Origin of name for Shilling monetary unit

The origin of the term "shilling" as a monetary unit dates back to medieval England. The word "shilling" is believed to have derived from the Old English word "scilling," which means "to divide" or "to separate."

In medieval England, the shilling was a unit of currency introduced during the reign of King Henry VII in the late 15th century. It was initially equivalent to 12 pence, with each penny being a small silver coin. The shilling itself was also a silver coin, initially minted to the weight of approximately 5.65 grams.

The shilling played a crucial role in the English monetary system and was used for everyday transactions, trade, and taxation. It became a standard unit of account and was widely circulated throughout England and later in other parts of the British Isles.

The term "shilling" persisted as the currency evolved, even as its value and composition changed over time. During the 20th century, the shilling remained in use in various forms within the British Empire and Commonwealth countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, and Nigeria.

In many cases, the term "shilling" was retained even after decimalization, when these countries adopted decimal currency systems. For example, in the United Kingdom, the shilling was replaced by the decimal 5-pence coin after decimalization in 1971. Similarly, in Kenya, the shilling remained the name of the currency unit after the adoption of the decimal system.

Overall, the term "shilling" has a long and storied history in English-speaking countries, and its origin reflects its role as a unit of currency that facilitated transactions and commerce in medieval England and beyond.

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