cut off with(out) a shilling/cent

cut off with(out) a shilling/cent

Disinherited. To write a will leaving someone just one shilling is equivalent to being left nothing; without a shilling, of course, explicitly means left nothing. The former is not just an insult. English law at one time required that some bequest be made so as to show that the disinheritance was intentional, and not an oversight. In America, “cent” was sometimes substituted for “shilling.” A cliché since about 1800, the term is now dying out.
See also: cent, cut, off, shilling