shellack—my Canton correspondent—a man I was anxious to be of use to when he came over!
1713, from shell (n.) + lac (see lacquer). Translates French laque en écailles "lac in thin plates."
1876, from shellack (n.). The slang sense of "beat soundly" is 1920s, perhaps from the notion of shellac as a "finish." Shellacked "drunk" is from 1922 (cf. plastered). Related: Shellacking.
To pay; shell out: to shell at least a buck (1948+)