One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A container for carrying or keeping water, especially while travelling; specifically a leather water-skin.
Mid 19th century. From Hindi pakhāl large water-skin from Sanskrit payas water + Prakrit khallaga leaf cup, (leather) bag, khallā water-skin (perhaps from Dravidian: compare Tamil kallai leaf cup, kallam (earthen) vessel).
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