Word Derivation Gloss Citation
agar-agar Eng. ← Malay green, cream-coloured or transparent gelat+C102inous colloidal extractive of a red alga (genera Gelidium, Gracilaria, and Eucheuma), used as a gelling agent and sometimes eaten as a sweet   
Ai Wa First syllable of eldest son's name  
Am Wa First syllable of third daughter's name  
anna Eng. ← Hindi ānā ← Skt. aṇu- 'small' copper coin formerly used in India, Burma, Pakistan  
arrack Eng. ← Arabic araq 'juice, sweat' strong spirits distilled from fermented fruits, grains, sugarcane, or the sap of coconuts or other palm trees; now generally fermented from coconut sap, then distilled to produce an alcoholic beverage that tastes like whiskey.  
awza Burmese authority The Special Commissioner,... has been chosen from among the natural leaders for the extent of his awza and the influence wielded by this personality. (mangrai.com/khai/kanbawsa/part01.html)
baht Thai Thai currency (abbrev. Bt) (in 2003 £1=Bt65,  $1=Bt41 approx.)  
bǎizhǎng 百长 Chinese, lit. 'hundred-chief', ← ? headman in traditional Wa village (in charge of military affairs), used to translate Wa 'dax rīad'  
bamboo Eng. ← Malay bambu woody or arborescent grasses of subfamily Bambusoideae of the family Poaceae, 75 genera, inc. Bambusa, Arundinaria, Dendrocalamus, 1000+ species; stem is called a 'culm' above ground, 'rhizome' below ground  
bankai 半开 Chinese (half a yuan, cf. Kaiyuan tongbao 开元通宝, Yuan Shikai 袁世凯) Yunnan cash coins in use after 1911 Fiskesjö "The Fate of Sacrifice,"p. 415
basket (of rice) English 1) unit of weight (=32 kg.); 2) unit of volume (= 8 gallons) "Therefore, a total of 309 baskets, 8 pyis and two cans of poppy seeds and 480 pyis of dried poppy bulb have been destroyed in Shan State (South)." (← http://www.myanmar-narcotic.net/Destruction/dec9-02/9dec02.html)
bazaar Eng. (← Ital. bazarro?) ← Urdu and Persian bāzār  ← Pahlavi baha-char 'the place of prices' a market consisting of a street lined with shops and stalls, especially one in the Middle East; a shop or a part of a store in which miscellaneous articles are sold; a fair or sale at which miscellaneous articles are sold, often for charitable purposes
beriberi Eng. ← Sinhalese 'extreme weakness' nutritional disorder caused by a deficiency of vitamin B1 (thiamine), associated with eating polished white rice;  characterised by impairment of the nerves and heart; general symptoms include loss of appetite and overall lassitude, digestive irregularities, and a feeling of numbness and weakness in the limbs and extremities. Cf. Chinese 脚气(病).  
betel quid betel Eng. ← Port.bétele, ← Tamil ver̠r̠ilai; quid Eng. ← cud, ← ME quide, ← OE cwidu, cwudu a mixture of (1) climbing pepper (Piper betle) leaves, (2)  betel nut, the astringent seed of the betel or areca palm a pinnate-leaved palm, (Areca catechu) that has an orange-colored drupe with an outer fibrous husk, and (3) mineral lime, which is chewed as a stimulant; 'quid': a cut or wad of something chewable  
Bied / Cip [sic] Wa First syllable of eighth son's name  
brinjal (brinjaul) Eng. perhaps ← Port. badingān, etc., ultimately ← Skt. bhaṇṭākī (?); cognate with French/English aubergine eggplant, aubergine (Solanum Melongena) (sometimes also used to refer to the purple glaze on ceramics, as in 'brinjal bowl') Henry Yule, Hobson-Jobson (http://dsal.uchicago.edu)
bùjīn 布金, bùjiǎn 布睑 Yunnan Chinese ← Tai pu5 kian6 'district chief' (c.f. 'circle') deputy headman in traditional Wa village (in charge of production, village administration), used to translate Wa 'dax gōun' Wayu yufa, p. 112, WHJMCD (布金), LGV p.135,144 ( 布睑: 傣语 bu 意为长者、头人 , 傣语 gīan 意为部落、区域。布睑即部落长 , 或区域长。傣语 gīan, 佤语岩帅话叫 gōun, 方言或作 gūan、 gian、gvīan、fīan、fēin、pein, 当地汉语一般译为圈 , 字或作谦、宜、轩、军、睑。)
bungalow Eng. ← Hindi banglā 'house in Bengali style' (1) a thatched or tiled one-storey house in India or Burma surrounded by a wide verandah; (2) (in general Western usage) a small house or cottage usually having a single story and sometimes an additional attic storey, and often having a verandah  
can English (translation of Burmese __?_) unit of volume (ca. 1 cup or .127 lt.?) "...a total of 309 baskets, 8 pyis and two cans of poppy seeds..."
catty Eng. ← Malay kati various units of weight of China and SE Asia varying around 600 grams (1 1/3 pounds); also, a standard Chinese unit, the jīn (斤), or market jīn (市斤) equal to 500 grams  
chedi Burmese? ze-di ေစတီ stupa (q.v.)  
chindit Burmese? ("The name 'Chindit' was a corruption of the Burmese word for winged stone lion - the guardians of the Buddhist temples.") Special Forces soldiers serving in the British Army in Burma during World War II, who engaged in guerrilla tactics behind Japanese lines  
circle English, translation of Chinese quān 圈 'circle'? Yunnan Chinese used quān 圈 as one transliteration/translation of the Tai/Shan word gīan, meaning 'tribe, district' (other Hanzi transliterations used include 谦,宜,轩,军,睑 (c.f. bùjīn) region including several similar Wa villages, perhaps so named because they formed a circle in the hills surrounding a Shan meng polity down in the valley; esp. in reference to Myanmar, or pre-Liberation China e.g., "Moitre Circle, somewhere between the Nam Ma and Nam Nang" (Diffloth, p.8); "[K'ala language] is located in Kokang circle" (Diffloth, p. 10); "the Wa of Ankhang say that before liberation, their circle was called Meng Lwa" (Cholthira, p.256); Fiskesjö diss. "The Fate of Sacrifice,"p. 70: "The administrative structure would be in two main tiers, distinguishing the Shan populace and the mountain "slaves" (dependent kha tribes) as satellites." n.90: "This was the meng and the ken: for example, when unified, the small Shan state of Mengdong formally had charge of nine Shan meng (including Mengjiao and Mengsheng, mentioned earlier), as well as thirteen tribal ken, or "circles" of dependent mountain people, in the case of Mengdong mostly Wa villages....; "p.116-117 the different Wa "circles" (jaig' qee); p. 127 n. 198 "The village of Nuofu belonged to the Quanhai district of the Nine "Circles" (quan, or ken) ruled by Menglian..."; LGV p.135: 傣语 gīan 意为部落、区域。布睑即部落长 , 或区域长。傣语 gīan, 佤语岩帅话叫 gōun, 方言或作 gūan、 gian、gvīan、fīan、fēin、pein, 当地汉语一般译为圈 , 字或作谦、宜、轩、军、睑。)
coir Eng. ← Tamil kayi{rumlunder}u 'rope' fibre produced from the husk of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera), highly resistant to salt water and used in the manufacture of ropes, mats, baskets, brushes, and brooms  
copra Eng. ← Port. ← Malayalam koppara dried extracted kernel, or meat of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera), from which coconut oil, the world's ranking vegetable oil, is expressed  
crore Hindi karo(r) 10,000,000, 100 lakh,  (ကုေဋ 千万)  
dacoit Hindi ḍakait member of bandit gang in Burma  
dah, dha Tai (Shan)?;  Burmese? written dah (Tai), dha (Burmese), daab, darb  (Thai) or dai dao (Thai/Shan/Lao/Burmese) 'blade, knife' a single-edged sword common through-out mainland S. E. Asia, but often called "the national sword of Burma." Common features: (a) a grip with a round cross-section, (b) a long, generally curved blade and (c) no cross-guard or knuckle-bow, and at most a very small tsuba-like guard. Used by Tai and Tibeto-Burman ethnic groups of these areas, not by the Mon-Khmer and Viet.(?) "This old [Shan] gentleman may be seen walking to the bazaar in Taunggyi on a bazaar day, shikkho-ing a Sawbwa in a haw, or trimming a hedge in any village with his dah. But over and above the dahs of some other bamboo civilisations, the dah of a Shan is something special. His personal dah, that is, not the domestic one for chipping and hacking, but a finer one, the lethondaw which the humblest Shan has, for fighting, hunting and for dancing." (mangrai.com/khai/kanbawsa/part14.html) 
dasheen Eng. (origin unknown) taro (Colocasia esculenta) ('taro' ← Tahitian or Maori)  
Daw Burmese polite prefix for older women's names  
Dax / Tax Wa polite prefix for older man's name, "grandfather, old man"   
durbar Urdu darbar 'court' 1) state reception formerly given by Indian princes for a British sovereign or one given for an Indian prince by his subjects; 2) court of an Indian prince  
durian Eng. ← Malay large oval, tasty but foul-smelling fruit, with a prickly rind, of the Durio zibethinus tree (silk-cotton family)  
farang Thai ฝรั่ง (and Thailand English) ← Arabic (noun ifranji [إفرنجي], adjective faranj [فرنجى]  'Frank' (referring to the Germanic tribe) foreign, Western, European farang [ฝรั่ง] “foreign, Western, European” derives from the name of a Germanic people, the Franks! Due to their powerful position in Medieval Europe (see also lovage for the herbal edict of Charlemagne), the ethnonym was transferred to Arabic (noun ifranji [إفرنجي], adjective faranj [فرنجى] “European”), whence it spead eastwards. Examples include Sanskrit phiranga [फिरंग] and Kannada paramgi [ಪರಂಗಿ] “Europe”, and Kurdish farangi [فةرةنگی], Dhivehi faranjee [ފަރަންޖީ] Thai farang and Khmer barang “foreigner”. (fr. Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages, http://www.uni-graz.at/~katzer/engl/Eryn_foe.html)
fuyintang 福音堂 Chinese ('good news hall') Christian missionary church in China Fiskesjö "The Fate of Sacrifice,"p. 415
galanga, galangal ← Arabic khalanjan, perhaps a perversion of a Chinese word meaning 'mild ginger' (cf. Modern Standard Chn. jiāng 姜)   Thai ginger (Siamese ginger, Laos ginger), the  white ginger-like root of Alpinia officinarum plant, used as a medicinal herb, as snuff, as a flavoring for beverages (esp. in Russia, Lithuania, Estonia area), and as a spice in curries, etc. (Thai 'kah'). Distinguish fingerroot  (Boesenbergia rotunda, B. pandurata, Kaempferia pandurata), 'Chinese ginger', Chn. 凹脣姜(薑) āochúnjiāng, Thai krachai กระชาย, which is also sometimes called galangal.  
gecko Eng. ← Javanese ge'kok Gekko gecko and other similar small or medium-sized lizards  
godown Eng. ← Malay  warehouse (usu. at wharf)  
gram (gram flour, green gram) Eng. ← old Port. gram ~ mod. grão 'grain' various leguminous plants (like the chickpea [Cicer arietinum,  a.k.a garbanzo bean]), grown especially for their seeds; gram flour is ground chickpea meal; green gram refers to mung beans, Phaseolus aureus (q.v.), and the flour ground from them  
guǎnshì 管事 Chinese ('manage affairs') headman in traditional Wa village (in charge of resolving disputes), used to translate Wa 'dax brōng'  
gunny sack Eng. ← ? ← Skt. gonī 'jute or hemp fibre' large sack made from loosely woven coarse jute or hemp fibre  
Han Baiyi 旱摆夷 Chinese "Dry" Shan; dry-rice "Chinese" Shan Fiskesjö "The Fate of Sacrifice,"p. 415
heng Shan? Burmese? Chinese? chief, prince e.g., "heng of Kokang", Yang Li (Jackie Yang), The House of Yang (Sydney: Bookpress, 1997) refers to heng and myosa (q.v.) almost interchangeably--no gloss for 'heng'?; circle headman (Pu Heng, Pu Hmong, Pu Mong) Pu which literally means GRANDFATHER would always be put in front of their rank. Sometimes 'Tao', which means 'grand old age', would be used to refer to them in respect (www.shanland.org/resources/culture/shan_traditions_and_customs.htm)
heshang 和尚 Chinese, perhaps ← Khotan in form of 和闍 or 和社 (or 烏社) which might be a translit. of vandya (Tibetan and Khotani ban- de), 'reverend.'; Chinese translation of Skt. upadhyāya; Pali upajjhāya, meaning preceptor—a Buddhist teacher who imparts the precepts to the practitioner. Transcribed as 鄔波馱耶 (ap. C. Muller) Buddhist priest, monk, abbot  
Hlaing Burmese lit. "wave", place name in Myanmar, NW of Yangon  
huǒtóu 火头, 伙头 (大伙头, 二伙头 ) Chinese, lit. 'fire-leader' (i.e., in sacrifices); or 'band-leader' (Yunnan Chinese equivalent for Wa 'krox' headman, chief (in traditional Wa village), used to translate  Wa 'tax krox' (大伙头) , tax kie' (二伙头)('deputy headman') Wayu yufa, p. 112, WHJMCD, LGV p.135,No.1201: 之所以称火头 , 当与佤族之重视火 , 有祭火、改火等习俗有关。
I Wa First syllable of second daughter's name  
indigo Eng. ← It. dial., ← Lat. indicum, ← Grk. indikon, ← neuter of indikos 'Indic', from Indos 'India' deep blue dye from one of several plants; most common among Wa seems to be Chinese indigo or dyer's knotweed, Polygonum tinctorium; most common historically and commercially in Asia (e.g., already exported from India to Roman Empire) was Indigofera sumatrana (I. tinctoria); since ca. 1900 virtually all indigo dye, used to dye one billion pairs of blue jeans a year, is synthetic aniline dye  
Ja (zhā 扎) Lahu? First syllable in many Lahu names (when written in Chinese use 扎 ) Wazu jianshi p.28 n.1 (re Sanfozu)  (many examples ); also Fiskesjö "The Fate of Sacrifice,". p.119 on Dax Jadie etc.
jackfruit Eng. ← Port. jaca ← Malayalam chakkai (?) Artocarpus heterophyllus  
jaggery Eng. ← Port. jágara, prob. ← Malayalam chakkara 'sugar' kind of candy, using unrefined brown sugar made from palm sap (toddy, q.v.)  
Jiad / Siet Wa First syllable of seventh son's name  
Ka Kwe Ye Burmese militia  
kan (亢kàng) Wa Wa unit of volume/weight (= 100 catties of grain, 50 kg.) Nbeen Si Mgang Lih, p. 5, n.5 [亢kàng  RK cf. káng 扛]
kapok Eng. ← Malay mass of silky fibers that clothe the seeds of ceiba tree (Ceiba pentandra, syn. Helicteres pentandra, cotton tree, kapok tree, white silk cotton tree), formerly used as a filling for mattresses  
Karen   Myanmar ethnic group, living in eastern Myanmar-western Thailand border region  
Karenni   Myanmar ethnic group similar to Karen, = Red Karen, Kayah State  
khaa  (xa3) Tai term used among Shan et al. for 'primitive' non-Buddhist people, often translated as 'mountain people' or 'slaves' LGV p.127,No.1121: 本义为奴隶, 过去傣族土司对山区少数民族通称为 [xa3] , 音译作卡。现在转义为百姓、群众。
Kokang 果敢 Burmese ? ကုိးကန္ /kou:gan./ refers to both Kokang State (23.2-24.5 N lat. x 98.2-98.5 E long., Myanmar NE Shan state, immediately N of Wa state) and its inhabitants, over 90% ethnic Han Chinese people (果敢華人). One explanation of their origin: Chinese Han soldiers who took part in the siege of Ayudhiya did not return to China but sought permission to take up their resident in Kokang. Or cf. Yang Li (Jackie Yang), The House of Yang (Sydney: Bookpress, 1997), and www.4dw.net/royalark/Burma/kokang.htm (formerly) www.shanland.org/History/secession_of_kokang.htm
krait Eng. ← Hindi karait, perhaps ← Skt. kāla- 'black' venomous snakes of genus Bungarus, usu. black body with brightly colored bands  
kyat Burmese  (lit. classifier for round, flat objects) Myanmar currency (abbrev. K) ($1=80K-100K free market rate) "The headman collected together all the money he could in the village, altogether 122,000 kyats…" LNDO, Unsettling Moves, p. 51
lajia 腊家 Chn. ← Shan (Tai) la4 'socially advanced Wa people' ← proto-Wa (M-K) laʔ,luaʔ,lvaʔ,l'vaʔ 'Wa (Vax) people' + Chn. jiā 家 'family, tribe' (1) Ba Raog Wa; (2) Buddhist, or Shan-ruled, Wa people LGV p.78,No.676; Fiskesjö "The Fate of Sacrifice,"p. 415; see also citation for entry Wa Küt; LGV p.295,No.2713: 腊家是佤族的一个支系 , 他们自称布陆。
lakh Hindi lākh (1) 100,000 (သိန္း 十万); (2) a great number (e.g., in Wa usage a lāg/lag is sometimes 10,000,000) e.g, in the novel/movie Sai Pan, a loan of "40 lakhs" in silver ingots (sycee, q.v.) is negotiated
lángjiā 郎家,lǎngjiā 朗家 Chinese, ← Tai? (cf. lam? 'emissary'?, ja 'village official'); Lahu? (cf. lajia) deputy headman in traditional Wa village (in charge of village affairs), term used to translate Wa title 'dax lām' into Chinese Wayu yufa, p. 112, WHJMCD
Lōug / Log Wa First syllable of sixth son's name  
mahadevi   Shan prince consort Yang Li (Jackie Yang), The House of Yang (Sydney: Bookpress, 1997)
mahout Eng. ← Hindi mahāvat, mahāut, ← Skt. mahāmātraḥ 'one having great measure', mahout : mahā- 'great + mātram 'measure' (← mimīte, mā- 'he measures') keeper and driver of an elephant  
meng Shan (Tai) möng?, mu'ang?, meung? realm, kingdom, city-state, traditional Shan state  
milo Eng. ← Afrikaans? mealie 'corn', prob. ← Port. milho, ← Latin milium 'millet'; or Eng. ← Afrikaans? ← S. African Sotho (Bantu fam.) maili 'milo'  an early-growing, usually drought-resistant grain sorghum, especially Sorghum bicolor, resembling millet  
móba 魔巴 Chinese, ← Lahu maw55pa11 'shaman' (Bradley) shaman, spiritual leader, prayer-sayer in Wa village (Wa ba nqai?) Fiskesjö "The Fate of Sacrifice,"p. 273
monsoon Eng. ← obs. Dutch monssoen, ← Port. monção, ← Arabic mawsim 'time, season' seasonal wind, especially in the Indian Ocean and southern Asia, and the heavy rainfall associated with it, during the months of June-October in the Wa area  
mung bean Eng. ← Hindi mu[α]g, from Sanskrit mudga erect bushy annual bean (Phaseolus aureus) cultivated for its edible usually green or yellow seeds, for forage, and as the chief source of bean sprouts; cf. gram  
muntjac Eng. ← Malay menjangan 'deer' muntjac, Indian muntjac, barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak or Reeves's muntjac Muntiacus reevesi  
myosa   ruler of a smaller Shan state, lit. 'eater of town'?. Of 33 Shan states, 17 were ruled by sawbwas, 12 by myosas and 4 by ngwekhunhmus. "myosa of Kokang", Yang Li (Jackie Yang), The House of Yang (Sydney: Bookpress, 1997)
nam (lam) Tai (Shan nam5 etc.) water, river  
Ngāox / Ngaox Wa First syllable of fifth son's name  
Nyī Wa prefix for name of second son  
opium Eng. ← Latin ← Grk. opion, dim. of opos 'vegetable juice' narcotic analgesic drug derived by collecting and drying the milky juice in the unripe seed pods of the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum  
Oug / Ok Wa First syllable of fourth daughter's name  
paddy Eng. ← Malay 'padi' (1) rice; especially : threshed unhusked rice; (2) flooded field in which rice is grown  
pagoda Eng. ← Port. pagode 'Oriental idol, temple', perhaps ← Tamil pagavadi, ← Skt. bhagavat, 'goddess', ← fem. of bhagavat-, 'blessed', ← bhaga 'good fortune' religious building of East and SE Asia, especially a multi-story Buddhist tower, erected as a memorial or shrine  
panay cloth Eng. (from name of Panay island, Philippines) a fabric woven from mixed pineapple and cotton fibres  
panthay Eng. ← Burmese  (MED 1993 gives ပန္းေသး /pàn-dhè/ 'Chinese Muslim', related to ပသီ  /pă-thi/ 'Parsee' ← Hindi ဖာရသိ /p'a-ră-thi/  'Parsee, Zoroastrian'? ← Persian pārsī ← pārs 'Persia') Chinese Muslim Hui 'nationality' (huimin 回民) in Yunnan and Sichuan provinces; Wa term 'Pa Si' from same ultimate source "Le terme de Panthay est un exonyme birman que les «Panthay» désapprouvent en lui préférant les endonymes de hui-hui ou encore de hui-tzu qui signifient simplement «musulman». L'expression de «Chinois musulman» est ainsi de loin préférée par les principaux intéressés à celle de «Panthay» : Yegar M., «The Panthay (Chinese Muslims) of Burma and Yunnan», Journal of Southeast Asian History, 1966, Vol. 7, No. 1, pp. 74-75. «Panthay» sera néanmoins utilisé ici par souci de simplicité et de clarté, le terme précisant de façon satisfaisante les origines ethniques et géographiques en plus de la religion du groupe considéré lorsque ses individus résident en Birmanie. En Thaïlande, au Laos ou en Chine du Sud, les Hui sont aussi appelés Haw ou Chin Haw." -Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy "L'importance..." p.72 n.9.
Pan-hung (Banhong 班洪) Incident   1933-34 border dispute between British authorities in Burma and China in area of Banhong 班洪,NW of Cangyuan  
Pa'O (Pa'o, Pa-O, Pao, Taungthu)   ethnic group of Myanmar Shan State, related to the Karen  
patchouli Tamil paccuḷi (or patchai [green], ellai [leaf]) (Pogostemon cablin, a small shrub in mint family, with leaves that yield a fragrant oil used in perfumes  
Peguan   Myanmar ethnic group, same as Mon, or a sub-group of Mon?, a.k.a. Talaing? Peguan or Mon First Standard Reader (Rangoon, 1918)
picul Eng. ← Malay? Chinese dàn (担), a unit of weight equal to 100 catties (100 jīn斤, 50 kg) ?; Cf. shí 石, (unit of weight =120 jīn, 60 kg) and shí/dàn (unit of volume = 10 pecks dǒu 斗 or 100 shēng  升, 100 lt)  
pomelo, pumelo ← older pompelmous, ← Dutch pompelmoes ← (or rel. to Tamil bambolmas ?; Cf. Fr. pamplemousse 'grapefruit' (← older pamplemoucier?) large, thick-rinded, usually pear-shaped citrus fruit of the Citrus maxima (syn. C. grandis) tree, differing from the grapefruit especially in its loose rind and often coarse dry pulp; according to one account, the grapefruit is a hybrid of the pomelo and the orange. A.k.a. 'shaddock' (q.v.).  
punji stick, punji stake Eng. ← Burmese ? A very sharp bamboo stake that is concealed at an angle in high grass, in a hole, or in deep mud, often coated with excrement, and planted to wound and infect the feet of enemy soldiers.  
pyi Burmese 1) unit of volume (= 1.56 gallons) ( = small tin or 1/16 tin) (traditionally = 8 handfuls); 2) unit of area?; 3) unit of weight (1 pyi of rice = 2 kg.) "I planted 32 pyi of paddy, and I got 2,048 pyi because of the good soil...", LNDO, Unsettling Moves, p. 18; cf. id. p.44; cf. "Therefore, a total of 309 baskets, 8 pyis and two cans of poppy seeds and 480 pyis of dried poppy bulb have been destroyed in Shan State (South)." (http://www.myanmar-narcotic.net/Destruction/dec9-02/9dec02.html); "Pyi  的单位为 以手抓拿起来 8把为 1 Pyis 的度量单位"
raffia Eng. ← Malagasy rafia fiber of the raffia palm, a pinnate-leaved palm (Raphia farinifera, syn. R. ruffia) of Madagascar, used especially for tying plants and making baskets and hats  
rambutan Malay bright red spiny Malayan fruit of Nephelium lappaceum tree (soapberry family), closely related to the litchi (lychee, lizhi 荔枝)  
ramie Eng. ← Malay rami 'ramie' ramie (Boehmeria nivea), perennial plant  of nettle family, primarily used for lustrous bast fibre, woven into linen-like fabric  
rattan Eng. ← Malay rotan climbing palm (especially of the genera Calamus and Daemonorops) with very long tough stems, from which canes and wickerwork are made  
rupee Hindi silver coin currency from British-era Burma, still used among Wa villagers in Myanmar for day-to-day trade; worth 900 kyats in Tachilek area ca. 2002 "I carried 2 viss of opium and 150 rupees at the bottom of the basket…", LNDO, Unsettling Moves, p. 48
sago Malay sagu 'sago palm' dry granulated or powdered starch prepared from the pith of a sago palm (genus Metroxylon); very similar to the botanically distinct tapioca (q.v.)  
Sai Wa First syllable of fourth son's name  
salax Wa (Christian) pastor, priest, missionary; from Burmese 'saya' ('sara') (q.v.)  
Sam Wa First syllable of third son's name  
sambar, sambhar, sambur, sambhur Eng. ← Hindi large deer (Cervus unicolor) of southern Asia, with three-tined antlers and a reddish-brown coat  
sanad   British letter of appointment for Shan princes and myosas, under Burma Laws Act of 1898 Yang Li (Jackie Yang), The House of Yang (Sydney: Bookpress, 1997);  mangrai.com/khai/kanbawsa/part01.html
sangha Burmese (← Pali) Theravada Buddhist clergy  
saopha, saohpa Shan, ဝ္‌ ့ (E. Shan ဝ္‌ ့caofa), lit. 'master (sao) of the sky (pha)'  hereditary king, ruling prince, or headman of a traditional Shan state Cf. "The Thai usage is Chaofa." ..."Sao: denotes person of Shan royalty; Saophalong: Senior Shan Prince" (Yang Li (Jackie Yang), The House of Yang (Sydney: Bookpress, 1997)); Sao Hpa Awn (Phya, Myo Sa, or Sao Perng) (www.shanland.org/resources/culture/shan_traditions_and_customs.htm)
sara Burmese teacher (cf. Wa "salax"); polite prefix for names  
sarama Burmese teacher (female); polite prefix for names  
sawbwa Burmese (ေစာ္ဘား), loan from Shan 'saopha',  lit. 'master of the sky' hereditary king, ruling prince, or headman of a traditional Shan state Cf. "The term sawbwa is a Burmese corruption of the Shan term saopha." (Yang Li (Jackie Yang), The House of Yang (Sydney: Bookpress, 1997))
seersucker Eng. ← Hindi śīrśaker, ← Persian shīr-o-shakar, lit. 'milk and sugar' light fabric of linen, cotton, or rayon usually striped and slightly puckered  
sepoy Eng. ← prob. ← Port. sipae ← Urdu sipähï ← Pers. ← sipäh, army Indian soldiers in the Bengal army of the East India Company  
shaddock Eng. ← Capt. Shaddock, 17th cent. English ship commander large, thick-rinded, usually pear-shaped citrus fruit of the Citrus maxima (syn. C. grandis) tree, differing from the grapefruit especially in its loose rind and often coarse dry pulp; according to one account, the grapefruit is a hybrid of the shaddock and the orange. A.k.a. pomelo/pumelo (q.v.)  
Shan Eng.   Shan B'mah:  Burmese name for the Shan of the Shan States of Burma; originally from southern China; settled along the Salween river valley and the upland Shan Plateau; not a hill tribe, as the Shan inhabit the river valleys of the uplands; see also Hkampti Shan; Shan Tayok:  Burmese name for the Chinese Shan of the Shan States in Yunnan, the most important of which lie south of the Tengyueh river and west of the Salween river (dharesearch.bowditch.us/GlossaryFrame1Source1.htm)
Shui Baiyi 水摆夷 Chinese "Water" Shan; wet-rice "Chinese" Shan Fiskesjö "The Fate of Sacrifice," p. 415
shuǐ jiǔ 水酒 Chinese Chinese term for Wa national beverage 'plai núm', a rice beer; lit. 'water liquor'--from the fact that the rice mash is fermented in cake form, then infused in water, rather than being brewed in liquid form)  
Siam, 暹 (xiān) Chinese 暹 (xiān), Chinese 掸 (shàn), Wa 'Siam', English etc. 'Siam' are all the same root (1) 暹 (xiān) is former Chinese word for Siam (Thailand) /Siamese branch of Tai peoples; (2)  暹 (xiān) is also the Chinese stereotype for writing the Wa ethnonym 'Siam', which is a generic reference to all Tai peoples, but especially to the Shan people LGV p.402,No.3710
sisal Eng. ← (Sisal, name of port in Yucatán, Mexico) strong durable white fiber used especially for hard fiber cordage and twine, called also sisal hemp, derived from Agave sisalana, a widely cultivated Mexican agave   
stupa Skt. stūpa usually dome-shaped structure (as a mound) serving as a Buddhist shrine (cf. chedi, pagoda)  
sycee Eng. ← Chn. (Guangdong) sai-sì, lit. 'fine silk' (细丝?) Chinese silver ingot formerly used as money, weighing about 50 taels (q.v.)  
tabasheer Persian tabāshīr ('sugar of bamboo'?) ← Skt. tavakkshīra fine-grained silica produced in the joints of bamboo stems, used as a medicine, a.k.a bamboo manna, bamboo silica,used in island S.E. Asia as a medicine for the cure of bilious vomitings, bloody flux, piles, and various other diseases  
tael Eng. ← Port. ← Malay tahil Chinese and general E. Asian unit of weight, equal to ca. 1.3 English ounces or 518 grains; often used as unit of silver money   
tamarind Eng. ← Arabic تمر هندي tamr hindī Tamarindus indica, originally from E. Africa  
tanaka (thanatka) powder Eng. ← Burmese (သနပ္ခး) a pale yellow powder made from pulverising wood of Limonia crenulata (L. acidissima) 'tanaka', 'kapittha', or 'elephant apple' tree, and then smeared on face as cosmetic and sun block cf. Tai (Shan) တူ္‌ပ္‌း a kind of tree, the bark and root of which are used in making a fragrant cosmetic
tapioca Eng. ← Spn. & Port., ← Tupi tɨpɨóka (cassava ← Spn. cazabe 'cassava bread', ← Taino caçábi)
usually granular preparation of starch, used in puddings and as thickening, of cassava plant (spurge family, genus Manihot and especially M. esculenta), grown widely in the tropics; very similar to the botanically distinct sago (q.v.)  
taro Eng. ← Tahitian (or Maori?) taro (Colocasia esculenta), a.k.a. eddo: malanga, kalo (Hawai'ian), elephant's ear, dasheen, cocoyam, colocasia  
Tatmadaw Burmese Myanmar government army  
Tax Wa see Dax  
teak Eng. ← Port. teca, ← Malayalam tēkka tall timber tree (Tectona grandis) of the vervain family, with hard yellowish brown wood used especially for furniture and shipbuilding
thakin Burmese master  
thingyan Burmese Burmese new year, mid-April  
tical Burmese unit of (small) weight (as for jewelry, opium, etc.) (= 5 grams?) "In one year, they had to give 10 ticals of opium, 2 tins of rice, and 200 baht [to UWSA, as tax]...", LNDO, Unsettling Moves, p. 19
tin Burmese 1) unit of weight (=16 kg.); 2) unit of volume (= 4 gallons) "a monthly ration of rice: one large tin each for adults, and half a tin each for children", LNDO, Unsettling Moves, p. 18
toddy Eng. ← Hindi tāṛī' 'juice of the palmyra palm', ← tāṛ 'palmyra palm', ← Skt. tāla a beverage drunk fresh, fermented, or distilled, produced from the sweetish sap yielded by the young flower stalks of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) when wounded or cut; also a source of sugar (cf. jaggery) and alcohol  
tussah Eng. ← Hindi tasar silk or silk fabric from the brownish fiber produced by larvae of some saturniid moths (e.g., Antheraea paphia)  
typhoon Eng. ← Eng. touffon (1771) (influenced by Chinese [Guangdong] daaih-fùng, from daaih 'big' + fùng 'wind') ← Arabic tūfān 'hurricane' ← Greek typhōn 'violent storm' tropical cyclone occurring in the south China sea or Indian Ocean  
U Burmese polite prefix for older men's names  
viss Eng. ← Burmese ပိာ pissa (peiq-tha) (← Pali) unit of weight ( = 1.6 kg.); related to unit of volume pyi (ca. 2 kg or rice) ? "I carried 1 viss of opium...", LNDO, Unsettling Moves, p. 14; Ye Naing came to Tha-byu village in Kya-in Township and looted from villagers - 121 chickens and ducks, a large container having fermented rice for distilling local liquor, 4 baskets and 6 Pyis of rice, 1 Pyi of pepper, 2 large bags of monosodium glutamate, two shirts, 3 pairs of Jean pants, 2 machetes, 2 torch lights, 7 boxes of dry cell batteries, 4 Viss of onion, 1 Viss of fish paste, 4 Karen bags, 2 pairs of shoes, one steal necklace, 1 bottle of honey, 1 cassette tape player, 2 cassette tapes, 1 Pyi of sticky rice, 2 Karen costumes and 418,000 Kyat cash.
Wa Küt (瓦库特,佤固德) Wa (Vax Gud (Vāx Gud) / Vax Kut / Vax Kud /vaʔ kut (va̤ʔ kut, 'the Wa who remained, the Wa left behind', ap. Wang Jingliu --see Citation); Wei Deming writes 'laih krup' p.5 (Laih Grub 'catch up to', 'visit', 'honor') nad 'vax kut' p.6 Mon-Khmer-speaking people of the Kengtung, Myanmar area, closely related to the Wa, a.k.a. Tai Loi ('mountain Tai'), Sam Tau (Sam Dāo) 三岛, 桑[姆]倒); Wa of  翁嘎科 also belong to Wa Küt branch of Wa? (Wei Deming, Wazu lishi yu wenhua yanjiu, p.4-5) Fiskesjö diss. "The Fate of Sacrifice," p. 71-72: "The same kind of transformation accompanied the introduction of Buddhism in the Shan state of Kengtung, with the conversion and the creation of the so-called Tai Loi, the Buddhist 'mountain Tai,' who really are Buddhist former 'Wa' and who are known in the Wa language as the 'Wa that remained' under Kengtung rule (they are the 'Wa Küt' in British sources)"; Wang Jingliu et al., Loux Gāb Vax, p.432-433: 'Vāx Gud lūd nblōng, Vāx Lād lōng ngōd.' '佤固' 把事搞错了呆在后边  " 佤腊 " 沿着山坳大步向前。澜沧、沧源一带的佤族传说他们原住在阿瓦(即瓦城 , 现属缅甸)一带》后来缅族来攻打他们 , 逼使他 们离开了阿瓦 , 另找生存之地。当他们举族迁徙时 , 为了彼此有个照应 , 沿路砍野芭蕉作为标记。走到勐养一带时 , 有一部份人因为在路上煨螃蟹吃掉了队。在此以前 , 这些佤族都没有煮吃过螃蟹 , 不认得螃蟹煮熟了才变红 ,  还以为螃蟹有血 , 没有熟。 一直在那里等螃蟹煮熟 , 就这样误了时间。最后 , 他们等不得了 , 也就不管螃蟹熟不熟 , 只得吃了。当他们吃了螃蟹再往前走时 , 本来也就不过是一宿功夫的事 , 但野芭蕉易长 , 砍过后无须多久 , 就能长出一大截 , 那些佤族不懂得野芭蕉生长的这些特点 , 以为砍过的野芭蕉都已长得老大一截了 , 前面走的一定已经走得很远了 , 怕跟不上了 , 而勐艮、勐养一带 , 地方也还不错 , 他们就决定在那里待下来。这样 , 这一部分佤族就被称为 " 佤固 ", 即呆在后边的佤族 , 也被叫作 " 三岛 " (Sam Dāo)。而来到了澜沧、沧源一带的佤族则被称作 " 佤腊 ", 即大步向前的佤族。
wolang (窝朗,卧郎) Wa (Ximeng area) village headman Nbeen Si Mgang Lih, p. 2, 5, n.5 (not!)
ya ba, 摇头丸, 冰毒 Thai, Chinese "crazy drug", "shake-the-head-pill", "ice-drug": names for methamphetamine, barbituates, and other synthetic drugs (本丙胺类毒品) LNDO, Unsettling Moves, p. 19; cf. http://www.bdtzone.com/news_details.asp?ID=26
yam Eng. ← Port. inhame or Spn. ñame ← Wolof 'eat'  about 150 (out of c.600?) species of genus Dioscorea, usu. cultivated for their starchy tubers (Wa often 'houn X'). "In the Philippines, the purple ube variety of yam (Dioscorea alata, also known in India as ratalu or violet yam) is eaten as a sweetened dessert called halaya, and is also an ingredient in the fruity, pudding-like halo-halo, another popular Filipino dessert." (← en.wikipedia.org)  
yamen Eng. ← Chn. 衙门 ← Manchu? Chinese government office during Qing dynasty, home and administrative headquarters of district magistrate  
yanbang 烟帮 Chinese (former) opium caravan Fiskesjö "The Fate of Sacrifice,"p. 415
Yaong Wa prefix for clan name, lit. 'village'  
Yeix / Yex Wa First syllable of eldest daughter's name  
yuan Chinese Chinese currency RMB ("hmeen" in Wa) "I earned 20 Yuan…", LNDO, Unsettling Moves, p. 49
zebu Eng. ← French zébu domesticated bovine mammal, Bos indicus ("Brahman cattle"), having a prominent hump on the back and a large dewlap (Wa mōi, although ap. one source, mōi is ordinary European bovine)  
zedoary Eng. ←  M.E. zeduarie, ← M. Lat. zeduāria, ← Arabic zadwār, ← Persian Curcuma zedoaria, a perennial herb and member of the ginger family (Zingiberaceae), native to India and Indonesia. Introduced to Europe by Arabs ca. 6th C., later replaced as a spice by ginger. A rhizome that grows in tropical and subtropical wet forest regions. The fragrant plant bears yellow flowers with red and green bracts and the underground stem section is large and tuberous with numerous branches. The leaf shoots of the zedoary are long and can reach 1 metre (3 feet) in height. The edible root of zedoary has a bright orange interior and a fragrance reminiscent of mango, however its flavour is more similar to ginger, except with a very bitter aftertaste. In Indonesia it is ground to a powder and added to curry pastes, whereas in India it tends to be used fresh or pickled. Zedoary is also used in some traditional eastern medicines where it is reputed to be an aid to digestion, a relief for colic and an agent for purifying the blood. (Fr. Wikipedia)