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Related to shilling: British currency

cut off with a shilling

To be intentionally disinherited from a will by being bequeathed a single shilling rather than left nothing at all. Primarily heard in UK. My father never liked that I gave up medicine to become a writer, so he cut me off with a shilling when he died.
See also: cut, off, shilling

cut off

1. verb Literally, to remove something from something else by cutting. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "off." Your plant might bloom again if you cut off the dead flowers.
2. verb To abruptly move in front of another driver, either intentionally or unintentionally. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "off." Can you believe that jerk cut me off like that? I nearly hit him!
3. verb To interrupt one and stop them from talking. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "off." After my mom had been droning on for nearly five minutes, I just had to cut her off. Hey, don't cut me off—I'm not done my story.
4. verb To stop something from working; to turn something off. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "off." When the fuse blew, it cut off the power to the entire second floor. Look, if you don't pay your bill, the electric company will cut off your electricity.
5. verb To stop giving money to someone or something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "off." My parents have threatened to cut me off as soon as I turn 30, so I need to find a job. If the school board cuts off funding for the arts, then what will become of the theater program?
6. verb To change direction. Follow the river to where it cuts off to the left and then you'll see the picnic area.
7. verb To turn off a particular road. And then you cut off here and get on this dirt road. I swear we're almost there.
8. verb To prevent access to a particular area or thing. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "off." I had to take a detour because the water department had blocked a bunch of streets, cutting me off from my house.
9. verb To isolate or sequester someone. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "off." The investigators plan to cut the suspect off from his bosses, in the hope that he will confess.
10. verb To end unexpectedly or abruptly. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "off." No one was disappointed when the principal's microphone came unplugged, cutting off his speech. Aw man, why did the music cut off?
11. verb To intercept something The humanitarian supplies
12. In baseball, to intercept a ball that has been thrown to a different player. The shortstop cut off the throw from the outfield, but the runner had already scored.
13. verb To disinherit or disown someone. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "off." If you continue to fight with your mother like this, she may just cut you off and leave you with nothing.
14. verb To stop serving one alcohol, typically because they are intoxicated. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "off." They're going to cut off Tina if she keeps acting like that in here.
15. adjective Indicating an end point for something. In this usage, the phrase is usually written as one word. The cutoff date for the contest is tomorrow, so I hope you've finished your entry.
16. adjective In baseball, describing one who intercepts a ball thrown to a different player. In this usage, the phrase is usually written as one word. The shortstop acted as the cutoff man and then threw the ball to the catcher.
17. adjective Too intoxicated to keep being served alcohol. When I nearly fell off my stool for the third time, the bartender told me that I was cut off.
18. noun The act of ending or stopping something. In this usage, the phrase is usually written as one word. If there is a cutoff of funding, then what will become of the theater program?
19. noun A deadline. In this usage, the phrase is usually written as one word. When is the cutoff for applications to be sent in?
20. noun Pants that have been cut into shorts, typically with a ragged hem. In this usage, the phrase is usually written as one word and pluralized ("cutoffs"). I had only brought jeans with me on the trip, and it was so hot that I had to turn them into cutoffs.
See also: cut, off

no more than ninepence in the shilling

obsolete Having no or little intelligence or common sense. Primarily heard in UK. The fool, who is no more than ninepence in the shilling, took the natives' aggressive overtures as being an enthusiastic greeting to the colonists.
See also: more, ninepence, no, shilling

not the full shilling

Rather stupid or unintelligent; slightly crazy or unhinged. He's not the full shilling if he thinks that plan is going to work. Of course he's not the full shilling—he's wearing pajamas at the beach!
See also: full, not, shilling

take the King's/Queen's shilling

old-fashioned To fight in a war in the name of England and its King (or Queen, depending on the ruling monarch of the time). Many Irish soldiers who took the King's shilling in World War I either died in battle or returned home to a country that now viewed them as traitors to the revolutionary cause.
See also: shilling, take


1. noun Someone who promotes or endorses some product, service, event, etc., in an extravagant, misleading, or insincere manner in return for money or some other self-interest. Originally referred to someone who poses as a satisfied customer in order to lure other people into engaging in a swindle or con. It's sad seeing such a respectable actor become a shill for a used car company. I'm not a shill for their amusement park or anything, I just genuinely think everyone would love going there!
2. verb To promote, endorse, or advertise something in such a manner. It's part of my contract to shill for this movie, even though I know that it is a total piece of garbage. I never trust anyone shilling for alternative medicines or miracle cures.

cut off

1. to stop by itself or oneself. The machine got hot and cut off. Bob cut off in midsentence.
2. to turn off a road, path, highway, etc. This is the place where you are supposed to cut off. When you come to a cutoff on the left, continue on for about mile.
See also: cut, off

cut someone or something off (from something)

to block or isolate someone or something from some place or something. They cut the cattle off from the wheat field. The enemy tanks cut off the troops from their camp.
See also: cut, off

cut someone or something off (short)

Fig. to interrupt someone or something; to prevent someone from continuing to speak. (See also chop someone off.) In the middle of her sentence, the teacher cut her off short. Bob cut off Mary when she was trying to explain.
See also: cut, off

cut something off

1. to shorten something. Cut this board off a bit, would you? Cut off this board a little, please.
2. to turn something off, such as power, electricity, water, the engine, etc. Would you please cut that engine off? Cut off the engine, Chuck.
See also: cut, off

cut off

1. Separate from others, isolate, as in The construction debris cut off the workers from the canteen, or The new sect was cut off from the church. [Late 1500s]
2. Stop suddenly, discontinue, as in He quickly cut off the engine, or The drama was cut off by a news flash about tornado warnings. [Late 1500s]
3. Shut off, bar, Their phone was cut off when they didn't pay the bill, or Tom's father threatened to cut off his allowance. [c. 1600]
4. Interrupt the course or passage of, intercept, as in The operator cut us off, or The shortstop cut off the throw to the plate. [Late 1500s]
5. Also, cut off with a shilling or cent . Disinherit, as in Grandfather cut him off with a shilling. This usage dates from the early 1700s; the purpose of bequeathing one shilling (a small sum) was to indicate that the heir had not been overlooked but was intentionally being disinherited. In America cent was substituted from about 1800 on.
See also: cut, off

not the full shilling

If you say that someone is not the full shilling, you mean that they are stupid or crazy. We all thought he wasn't quite the full shilling because he was slow — slow at sums and slow at writing.
See also: full, not, shilling

no more than ninepence in the shilling

of low intelligence. dated
Since the decimalization of the British coinage, this phrase has gradually fallen out of use, but there are numerous other humorous variations on the theme of someone not possessing their proper share of brains or intelligence, for example a sandwich short of a picnic (see sandwich).
See also: more, ninepence, no, shilling

not the full shilling

not mentally alert or quick-thinking.
See also: full, not, shilling

take the King's (or Queen's) shilling

enlist as a soldier. British
It was once the practice to pay a shilling to a man who enlisted as a soldier.
See also: shilling, take

cut off

1. To remove something by cutting: I cut off the tree branch. He cut his beard off.
2. To interrupt someone who is speaking: Don't cut me off like that. The speaker was cut off by the crowd. The principal cut off the discussion when the assembly started.
3. To separate someone from others; isolate someone: I don't want to cut my brother off from his friends. She was cut off from her family while she was gone. All contact was cut off.
4. To stop something from functioning by disconnecting it from its source of power: Cut the power off. The landlord cut off the heat. The lights got cut off.
5. To interrupt the course or passage of something: The infielder cut off the throw to the plate. The police cut all the routes of escape off.
6. To interrupt or break the line of communication of someone: The telephone operator cut us off. The storm cut off the phone lines.
7. To stop or come to an end suddenly: The music suddenly cut off.
8. To change from one direction to another: The road goes straight over the hill and then cuts off to the right around the pond.
9. To disinherit someone: They cut their heirs off without a cent. My parents changed their will and cut me off after I left home.
10. To discontinue the funding for something, such as a government program: School breakfasts were cut off after the funding cuts. The mayor cut off free school lunches from the budget.
11. To drive into the space in front of a moving car, often suddenly and recklessly: That taxi cut me off on the highway. The truck cut off the small car abruptly.
See also: cut, off


1. n. someone planted in the crowd to urge others to buy something, participate in something, etc. The guy’s a shill! Don’t fall for this setup!
2. in. to advertise for something; to give a sales pitch for something. Four stars of an old television show were there shilling for a major computer firm.

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
References in periodicals archive ?
Forex traders noted that as on Friday, the shilling was still under pressure from oil and retail importers' demand for the dollar, with the Central Bank said to be supporting the currency.
91 billion) last Thursday, to iron out any volatility of the shilling on need-basis.
Shilling tells ThinkAdvisor that market prices, for the most part, don't make sense in the current "topsy-turvy world" where global growth is weak, central banks are impotent and political turmoil persists.
Sellers of hats had to obtain an annual licence - PS2 in London, five shillings elsewhere - and display a sign saying 'Dealer in Hats by Retail'.
Prosecutor Duncan Atkinson QC had said Shilling masterminded the plan and paid for the guns, with help from his man on the Continent, Defraine, and "loyal lieutenant" and "go-between" Rye.
Apparently it was quite common at the time with as many as 40 per cent of shillings in circulation being counterfeit.
The prosecution said Shilling was like mastermind Keyser Soze in the film The Usual Suspects.
The Bank of Uganda's assistant director of commu- nications, Kelvin Kiyingi, said the exchange rate at the end of December 2015 for the shilling was 3,380 per dollar, down from USh3,000 six months earlier.
Both local and foreign entrepreneurs say they are turning their savings and capital into convertible currency to avoid a possible erosion of value resulting from the continuing decline in the value of the shilling.
A box of 36 teabags would knock you back two shillings and six, while a bottle of "thick Yorkshire relish" was on sale for a shilling.
The Ugandan shilling dropped in value after the central bank said monetary policy could be eased further.
2 May 2014 -- Illinois US-based insurance brokerage and risk management services firm Arthur J Gallagher & Co (NYSE: AJG) said it has acquired UK-based Shilling Ltd.
FTSE Group (FTSE) and the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) have announced the launch of the FTSE NSE Kenyan Shilling Government Bond Index, the world's first independently calculated benchmark index tracking the principal Kenyan government bond market.
Shilling hopes it inspires others to become more proactive about their health education.
A cinema ticket was about one shilling and sixpence.