The phrase Dhabu or Dhaboo is improvised version of the Marathi word "Dhabbu", which means money. The word "Dhabbu" is of archaic origin from the Vidarbha region of present Maharashtra. There used to be an ancient currency coin, called as "Dhabbu Paisa", and the Britishers started spelling this as "Dhabu" instead of "Dhabbu".
Some families of vidarbha region, who were in the profession of making these coins, were later identified with the surname "Dhabbu" or "Dhaboo", which later on i.e. during British Era became "Dhabu". Some families were also in the business of trading in Gold and Silver and some of them changed their surname to Saraf.
DHABUs or DHABOOs are basically Marathi Speaking families, belonging to Deshastha Brahmin caste. The origin of the DHABUs is present Vidarbha region (Central Provenience in the per-independence era).
People with Dhabu/Dhaboo surname can be found in Nagpur, Pune, Nasik and Mumbai of Maharashtra, Korba, Raipur, Kanker, Bhilai and Rajnandgaon of CG, Jabalpur and Rewa of Madhya pradesh, Orissa, Jamshedpur and also in Andhra Pradesh.