[TUHS] Slashes (was: MS-DOS)

Nemo cym224 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 11 21:54:54 AEST 2016

On 11 July 2016 at 07:20, Tony Finch <dot at dotat.at> wrote (in part):
> Greg 'groggy' Lehey <grog at lemis.com> wrote (in part):
>> On Thursday,  7 July 2016 at 16:18:41 +0200, Steffen Nurpmeso wrote:
>> This was, of course, also the origin of the word "shilling".  The OED
>> entry is interesting.
> Not quite.
> "Shilling" comes from Germanic schilling and Gothic skilliggs.
> The name solidus for / comes from the Roman coin solidus, as in the Lsd
> notation where / separates the solidi from the denarii.
> http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=shilling
> http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=solidus
> Tony.

Here is the full OED entry for solidus and the start of that for
shilling.  (Apologies to those whose displays do not show all the
glyphs used.)

Pl. solidi (ˈsɒlɪdaɪ); also 5–7 solidos.
[L., a substantival use of solidus (sc. nummus) solid a. The form
solidos is the L. acc. pl.]

1. a.1.a A gold coin of the Roman empire, originally worth about 25
denarii. †b.1.b A shilling.

   1387 Trevisa Higden (Rolls) II. 313 Gentil men hade rynges, and
oþere hadde solidy þat were hole and sownde.    1432–50 tr. Higden
(Rolls) VII. 301 Kynge William toke this yere of every hyde of grownde
in Ynglone vj. solidos of silver.    1487 in Paston Lett. III. App.
463, I bequeith to the reparacion of the stepull of the said churche
of Saint Albane xx. solidos.    1609 Bible (Douay) 1 Chron. xxix. 7
And they gaue‥of gold, fiue thousand talentes, and ten thousand
solidos.    1706 Phillips (ed. Kersey), Solidus, an entire or whole
piece of Gold-Coin, near the Value of our old Noble or Spur-Royal; but
it is now taken for a Shilling.    1860 C. R. Smith in Archæol. Cant.
III. 38 The solidi of the Eastern Empire were commonly imitated in
France under the Merovingian princes.    1885 Athenæum 24 Oct. 541/2
Mr. Webster exhibited‥a gold solidus of Constantius.

2. A sloping line used to separate shillings from pence, as 12/6, in
writing fractions, and for other separations of figures and letters; a
shilling-mark. Also attrib. Cf. oblique n. 5.

   1891 in Cent. Dict.    1898 G. Chrystal Introd. Algebra i. (1902) 3
The symbols / (solidus notation) and : (ratio notation) are equivalent
to ÷.    1905 F. H. Collins Author & Printer s.v.    1909 Athenæum 27
Mar. 379/1 The last‥have been quick to adopt the use of the solidus or
slanting line instead of the horizontal bar in writing fractions.
1923 N. Shaw Forecasting Weather i. 35 A solidus (/) such as occurs in
the combination ‘bc/r’ separates weather at the time of observation
from the preceding weather, bc/r thus indicating ‘fine or fair after
rain or drizzle’.    1947 [see non-linear a. b].    1971 Archivum
Linguisticum II. 4 Johnson/Jenkinson's ‘oblique dash’‥, which is
otherwise called a ‘solidus’ or ‘virgule’.


Forms: 1 scilling, scylling, (-ingc), 3 ssillinge, 3–6 schillinge, 4
ssyllyng, 4–5 schillyng(e, schelyng(e, shulleng(e, schullyng(e, 4–6
schiling, shill-, shyllyng(e, -inge, silling, 4–7 schilling, 5
schyllynge, shylynge, schilenge, silyn, 5–6 sheling, -yng(e,
shellyng(e, 6 scheling(e, schillengge, shealinge, shyllyn, syllyng, 4–

[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:—OTeut. *skilliŋgo-z.
Adopted in OSlav. as skŭlęzĭ, in Sp., Pr., Fr. as escalin (13th c. F.
eskallin, mod.F. also schelling), It. scellino.
   The Teut. word is referred by some etymologists to the root *skell-
to resound, ring (see shill a. and v.1). Others assign it to the root
*skel- to divide (whence skill v., shale n., shell n., etc.); some
have conjectured that the word originally denoted one of the segments
of fixed weight into which an armlet of gold or silver was divided, so
that they might be detached for use as money. In the bilingual
documents of the 6th century, Goth. skilliggs corresponds to the L.
solidus; in mediæval Germany the Teut. and the Latin word were
commonly used to render each other, but in England the correspondence
appears to have been only occasionally recognized until Norman times.
The value of the ‘shilling’ in continental Teut. countries has varied
greatly; its relation to the penny and the pound has also varied,
though a widely accepted scale was 1 pound or libra = 20 shillings or
solidi = 240 pennies or denarii. See schelling, schilling1,

1. a.1.a A former English money of account, from the Norman Conquest
of the value of 12d. or 1/20 of a pound sterling. Abbreviated s. (= L.
solidus: see solidus1), formerly also sh., shil.; otherwise denoted by
the sign /- after the numeral. No longer in official use after the
introduction of decimal coinage in 1971, but still occas. used to
denote five new pence.
   Before the Norman Conquest the value of the shilling varied in
different times and places. It was 5 pence in Wessex and 4 pence in
Mercia; the shilling of 12 pence mentioned in two passages c 1000 may
refer to the continental solidus.

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