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[shin-plas-ter, -plah-ster] /ˈʃɪnˌplæs tər, -ˌplɑ stər/
a plaster for the shin or leg.
  1. a piece of paper money of a denomination lower than one dollar.
  2. money of little value, as that issued on insufficient security.
Origin of shinplaster
An Americanism dating back to 1815-25; shin1 + plaster Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for shinplaster
Historical Examples
  • If evry boddy had a fashun ov their own, it wud make az mutch trubble az a shinplaster kurrensy.

    Josh Billings, Hiz Sayings Henry Wheeler Shaw
  • The shinplaster was in the shape of a promissory note, made payable on demand.

    Three Years in Europe

    William Wells Brown
British Dictionary definitions for shinplaster


(US & Canadian, Austral) a promissory note on brittle paper, issued by an individual
Word Origin
C19: so called because of its resemblance to a sticking plaster
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for shinplaster

also shin-plaster, piece of paper soaked in vinegar and used to treat sore legs, from shin (n.) + plaster (n.). In U.S. history, jocularly or as a term of abuse for "devalued low-denomination paper currency" (1824).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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