In Reply to: Lazarushian leather posted by RRC on December 12, 2009 at 15:09:
: : : In 2007 Jon had asked what the meaning of Lazarushian leather in the final stanza of Gunga Din meant. To which Baceseras replied "The speaker is referring to Lazarus, who came back from the dead, so something like well-worn leather is being attributed to Din's appearance or character."
: : : My ancestors the Lazarus family had a furniture company, C Lazurus and Co, in Calcutta India. They were friends of Kipling's. They were well respected in the community and the products that they produced were extremely high quality. One of the products that the produced was a leather called Lazarushian leather.
: : Can you actually substantiate that? I don't want to be rude but it's the commonest thing in the world for a family, a town or a trade to seize on a word or phrase that resembles something in their history, and dream up a story about how the word derives from them. Has your family got any record of this leather being called by that name? Or is it just a tale told in the family? I searchde the net for any mention of C Lazarus & Co, who are consistently described as cabinet-makers, and there is no mention of Lazarushian leather, or any kind of leather, in connection with them. (VSD)
: In Hinduism, the tanning and manufacture of leather goods is only suitable for Untouchables so that might conflict a bit with "well respected in the community".
[I find this suggestion very interesting but like Victoria I'd have to see some evidence of the cabinet-maker's leathers being called "Lazarushian" earlier than the use of that word in Kipling's poem. If Woman_in_shoe will write in again, I'd also like to know whether the Lazarus family was Anglo-Indian, and if the Anglo-Indian community was the one in which they were well-respected - an answer to this question could clear up RRC's astute objection. -Baceseras.]