Green’s Dictionary of Slang

tosheroon n.

also tosh, tush, tusheroon
[? mispron. of Polari madza caroon under madza n.; Hotten (1859) claims definition of ‘a crown’, which appears to be a mis-reading and see also Crowe (1895) , and yosharoon cited in Variety 8 April 1931 is presumably a misprint]

1. (also tosher) a counterfeit half-crown.

[UK]Birmingham Jrnl 10 July 3/4: [W]itness asked Smith the price of various counterfeit coins, when she said cooters (sovereigns) were 4s. 6d. each; tusheroons (half-crowns) 5s. a dozen; pegs (shillings) seven score for 20s.
[UK]Worcester Herald 26 Dec. 4/3: A tusheroon [sic], a half crown; a shofell tush, a base ditto.
[UK]V. Davis Phenomena in Crime 249: ‘How did he get his collar felt?’ ‘Toshers.’ [Ibid.] 250: Joe had been caught with base half-crowns. (’Tosheroons’ they are called).

2. (orig. Ling. Fr./Polari) half-a-crown, 2s 6d (12½p).

[UK]Worcester Herald 26 Dec. 4/3: A tusheroon [sic], a half crown; a shofell tush, a base ditto.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 22: tosheroon, a crown piece, or five shillings.
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. [as cit. 1859].
[UK]Mirror of Life 19 Jan. 11/3: Her mother went out washing at a fosheroon [sic] a day, / And couldn’t she go it with her mawleys.
[Aus]Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 89: Tusheroon, a crown piece or five shillings.
[UK]J.W. Horsley Memoirs of a ‘Sky Pilot’ 253: ‘Tush’ for money, would be an abbreviation of ‘tusheroon,’ which in old cant, and also tinker dialect, signified a crown.
[Aus]Western Mail (Perth) 28 May 21/1: [from Daily Mail, London] A 5s. [sic] piece in my young days was still called a cartwheel, but no longer a tosheroon or a bull.
[UK]Derby Dly Teleg. 7 Apr. 3/3: Every coin has some slang name [...] tush [...] quidlet [...] fadger.
[UK]‘George Orwell’ Down and Out in Complete Works I (1986) 160: A tosheroon [half a crown] for the coat, two ’ogs for the trousers, one and a tanner for the boots.
[UK]J. Curtis You’re in the Racket, Too 193: Lend us half a tosh.
[UK]J. Maclaren-Ross Of Love and Hunger 100: Make it a tosheroon then. Gimme a chance to even up.
[UK]R. Fabian London After Dark 22: The kids here – like Lucy – get a tosh – a half-crown.
[UK]P. Wildeblood Way of Life 142: You bloody little chiseller. Where’s the change out of that tosheroon I give you for the toilet paper?
[UK]A. Burgess Doctor Is Sick (1972) 217: Only one nicker. Eight tosheroons.
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 6: It was a fourpenny ride [...] and I gave the conductor one of my tosheroons and he gave me 2/2 change.
[UK]R. Fabian Anatomy of Crime 192: I bunged down a tosheroon (half-crown).
[UK] (ref. to 1930s) R. Barnes Coronation Cups and Jam Jars 207: Tosheroon – half crown.
[UK] in G. Tremlett Little Legs 3: We were only gambling with a shilling or a tosheroon.
[NZ]W. Ings ‘Trolling the Beat to Working the Soob’ in Int’l Jrnl Lexicog. 23:1 64: [A] shilling was a beyonek, a half crown, a tosheroon, and a pound a ponte.
[UK]P. Baker Fabulosa 298/2: tosheroon half a crown.

In phrases

half-a-tosheroon (n.) (also half-a-tusheroon) [see comment in ety. above about Hotten’s misreading of tosheroon and thus creating this meaning]

half-a-crown, 2s 6d (12½p).

[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 48: HALF A TUSHEROON, half a crown.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict. [as cit. 1859].
[Aus]Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 34: Half a Tusheroon, half-a-crown.
[Aus]Argus (Melbourne) 20 Sept. 6/4: A half crown may be either an alderman, half a bull, half a tusheroon, or half-a-caser.
[UK]Derby Dly Teleg. 7 Aug. 6/3: Professional thieves use such words as [...] sprazey [...] half a tosh [...] Oxford (five shillings), oncer (sovereign).