One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A Persian silver coin (originally weighing approx. 9.33 grams) equivalent in value to two mahmudi or 200 dinars, first issued by the Safavid Shah Abbas I (reigned 1587–1629) and continuing in use until the 19th cent.; a money of account derived from this.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in William Foster (b. 1591), Church of England clergyman and writer. From Persian ‘abbāsī from ‘Abbas, the name of Shah Abbas I (reigned 1587–1629) + -ī.
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