Definition for SHIL'LING

SHIL'LING, n. [Sax. scill, scilling; G. schilling; D. schelling; Sw. and Dan. skilling; Fr. escalin; It. scellino; Sp. chelin; Port. xelim; from the Oriental שקל shakal, to weigh. See Shekel.]

An English silver coin equal to twelve pence, or the twentieth part of a pound. The English shilling, or shilling sterling, is equivalent nearly to 22 cents 22 hundredths, money of the United States. Our ancestors introduced the name with the coin into this country, but by depreciation the value of the shilling sunk in New England and Virginia one fourth, or to a fraction less than 17 cents, in New York to 12 ½ cents, in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland, to about 11 cents. This denomination of money still subsists in the United States, although there is no coin of that value current, except the Spanish coin of 12 ½ cents, which is a shilling in the money of the state of New York. Since the adoption of the present cent coins of the United States, eagles, dollars, dimes, cents &c. the use of shilling is continued only by habit.

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