Word Origin & History
O.E. scilling, a coin consisting of a varying number of pence (on the continent, a common scale was 12 pennies to a shilling, 20 shillings to a pound), from P.Gmc. *skillingoz- (cf. O.S., Dan., Swed., O.Fris., O.H.G. skilling, O.N. skillingr, Du. schelling, Ger. Schilling, Goth. skilliggs), which some
etymologists trace to the base *skell- "to resound, to ring," and others to the base *skel- "to split, to divide" (perhaps via sense of "shield;" see shield
). The ending may represent the dim. suffix -ling. O.C.S. skulezi, Sp. escalin, Fr. schelling, It. scellino are Gmc. loan-words.