One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Brown cane that is used for walking sticks and umbrella handles.
The cane is obtained from a Malaysian climbing palm (Calamus scipionum, family Palmae)
- ‘Top hats and black malacca canes are the visual signature of a show that combines cartoon posturing and a commitment to articulating the text.’
- ‘There I found gula malacca (palm sugar), the package bearing its Malay name, something which I thought would have been impossible to find here.’
- ‘The price per bundle of split rattan is P 0.15 per 50 pieces of malaccas (malaccas are produced by splitting off the skin from the rattan poles with a hand-operated tool).’
- ‘In this way blows can be made so formidable that with an ordinary malacca cane it is possible to sever a man's jugular vein through the collar of his overcoat.’
- 1.1count noun A walking stick of malacca cane.
Mid 19th century: from the place name Malacca.
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