skirts of the Pyrenees, on this side and on that, are masters of the passes by which we cross from Spain to France, or vice versâ, so these Patan people are the masters of the two entrances to India, by which those who go thither from the landward must pass.…”—Barros, IV. vi. 1.

1563.—“…This first King was a Patane of certain mountains that march with Bengala.”—Garcia, Coll. f. 34.


“Mas agora de nomes, et de usança,
Novos, et varios são os habitantes,
Os Delijs, os Patãnes que em possança
De terra, e gente são mais abundantes.”

Camões, vii. 20.

[By Aubertin:

“But now inhabitants of other name
And customs new and various there are found,
The Delhis and Patans, who in the fame
Of land and people do the most abound.”]

1610.—“A Pattan, a man of good stature.”—Hawkins, in Purchas, i. 220.

c. 1611.—“…the mightiest of the Afghan people was Kais.… The Prophet gave Kais the name of Abd Ulrasheed…and…predicted that God would make his issue so numerous that they, with respect to the establishment of the Faith, would outvie all other people; the angel Gabriel having revealed to him that their attachment to the Faith would, in strength, be like the wood upon which they lay the keel when constructing a ship, which wood the seamen

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission.
See our FAQ for more details.