Word of the Day


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shinplaster \SHIN-plass-ter\
noun1 : a piece of privately issued paper currency; especially : one poorly secured and depreciated in value 2 : a piece of paper money in denominations of less than one dollar
Examples:
It was the same during the Civil War when the government again turned to the printing press to finance the war. So-called ‘greenbacks’ … and ‘shinplasters,’ paper 5-, 10-, 25- and 50-cent pieces, were printed by the thousands to help pay Union soldiers and relieve a coin shortage caused by hoarding.” — From an article by John Schmeltzer in the Chicago Tribune, May 12, 1995

“‘Some Canadians consider the penny more of a nuisance than a useful coin,’ the budget documents said. And so the coin will go the way of the old 25-cent shinplaster.” — From an article by John Ward of The Canadian Press, March 29, 2012
Did you know?
In the past, “shinplaster” referred to a small, square patch of paper that was used as a plaster in treating sore legs. In 19th-century America, the term “shinplaster” was applied to another paper Band-Aid fix: the privately-issued, poorly-secured notes substituted for the coins withdrawn from current circulation. The lexical currency of “shinplaster” spiked when it began being used for the paper money in denominations of less than a dollar—a.k.a. “fractional currency”—issued by the United States government after the depression of 1837 and during the Civil War. In 1870, the U.S.’s neighbor to the north, Canada, issued its own shinplaster, a 25-cent note, which fell into disuse in the early 20th century.

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