Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Tue Oct 21 19:31:03 UTC 2008

Skillen appears as an alternate spelling only for skilling(1), origin
obscure, "A shed or outhouse, esp. a lean-to, a penthouse" and closely
related meanings. The monetary sense looks like a variant of
skilling(2), which is cognate to shilling, and should appear as an
entry or alternate spelling.


[In sense 1 ad. Du. schelling; in sense 2 a. Da., Sw., or Norw. skilling.]

    {dag}1. = SCHELLING. Obs.{em}1
1700 S. L. tr. Fryke's Voy. E. Indies i. 6 The Cash-keeper paid
us..three Dutch Skillings every day while we stayed on Shoar.

    2. A small copper coin and money of account formerly in use in Scandinavia.
1793 Encycl. Brit. (ed. 3) XII. 232/2 [In] Denmark..and Norway..16
Skillings = a Marc [= 9d]. 1802 ACERBI Trav. I. 220 The poor mendicant
finished by asking..some..skillings in charity. 1839 Penny Cycl. XV.
326/1 Ryksort, a Danish silver coin at 24 skillings. 1875 JEVONS Money
xi. 126 The skilling [of Norway] being nearly equal in value to an
English halfpenny.


etym. of shilling

[Common Teut.: OE. scilling masc. = OFris. skilling, skilleng,
schilling, MDu. schellingh (Du. schelling), OS. scilling (MLG.
schillink, schildink, mod.LG. schillink, schilling), OHG. scilling,
skillink, schilling (MHG., G. schilling), ON. skilling-r (Icel. also
skildingr, SW., Da. skilling), Goth. skilliggs:{em}OTeut.
*skilli{ng}go-z. Adopted in OSlav. as sk{ubreve}l{ehook}z{ibreve}, in
Sp., Pr., Fr. as escalin (13th c. F. eskallin, mod.F. also schelling),
It. scellino.


Mark Mandel

On Mon, Oct 20, 2008 at 10:48 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at att.net> wrote:
> The OED has two quotes implying that a skillen is some quantity of
> money (both, incidentally, from the same author and year, 1756), but
> it is not a headword or a sense (it appears under "skilling", for
> which it seems to be an alternate spelling).
> Second, can anyone tell me how much a skillen was worth, in the
> standard units of British currency (as someone wrote once, pounds,
> shillings, and ounces)?
> Joel

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