Open main menu

Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/42

This page needs to be proofread.


30


NOTES AND QUERIES. [io s. xii. JULY 10, woo.


to him with his wife ? Betham says she was Joanna, daughter of Sir Robert Pye ; but she seems to have been a daughter of Alexander Standish of Lanes. R. S. B.

SPONGES. About what period were sponges first used for domestic purposes in England or Europe ? I cannot find this in any book of reference. M.

Hove.

VINTNERS' COMPANY. I should be very grateful to any one who could inform me in what magazine, more or less recent, I have come across an article on, or bearing upon, the early days of the Vintners' Company. I rather think it was in one of the monthlies.

R. A. H. UNTHANK. 27, Paulet Road, Camberwell, S.E.

HARVEST SUPPER SONGS. Where can I obtain the words of English songs such as were sung at harvest suppers in Surrey and Sussex twenty years ago ?

ARTHUR TROWER.

Wiggie, Redhill.


" MURKATTOS " : " CAPAPS."

(10 S. ix. 66.)

As no one has as yet enlightened W. J. P. on the meaning of these two mysterious words, may I (although rather late) be allowed to inform him that they are mere ghost-words, both being misprints ? The fact is that the writer of the article on ' Animals, &c., in the Island of Ceylon,' in The Sporting Magazine for April, 1796, had got hold of vol. iii. of Churchill's collection of voyages and travels, which contains the English translation of BaldEeus's work on Ceylon (published 1672), and dished up as original some of the information he found there. In chap. li. of that translation we read :

" There are certain Birds [in orig. Kuykendieven. lit. 'chicken-thieves,' i.e., kites] in Ceylon call'd Mmhotos by the Portugueses, who [sic] often make bold with the young chickens."

We see, therefore, that " murkattos " is a misreading of the printer's for "minhotos." This word minhoto, the dictionaries appear to imply, is a corruption of milhano, which is from the Latin miluus, through a form

  • miluanus.

^ The other word, " capap," is an error for

cacap." In the paragraph following the

one . have quoted we read: "Ceylon

produces great plenty of Fish, as Cacap


Plaice, Crabs," and so on, nineteen other varieties of " fish " being named, among which the egregious translator (whom I have already gibbeted in ' N. & Q.') enumerates " Haddocks " (for Goa cod), " Sharks " (for mullets), " Orados " (the original has d'Orados), " Seals " (for soles !), and " Bomtos " (for bonitos, the original having the misprint Bomten),

The word " cacap " is interesting, repre- senting, as it does, the Malay (ikan) kakap, from which comes the Anglo-Indian " cock- up," a word the origin of which neither Yule nor the ' N.E.D.' was able to give, but which is explained in the second edition of ' Hobson-Jobson.' Wouter Schouten, who was a contemporary of Baldaeus's in the East Indies, in his ' Oost-Indische Voyagie ' (1676), ii. 159, says that "in the [Javanese] fish-markets is to be got in abundance such fish as cacop," &c. Valentyn, in his enor- mous work the ' Oud en Nieuw Oost-Indien ' (1724-6), has a number of references to this fish. In the section on Ceylon (p. 54) he enumerates among the fishes of the island " Cakab " ; and the governor Ryklof van Goens, in his memoir of 24 Sept., 1675, printed by Valentyn, speaks (p. 222) of " Cacabs." In his description of Batavia (p. 255) Valentyn mentions among the many sea-fish to be had there " kacab " ; and in his very lengthy account of the fishes of Amboina, he says (p. 344) :

" The Cakab is likewise one of the most delicate and whitest fish that the sea here yields. It is also as firm of flesh as curd, so that it is the prime of the market. At Batavia, indeed, it is kept in tanks in the gardens."

Valentyn's appreciation of the cockup is even stronger than that of Yule, who calls it " an excellent table- fish," and states that " it forms the daily breakfast dish of half the European gentlemen in " Calcutta. According to Klinkert, as quoted in 'Hobson-Jobson' (2nd ed.), the more common form of the Malay name of the fish is siyakap. Now Niewhof, in his ' Travels in the East Indies,' as translated in vol. ii. of Churchill's collection, says (p. 351):

" The Fish call'd Siap Siap by the Javaneses, is a River Fish in great request among the Javaneses, and is taken in considerable quantity near Batavia.

Niewhof does not mention the kakab, and one might be tempted to identify his siap siap (the reduplication may be simply the plural form) with the siyakap of Klinkert, were it not that Valentyn, in his description of Batavia referred to above, speaks of the " sjap sjap fish " separately from the