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  • I'm on the trail of this, because it looks highly implausible to me. The only reference I can find in a dozen online dictionaries quotes the word as a derivation of the English paddock with the forms padok in Malay and pedok in Indonesian. In most cases -ok endings are dialectal variants of -uk, and there are no hits on peduk, which I have also never heard. Beyond this, the overriding practice in both languages in ancient times was to borrow scientific terms heavily from those of the colonial powers, ie. English (Malay) and Dutch (Indonesian). In modern times, English prevails.

    My guess is that it is madeupical Malay to stand for a term that an English-speaking writer either couldn't locate or didn't think was significant enough to warrant an accurate translation. There's another aspect of the citation on mercury-sublimate which leads me to this conclusion, namely that datang means arrive and neither strontium nor antimony.

    July 7, 2008

  • Malaysian term (perhaps archaic?) for mercury-sublimate, the which page has a relevant usage note. (I love to say "the which.")

    March 4, 2008