Term "lakhi"

Supplement to discussion on southasia-coins eGroup.

From: William F. Spengler 
Date: 2001 Jan 2, 5:05pm

I, too, have often heard the vernacular term "lakhi" applied to
brockages in the bazaars of the South Asian Subcontinent, especially
on issues of British India.  But it has been pronounced "lakhi" with a
long "a", rhyming with "jockey" in English, not "lakhi" with the short
"a" rhyming with "lucky".  And it referred adjectively to the
Hindi-Urdu word "lakh", or "lac", meaning 100,000.  (This explanation
is for the less well informed about India, not for John who knows it
only too well.)  The belief was that somehow a brockage happened to be
made about every one hundred thousand times a coin type was produced.
I don't know what was thought to have happened when less that a "lakh"
of pieces was produced, probably no brockage at all!  Please correct
me, Shailendra, Dilip, Manzoor or anyone else, if I'm wrong.

From: Shailendra Bhandare Date: 2001 Jan 2, 11:17pm I, too, have heard about this rather imaginitive explanation for the origins of the term 'Lakhi' - although being a 'bazaar' term it is anybody's guess how it actually came into being. I personally think that it is a straightforward corruption of the word 'lucky' and may have its origins in the charm-like qualities that people would attribute to brockages that were rare occurrences indeed. I am inclined to think that the derivation from 'lac' or 'lakh' (100,000) is a latter linguistic phenomenon....
From: Murali Thantry Date: 2001 Jan 2, 11:45pm Well, it's certainly NOT "a straighforward corruption of the work lucky', 'Lakhi' is a term used to indicate the minting of 100,000th coin in the mint during the colonial rule of India. I'm sure you must be aware that 'Lakh' in most of the Indian languages mean 100,000, so 'Lakhi' rupee means the 100,000th rupee. This in my opinion is a very unique way of keeping the count of coins minted.