genus of parasitic plants native to Java and Sumatra, 1820, named for Sir T. Stamford Raffles (1781-1826), British governor of Sumatra, who introduced it to the West, + abstract noun ending -ia. He reports the native name was petimum sikinlili "Devil's betel-box." Raffles as the typical name of a gentleman who engages in burglary or other crime, an educated renegade, is from A.J. Raffles, hero of "The Amateur Cracksman" (1899) and later books by E.W. Hornung.
updated on April 05, 2021