Definition of king's shilling in US English:

king's shilling

noun

  • A shilling formerly given to a recruit when enlisting in the army during the reign of a king.

    • ‘They blabbed about their time in the desert, became zillionaires and ruined it for everyone who fancied earning a bit more than the king's shilling.’
    • ‘Honor was permanently surrendered for the king's shilling as otherwise decent men chose to become informers.’
    • ‘Having stood for pre-selection and having been elected as a member of the Howard Government, the member for Kooyong has indeed taken the king's shilling.’
    • ‘‘With the king's shillings come the king's shackles,’ Mr Land told an interviewer at the weekend.’
    • ‘The king's shilling is not what it used to be.’