Porcelain

(3 syl.), from porcelana, “a little pig.” So called by the Portuguese traders, from its resemblance to cowrie-shells, the shape of which is not unlike a pig's back. The Chinese earthenware being white and glossy, like the inside of the shells, suggested the application of the name. (See Marryatt's History of Pottery and Porcelain.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Porcelain from Fact Monster:

  • porcelain - porcelain porcelain [Ital. porcellana], white, hard, permanent, nonporous pottery having ...
  • Pottery - A history of clay and pottery
  • bone china - bone china bone china, variety of porcelain developed by English potters in the last half of the ...
  • pottery: Bibliography - Bibliography See L. A. Boger, The Dictionary of World Pottery and Porcelain (1970); W. E. Cox, Book ...
  • Seto - Seto Seto , city (1990 pop. 126,340), Aichi prefecture, central Honshu, Japan. It has been an ...

Related Content