The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

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chavanni means four annas coin of the days when a rupee consisted of sixteen annas; hence chawanni is still used to represent one fourth value of a rupee.


chawanni added to a rupee makes it "savaa rapaiya" which considered auspicious by hindu religious lore. People offer "savaa rupaiya" boondi prasad to the deity like Hanumanji on tuesdays.
chawanni is also used for worthless or penniless being referred as chawanni chhaap"
chawanni is often used in the context of one who have no money e.g. "is kee jeb men to ek chawanni bhi nahin (He does'nt hav even a chawanni in his pocket.
In Rajasthaan they also call it "pavlee" and use the term in a more positive sense; e.g., arre bhai iski to yahan pawli chalti hai - means "
this man carries lot of weight (imfluence) here."
Thus chavanni is part of our folklore and in a way culture too. It is ridiculous that 25 paise coin or the chawanni of common man has been taken out of the coin currency portfolio of Indian coins by our Government. As currency, this has been removed from service. Sadly, one wonders how the aam admi (common man) is going to offer savaa rupaiya to Ganeshji or other deities in the absence of this darling of masses called a "chawanni" or a "pavlee".
Added 2011-08-11 by pareekji




North India


Money & Business

Related Terms

pachees paise, paavli