One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
In South Asia: a small weight used for expressing the weight of gems, equal to one-eighth of a masha.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Samuel Purchas. From Hindi rattī, the seed of the jequirity ( Abrus precatorius, a leguminous creeping plant) from Sanskrit raktikā from rakta red, use as adjective of past participle of rañj- to become reddened + -ika, diminutive suffix. Compare French rati, Portuguese rati.
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