Definition of shinplaster in English:



informal, historical
  • 1Australian US NZ A banknote or promissory note regarded as having little or no value.

    ‘‘didn't they tell you we don't take no shinplasters here?’’
    • ‘So he set to work and issued a large amount of these little shinplasters, and at first redeemed them for a while until he had got some thousands of dollars issued.’
    • ‘Once again Texans used bank notes from other states and shinplasters instead of the Texas money.’
    • ‘It is ‘faith’ and ‘law,’ which give the shinplasters of today, purchasing power.’
    • ‘This promise was printed prominently on the face of shinplasters to inspire trust and acceptance.’
    • ‘The bit of harbour shinplaster that Monrova had left over from his purchase was used to stock the galley with fruits and vegetables and cooking supplies and vodka.’
    • ‘The men when gambling rarely spread out the shinplasters thrown on to the table, and the dummy was accepted in play.’
    cash, hard cash, ready money
    View synonyms
  • 2Canadian A twenty-five cent bill.

    • ‘‘The time has come for the penny to go the way of the shinplaster,’ the MP said.’
    • ‘You will hear of short snorters, the reason we had shinplasters, the note that started the collection, the $1 bills given by a grandmother every Christmas, and other exciting tales.’


So named because of the resemblance to a square piece of paper soaked in vinegar and used to bandage the shin.