used in phrs. listed below referring to one considered a simpleton, a fool.
1. (Aus./N.Z.) sensible, intelligent, aware, trustworthy, ‘all there’; esp. in negative phr. not (quite) the full shilling etc, not very intelligent, slightly eccentric, odd (cf. full quid, the under full adj.).
|(con. 1930s–50s) Janey Mack, Me Shirt is Black 35: We must been all losing our marbles. We really weren’t the full shilling looking for a duck’s arse for the back of our necks.|
|Emerald Square 178: Even had he been the full shilling, I suspected work was a four letter word in his vocabulary.|
|(con. 1930s) Shawlies, Echo Boys, the Marsh and the Lanes 55: My father shook his head and said, ‘Stay away from that woman. She’s not the full shilling’.|
|Yes We have No 112: Not quite the full shilling.|
|A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun 71: Pete was not the full shilling.|
|Guardian 11 Mar. [Internet] The policeman, it turns out, isn’t quite the full shilling, just a sitting stand-in in a uniform.|
2. (Irish) the proper, complete thing.
|Goodbye to The Hill (1966) 99: Now that we’d started on the full shilling I agreed with her that we might as well go to bed and do it in comfort.|
unintelligent, eccentric; shilling is implied in cit. 1996.
|Register (Adelaide) 3 May 5/9: The defendant’s father said, ‘My son is three pence short of a shilling in his faculties’.|
|N. Territory Times 10 June 4/2: He trades on the prevalent belief that he is, as the saying goes, ‘a few pence short in the shilling’.|
|Only Fools and Horses [TV script] I know a lot of people are born an ’apenny short of a shilling.‘Ashes to Ashes’|
|Train to Hell 11: ‘Three kopecks short of a rouble,’ I thought.|
|(con. 1920s) Emerald Square 177: Where I came from it would have been said that he was ‘a ha’penny short of a shilling’.|
|It Was An Accident 47: You got to be a penny short.|
|http://dennisbenson.net 14 Nov. [Internet] Thankfully the British conspiracy brigade is [...] inhabited mainly by people who are clearly three pence short of the proverbial shilling.|
|Viz Oct./Nov. 13: Sid man, yorraboot ninepence short of a shillin’!|
foolish, stupid, lacking intelligence.
|Lonely Plough (1931) 229: Brack and his housekeeper seemed much of a piece, and neither of them more than eleven pence in the shilling.|
|South Riding (1988) 8: ‘Mental?’ ‘Tenpence halfpenny in the shilling.’.|
|Pagan Game (1969) 153: Every small town has its characters: Stainless Steel who had seen the light [...] Joey who was only eighteen shillings.|
SE in slang uses
a short sensational novel, published at a shilling (5p).
|Bristol Mercury 16 Nov. 6/3: Mr R.L. Stevenson is writing another ‘shilling dreadful’ in which supernatural machinery will be employed.|
|Pall Mall Gaz. 9 Aug. 4/2: Even in the realm of the shilling shocker these manners and morals are passing away.|
|Pall Mall Gaz. 25 Sept. 4/1: ‘A Phantom Lover’ and ‘Whose Hands’ are both shilling dreadfuls.|
|Three Men in a Boat 43: But, as the shilling shockers say, we anticipate.|
|Portsmouth Eve. News (Devon) 23 Jan. 3/4: Lord Wolseley counselled his hearers to shun the ‘shilling dreadful’.|
|Pink ’Un and Pelican 240: A meddling member of the bar, who should have been writing shilling shockers.|
|Bath Chron. (Somerset) 11 Apr. 7/3: He covertly lit his candle [...] in order to read a yellow-covered shocker.|
|Hull Dly Mail (Yorks.) 11 July 2/7: The penny dreadful;, the shilling shocker, and the comic cuts illustrated.|
|W.A. Sun. Times (Perth) 9 Mar. 1/1: A spicy novel could be written about his recent after-church amours [and] the saintly shilling-shocker would be appositely entitled ‘Venus in the Vestry’.|
|Bath Chron. (Somerset) 15 Sept. 4/4: The sensual ‘passion story,’ the morbidly sensational ‘shocker’ and the ridiculous romance.|
|Truth (Melbourne) 31 Jan. 11/1: The police-cum-reporter sensationalism [...] probably had its origin in some shilling shocker.|
|Man Market 151: All shilling ‘shockers’ are composed of certain ingredients, and doubtless one of the most popular is the hero or heroine who [...] leaves a note saying that he or she has committed suicide – which of course, he or she hasn’t done.|
|Mr Standfast (1930) 580: I have a grudge against you for mixing up the Coolin with a shilling shocker. You’ve spoiled their sanctity.|
|John O’London’s Weekly 7 Jan. 463/1: Probably Edgar Wallace’s best ‘shocker’ – and I use the term in no derogatory sense – was ‘The Four Just Men’.|
|Three Hostages in Buchan (1930) 857: These shockers are too easy, Dick. You could invent better ones for yourself.|
|Western Dly Press 23 Feb. 8/3: ‘The Bookworm’ attempted to act the plot of a ‘shilling shocker’.|
|Eve. Teleg. (Angus, Scot.) 18 Oct. 7/1: The sort of thing one reads about in a shilling shocker.|
|(ref. to late 19C)Snobbery with Violence (1979) 109: This special language of the shilling shocker [...] was doubtless evolved in the first place as a means of getting attention by frightening people.|
see sixpenny sicker under sixpenny adj.
a Baptist or Methodist tea-meeting, where refreshment was available at a shilling (5p) a head.
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era.|
see just the shiny bob under bob n.3
(Aus./N.Z.) a bar-room dice gambling game in which everyone puts one shilling (5p) in a kitty and the winner pays for the round (and poss. makes a small profit).
|Eve. Post (Wellington) 7 Jan. 17: A man had paid his shilling in a game of ‘shilling in and the winner shouts’ [AND].|
|Victorian Law Reports 749: A game called or known as ‘a shilling in and the winner shouts’.|
|Austral Eng. 456/1: Tamabroora [...] More generally known as ‘A shilling in and the winner shouts’.|
|Advocate (Burnie) 29 May 4/1: They were having ‘a shilling in and the winner shouts’ when he arrived .|
|Sun. Times (Perth) 14 Apr. 1/1: His X and Co. slipped out unobserved by the thirsty smoodgers [and] these ‘influential ratepayers’ were therefore compelled to descend to a ‘shilling in’.|
|(ref. to late 19C) Bulletin 20/2: Some Western Queensland slang of my day: … a shilling-in was ‘tambaroora’.|