Difference Between Quid and Shilling

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: May 28, 2023


Difference Between Quid and Shilling

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Many names and values for coins that have been in use for many years can be found in the British system. A farthing, a penny, a crown, and a pound are just a handful of the various values available.

Shilling and quid are two of their system's denominations. Because each has a different value, it can be a little perplexing. Therefore, it's critical to understand how to use them.

Shilling vs. Quid

The fundamental distinction between a quid and a shilling is that a quid was and continues to be worth one pound sterling, whereas a shilling was a coin worth one-twentieth of a pound. It's also worth noting that a quid is not a new or distinct value; it's only a slang term, whereas a shilling is a legal tender.

The term "quid" is a slang phrase for one pound sterling that has no formal definition in the metric system. It is the currency of England, Scotland, and other parts of the United Kingdom but is extensively used throughout the United Kingdom. The term "quid" was initially used in the late 1970s and is still used today.

A shilling was a one-twentieth of a pound coin. It was an official monetary unit that first appeared in the middle of the 16th century. Many countries, including the United States, used it as their currency. However, the shilling is no longer used because it was phased out in the 1990s.

Difference Between Quid and Shilling in Tabular Form

Parameters of ComparisonShillingQuid
Slang expressionsA shilling is referred to as a BOB in slang (several).The phrase "quid" is a slang term in and of itself. A pound sterling is referred to by this term.
DefinitionIn the metric system, a shilling was equal to one-twentieth of a pound.One pound sterling is referred to as a quid in slang. In the metric system, it is not an official phrase.
OriginIt comes from the old English word "scilling." Its origins can be traced back to the proto-Germanic word'skiljana,' which simply means 'to split' or 'to divide.'It comes from the old English word "scilling." Its origins can be traced back to the proto-Germanic word'skiljana,' which means 'to split' or 'to divide.'
EmergenceShilling began as a testoon in the mid-16th century in the territory of Henry VII.Quid first appeared in the late seventeenth century. There is no definitive reason why a quid was associated with a pound.
PrevalentIt was a previous monetary unit that included New Zealand, Austria, Australia, Ireland, and others. In Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, and Somalia, it is now considered a basic monetary unit.Frequently found, the pound is used in all countries that use the metric system (currency), but mostly in the United Kingdom.

What exactly is a Quid?

The British pound sterling, also known as the quid, is the currency of the United Kingdom. A buck is equivalent to 100 pence. It's considered to come from the Latin phrase "quid pro quo" (something for something). The word quid is thought to have originated in the late seventeenth century.

Some historians believe the phrase was coined by Italian immigrants about the gold and silver coins known as "scudo" in circulation in Italy. Others think that the paper money created at the Royal Mint paper mill in Quidhampton (a Wiltshire village) was called quid.

The riddle of the term quid remains unsolved despite numerous ideas. The pound (quid) is used in multiple nations, including the United Kingdom, Egypt, and Lebanon.

Understanding "quid," which refers to one pound sterling, is likely to have initially appeared in the late 17th century. However, no one knows why it became associated with British money. Some experts believe the word came from "scudo," the name for gold and silver coins of various denominations used in Italy from the 16th through the 19th centuries.

Another theory is that the word comes from Quidhampton, a village in Wiltshire, England, where a Royal Mint paper factory previously stood. Any paper money produced in this mill was probably a quid. Although the source of the word is unrecognized, the pound sterling has a long and illustrious history as the world's oldest still-in-use currency. The United Kingdom is currently one of the rare countries in Europe that do not utilize the euro as its shared currency. England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales form the United Kingdom.

What exactly is a Shilling?

The shilling (coin) was a metric unit equivalent to one-twentieth of a pound or 12 pence. BOB was used as a substitute for several shillings.

The word is derived from the old English term "scilling," and its roots are in the proto-Germanic word "skiljana," which simply means "to split or divide." The shilling was first used as a testoon during Henry VII's reunification in the mid-16th century.

The shilling was given a new value of additional 5 cents in February 1971. Shillings were first struck in silver and later in cupronickel. After 1990, it was no longer a legal tender.

The History of the Pound Sterling

Historians attributed the origins of the pound sterling to 775 A.D. when Anglo-Saxon kings used silver coins known as sterlings as currency. A pound sterling was earned by collecting 240 of them, hence the term "pound sterling." Libra means "weight" in Latin, and Libra Pondo means "pound weight," which is why the British pound is denoted by a fancy "L" or £ symbol.

Until 1971, the benchmark of 240 pence in one pound sterling stayed in place for approximately 1,200 years. This was when the British Parliament implemented decimalization, making one pound sterling equal to 100 pence.

It wasn't until 1489, when Henry VII was king that a genuine pound coin was produced, known as a sovereign. The British pound has formerly functioned as money in numerous British Empire territories, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

Shillings were first issued in 1504, with one shilling equaling 12 pence and one pound equaling 20 shillings. In 1560, gold coins were introduced. British coins were manufactured in various values between 775 A.D. and 1971. Pennies, halfpennies, farthings, half-crowns, and double-florins were some of the names given to these coins. Groats, threepenny pieces, and twopence were among the other coinage. The majority of these denominations are no longer in use, while others have been transformed into banknotes.

Difference Between Quid and Shilling in Points

Although the quid and the shilling are monetary metric units, the former is slang for pound, and the latter is one-twentieth of a pound. There are a few distinctions to be found between the two.

These distinctions are as follows:

  • The shilling was an official monetary unit, but the quid was a slang term for the pound.
  • The origins of the word quid are unknown, although the word shilling is derived from an old English word'scilling' and has roots in the proto-Germanic word'skiljana.'
  • The term "quid" was presumably coined in the late 17th century, but the word "shilling" was coined in the mid-16th century.
  • The symbol quid represent the pound, but the shilling is defined by the sign' (s. or /-).
  • As a slang term, quid is used in all nations where the pound is used, such as the United Kingdom, Egypt, Lebanon, and so on, whereas the shilling is only used in a few East African countries and is not considered a legal value elsewhere.
  • Shillings are occasionally referred to as BOB, although quid is a moniker in and of itself.
  • Conclusion


The origins of the quid and shilling are from the 17th and 16th centuries. They gradually changed in value and appearance. These are extremely valuable and hold their worth in the foreign exchange markets. The pound (quid) is also known as GBP in the United Kingdom; however, the pound (quid) is not widely used in other nations. A currency must check several boxes to demonstrate its strength and stability, with inflation rates being one of them.

We are all aware that currencies are a vital aspect of today's world, even though the quid and the shilling are two completely distinct denominations in value, usage, etc. A few denominations, such as the shilling, are no longer legal tender, while others are still used.

Despite their differences, both metric systems are equally significant in their ways.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • In a quid, how many shillings are there?

British money was divided into pounds, shillings, and pence until 1971. After that, twenty shillings were split into one pound. After that, twelve pennies were split into one shilling.

  • What is the difference between a shilling and a bob?

Bob - The origins of this nickname are unknown, but we do know that the term "bob" was first used to refer to a shilling in the late 1700s. According to Brewer's 1870 Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 'bob' is derived from 'Bawbee,' 16-19th century slang for a half-penny.

  • What is the value of a quid in British currency?

Quid is a slang term for the British pound sterling, sometimes known as the British pound (GBP), the United Kingdom's currency (U.K.). A quid is one hundred pennies and is thought to have originated from the Latin phrase "quid pro quo," which means "anything for something."


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"Difference Between Quid and Shilling." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 19 Jul. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-quid-and-shilling-1218>.

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