Saturday, 11 October 2014

Indian Colloquial Terms for Money derived from Coins of the Colonial Period

Colloquial Terms for Money in modern India that has roots to the coins of yore!

Having been bought up in Defence colonies, it was natural to interact with citizens from different parts of our country.  While this was almost given that people spoke in languages that was native to their state, the term used for money would catch my attention, for each used a different term!

To state an example;

Our neighbours from Andhra Pradesh used to say Dab or Dabu for money, whereas others used terms like;

Dou Dou

As a collector, I am more familiar with these terms as I know of coins that have the above names.

Usually the lowest denominator of that coinage was known by the term, which the citizens of that area would refer to as money!

To illustrate, I have given below the photo of the coin, and the name with which money is generally referred to;

The Dub

These coins were first minted around 1720 in the Dominions of the Nizam as well as with other mints in the regions held by the British under Madra Presidency
The Dudu

The Dudu was of lower denomination to the Dub, and from the same region.

The Cache

These coins were used in Madras and other coastal towns of Tamil Nadu. Minted in Pondicherry mint around 1693, under the Dutch occupation!
The Dou Dou
As with Cache, this was of a higher denomination and minted during the same time!
The Kasu
Minted during 1700s the above coin was used in the regions of Madurai, being ruled by the Nayakas!
The Dam
Covering a greater area of then India, this coins perhaps best reflected the public query of "Price" of any goods or services to this day!
Minted across India, from Akbarabad in 1719 to Surat, Elichpur, Bakkar, Kabul, Lahore, and Shajahanabad
The Kori
This coin and the following 2 coins cover the regions of Kutch, and often spoken of by the trading communities from that region or belonging to that region today.  Often a reference to money!
Minted around 1570
The Dokda
The Dokdo
The Trambiyo
Another coin that come from the region of Kutch, but with a very unusual name Trambiyo, was a coin during the above period! Do share information if this too formed any reference to Money!
The Tankah
A very wide reference to "Wages" across most of India comes from this coin!
First minted in Arakan, a coastal region of Burma in 1523.  With traders and workmen going to this region perhaps explains the monetary value of this coin as a term for "Wage"
Going across to the west of India, to the Gujarat Sultanate at around the period of 1560, Tankah was minted in Urdu at the Ahmedabad and Champaner mints
The Taca
Coming from the Garhwal region, and minted at the Srinagar mint, this coin is a term so familiarly used for "Money" in Bollywood films of the 70s.
There are many other terms used especially for Higher Value  Coins like Asharafi, Mohur, Pagoda, etc., which do not form any reference to money in casual lingo as the above.
Do share information of coins that can be added to the above!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks Sunil da. "Taka" (from Taca?) is of course the official currency in Bangladesh.