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.