"one who works for hire," Old English hyrling; see hire + -ling. As an adjective by 1580s.
a labourer employed on hire for a limited time (Job 7:1; 14:6; Mark 1:20). His wages were paid as soon as his work was over (Lev. 19:13). In the time of our Lord a day's wage was a "penny" (q.v.) i.e., a Roman denarius (Matt. 20:1-14).