CASH, s. A name applied by Europeans to sundry coins of low value in various parts of the Indies. The word in its original form is of extreme antiquity, “Skt. karsha… a weight of silver or gold equal to 1/400 of a Tula” (Williams, Skt. Dict. ; and see also a Note on the Karsha, or rather karshapana, as a copper coin of great antiquity, in E. Thomas’s Pathân Kings of Delhi, 361–362). From the Tam. form kasu, or perhaps from some Konkani form which we have not traced, the Portuguese seem to have made caixa, whence the English cash. In Singalese also kasi is used for ‘coin’ in general. The English term was appropriated in the monetary system which prevailed in S. India up to 1818 ; thus there was a copper coin for use in Madras struck in England in 1803, which bears on the reverse, “XX Cash.” A figure of this coin is given in Ruding. Under this system 80 cash=1 fanam, 42 fanams=1 star pagoda. But from an early date the Portuguese had applied caixa to the small money of foreign systems, such as those of the Malay Islands, and especially to that of the Chinese. In China the word cash is used, by Europeans and their hangers-on, as the synonym of the Chinese le and tsien, which are those coins made of an alloy of copper and lead with a square hole in the middle, which in former days ran 1000 to the liang or tael (q.v.), and which are strung in certain numbers on cords. [This type of money, as was recently pointed out by Lord Avebury, is a survival of the primitive currency, which was in the shape of an axe.] Rouleaux of coin thus strung are represented on the surviving bank-notes of the Ming dynasty (A.D. 1368 onwards), and probably were also on the notes of their Mongol predecessors.

The existence of the distinct English word cash may probably have affected the form of the corruption before us. This word had a European origin from It. cassa, French caisse, ‘the money-chest’ : this word in book-keeping having given name to the heading of account under which actual disbursements of coin were entered (see Wedgwood and N.E.D. s.v.). In Minsheu (2nd ed. 1627) the present sense of the word is not attained. He only gives “a tradesman’s Cash, or Counter to keepe money in.”

1510.—“They have also another coin called cas, 16 of which go to a tare of silver.”—Varthema, 130.

„ “In this country (Calicut) a great number of apes are produced, one of which is worth 4 casse, and one casse is worth a quattrino.”—Ibid. 172 (Why a monkey should be worth 4 casse is obscure.)

1598.—“You must understand that in Sunda there is also no other kind of money than certaine copper mynt called Caixa, of the bignes of a Hollãdes doite, but not half so thicke, in the middle whereof is a hole to hang it on a string, for that commonlie they put two hundreth or a thousand vpon one string.”—Linschoten, 34 ; [Hak. Soc. i. 113].

1600.—“Those (coins) of Lead are called caxas, whereof 1600 make one mas.”—John Davis, in Purchas, i. 117.

1609.—“Ils (les Chinois) apportent la monnoye qui a le cours en toute l’isle de Iava, et Isles circonvoisines, laquelle en lãgue Malaique est appellee Cas.…Cette monnoye est jettée en moule en Chine, a la Ville de Chincheu.”—Houtman, in Nav. des Hollandois, i. 30b.

[1621.—“In many places they threw abroad Cashes (or brasse money) in great quantety.”—Cocks, Diary, ii. 202.]

1711.—“Doodoos and Cash are Copper Coins, eight of the former make one Fanham, and ten of the latter one Doodoo.”—Lockyer, 8. [Doodoo is the Tel. duddu, Skt. dvi, ‘two’ ; a more modern scale is : 2 dooggaunies=1 doody : 3 doodies=1 anna.—Mad. Gloss. s.v.]

1718.—“Cass (a very small coin, eighty whereof make one Fano).”—Propagation of the Gospel in the East, ii. 52.

1727.—“At Atcheen they have a small coin of leaden Money called Cash, from 12 to 1600 of them goes to one Mace, or Masscie.”—A. Hamilton, ii. 109.

c. 1750–60.—“At Madras and other parts of the coast of Coromandel, 80 casches make a fanam, or 3d. sterling ; and 36 fanams a silver pagoda, or 7s. 8d. sterling.”—Grose, i. 282.

1790.—“So far am I from giving credit to the late Government (of Madras) for œconomy, in not making the necessary preparations for war, according to the positive orders of the Supreme Government, after having received the most gross insult that could be offered to any nation! I think it very possible that every Cash of that ill-judged saving may cost the company a crore of rupees.”—Letter of Lord Cornwallis to E. J. Hollond, Esq., see the Madras Courier, 22nd Sept. 1791.

[1792.—“Whereas the sum of Raheties 1223, 6 fanams and 30 khas has been deducted.”—Agreement in Logan, Malabar, iii. 226.]

1813.—At Madras, according to Milburn, the coinage ran :

“10 Cash=1 doodee ; 2 doodees=1 pice ; 8 doodees=1 single fanam,” &c.
The following shows a singular corruption, probably of the Chinese tsien, and illustrates how the striving after meaning shapes such corruptions :—

1876.—“All money transactions (at Manwyne on the Burman-Chinese frontier) are effected in the copper coin of China called ‘change,’ of which about 400 or 500 go to the rupee. These coins are generally strung on cord,” &c.—Report on the Country through which the Force passed to meet the Governor,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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