This is not Anna of Anna Kournikova nor the Mumbai street don called Charlie Anna. This is Anna as in the Indian money. Chaar Anna, Aath Anna, Barah anna, Solah Anna. Remember Kishore Kumar prancing around Madhubala singing “Paach rupaiya baarah anna”?

Ok, what does Hobson-Jobson say about this word

  1. The word itself is of Hindustani origin and used to denote 1/16th of the rupee as struck during the Mohammedan rulers of India
  2. There was no specific coin per se, it was a unit of account

The word “Anna” is now part of the Hindi language – “Solah anna sach” meaning the whole truth is a regular idiom or Muhavra used.

While searching online for modern day references, I found this image on e-bay

From an auction on e-bay
From an auction on e-bay

This One Anna note, according to the description given on e-bay was issued in a WW2 POW camp in Bangalore (where Italian soldiers were incarcerated). This note was issued to Italian POWs to use within the camp.

If you have any more references, do write in


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