DALOYET to DAMMER
DALOYET, DELOYET, s. An armed attendant and messenger, the same as a Peon. H. dhalait, dhalayat,
from ddhal, a shield. The word is never now used in Bengal and Upper India.
1772.Suppose every farmer in the province was enjoined to maintain a number of good serviceable
obliged to furnish the Government with them on a requisition made to him by the Collector in
writing (not by sepoys, delects (sic), or hercarras (see HURCARRA).W. Hastings, to G. Vansittart,
in Gleig, i. 237.
1809.As it was very hot, I immediately employed my delogets to keep off the crowd.Ld.
Valentia, i. 339. The word here and elsewhere in that book is a misprint for deloyets.
DAM, s. H. dam. Originally an actual copper coin, regarding which we find the following in the Ain,
i. 31, ed. Blochmann:1. The Dám weighs 5 tánks, i.e. 1 tolah, 8 mashas, and 7 surkhs; it is the
fortieth part of a rupee. At first this coin was called Paisah, and also Bahloli; now it is known under this
name (dám). On one side the place is given where it was struck, on the other the date. For the purpose
of calculation, the dám is divided into 25 parts, each of which is called a jétal. This imaginary division is
only used by accountants.
2. The adhelah is half of a dám. 3. The Páulah is a quarter of a dám. 4. The
damrí is an eighth of a dám.
It is curious that Akbars revenues were registered in this small currency, viz.
in laks of dáms. We may compare the Portuguese use of reis [see REAS].
The tendency of denominations
of coins is always to sink in value. The jetal [see JEETUL], which had become an imaginary money
of account in Akbars time, was, in the 14th century, a real coin, which Mr. E. Thomas, chief of Indian
numismatologists, has unearthed [see Chron. Pathan Kings, 231]. And now the dam itself is imaginary.
According to Elliot the people of the N.W.P. not long ago calculated 25 dams to the paisa, which would
be 1600 to a rupee. Carnegy gives the Oudh popular currency table as:
But the Calcutta Glossary says the dam is in Bengal reckoned
1/20 of an ana, i.e. 320 to the rupee. [Most things of little value, here as well as in Bhagalpur (writing
of Behar) are sold by an imaginary money called Taka, which is here reckoned equal to two Paysas.
There are also imaginary monies called Chadam and Damri; the former is equal to 1 Paysa or 25
cowries, the latter is equal to one-eighth of a Paysa (Buchanan, Eastern Ind. i. 382 seq.)]. We have
not in our own experience met with any reckoning of dams. In the case of the damri the denomination
has increased instead of sinking in relation to the dam. For above we have the damri=3 dams, or
according to Elliot (Beames, ii. 296)=3¼ dams, instead of 1/8 of a dam as in Akbars time. But in reality
the damris absolute value has remained the same. For by Carnegys table 1 rupee or 16 anas would
be equal to 320 damris, and by the Ain, 1 rupee =40 x 8 damris=320 damris. Damri is a common
enough expression for the infinitesimal in coin, and one has often heard a Briton in India say: No, I wont
give a dumree! with but a vague notion what a damri meant, as in Scotland we have heard, I wont
give a plack, though certainly the speaker could not have stated the value of that ancient coin. And
this leads to the suggestion that a like expression, often heard from coarse talkers in England as well as
in India, originated in the latter country, and that whatever profanity there may be in the animus, there
is none in the etymology, when such an one blurts out I dont care a dam! i.e. in other words, I
dont care a brass farthing!
|26 kauris||=||1 damri|
|1 damri||=||3 dam|
|25 dam||=||1 pice.|
If the Gentle Reader deems this a far-fetched suggestion, let us back it by
a second. We find in Chaucer (The Millers Tale):
ne raught he not a kers,which means, he recked not a cress (ne flocci quidem); an expression
which is also found in Piers Plowman:
And this we doubt not has given rise to that other vulgar expression,
I dont care a curse;curiously parallel in its corruption to that in illustration of which we quote it.
suggestion about dam was made by a writer in Asiat. Res., ed. 1803, vii. 461: This word was perhaps
in use even among our forefathers, and may innocently account for the expression not worth a fig, or
a dam, especially if we recollect that ba-dam, an almond, is to-day current in some parts of India as
small money. Might not dried figs have been employed anciently in the same way, since the Arabic word
fooloos, a halfpenny, also denotes a cassia bean, and the root fuls means the scale of a fish. Mankind
are so apt, from a natural depravity, that flesh is heir to, in their use of words, to pervert them from
their original sense, that it is not a convincing argument against the present conjecture our using the
word curse in vulgar language in lieu of dam. The N.E.D. disposes of the matter: The suggestion is
ingenious, but has no basis in fact. In a letter to Mr. Ellis, Macaulay writes: How they settle the matter I