How Well Do You Know English Slang?
Old English 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 Proto-Germanic *skillingoz- (cf. Old Saxon, Danish, Swedish, Old Frisian, Old High German skilling, Old Norse skillingr, Dutch schelling, German Schilling, Gothic skilliggs).
Some etymologists trace this to the root *skell- "to resound, to ring," and others to the root *(s)kel- (1) "to cut" (perhaps via sense of "shield" from resemblance or as a device on coins; see shield (n.)). The ending may represent the diminutive suffix -ling, or Germanic -ing "fractional part" (cf. farthing). Old Church Slavonic skulezi, Polish szelang, Spanish escalin, French schelling, Italian scellino are loan-words from Germanic.
"one who acts as a decoy for a gambler, auctioneer, etc.," 1916, probably originally circus or carnival argot, probably a shortened form of shillaber (1913) with the same meaning, origin unknown. The verb is attested from 1914. Related: Shilled; shilling.
: That summer he shilled for a sidewalk hawker (1914+)
[origin unknown; perhaps, since it is a shortening of shillaber, ultimately fr Shillibeer, the name of an early 1800s British owner of a large bus company, the reference being to persons hired as decoys to sit in buses and attract passengers]
former English and British coin, nominally valued at one-twentieth of a pound sterling, or 12 pence. The shilling was also formerly the monetary unit of Australia, Austria, New Zealand, and Ireland. Today it is the basic monetary unit in Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda.