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The biggest shilling

Posted by James Briggs on February 26, 2010 at 10:44

In Reply to: The biggest shilling posted by Denni O'Brien on February 25, 2010 at 21:53:

: My husband tells me he'd never heard the phrase 'the biggest shilling' before I used it tonight (and we've been married over 30 years!). It's not listed on this site but does anyone else know it? It means the biggest amount e.g. perhaps if choosing between 2 jobs you might say 'I might as well get the biggest shilling', meaning I might as well go for the one that pays the most. My husband says it must be a north London thing, as that's where my family come from.

I was raised in east London and I've never heard the expression. My guess is that it may be related to the old military saying of 'taking the King's shilling' when someone joined the British army.