Green’s Dictionary of Slang

shade n.2

1. a minute quantity.

[UK]Egan Finish to the Adventures of Tom and Jerry (1889) 166: They are not particular to a shade, if a good stake of money is on the table, to bolt with it under the pretended fear that the traps are coming.
[UK]Crim.-Con. Gaz. 11 May 149/1: Jim Crow — And how do him get him libing? Chap — Why him go out chancing ob it [...] him holds osses, prigs a little, him not particular to him shade.
[UK]Sporting Times 22 Feb. 3/1: It’s a shade over the odds, sir, as a matter of fact.
[UK]A. Morrison Tales of Mean Streets (1983) 41: Odd jobs of charing have a shade the better of a pickle factory in the matter of respectability.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘They Begged To Differ’ Sporting Times 15 Apr. 1/3: She liked not the suggestions he / Advanced; she p’raps deemed them to be / A shade too stiff, and all agree / That nobody beats Mr. G / In piling it on stiffer.
[US]Ade Knocking the Neighbors 15: Some gilt-edged Municipal Bonds that would net a shade under 5 per cent.
[UK]Wodehouse Carry on, Jeeves 160: I am inclined to think that this binge is going to prove a shade above the odds.
[US]R. Chandler ‘Spanish Blood’ in Spanish Blood (1946) 12: He was always a great kid. . . . Maybe a shade too smart.
[Aus]S. Gore Holy Smoke 12: Y’ could give anyone a shade of odds on the skite.

2. (US) a (marginal) advantage.

[US]T.A. Dorgan in Zwilling TAD Lex. (1993) 127: The feller with the black tights has the shade.
[US]Ethel Waters ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’ [lyrics] No gal made has got a shade on Sweet Georgia Brown.