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1. A piece of paper money issued privately and devalued by inadequate security or by inflation.
2. A piece of paper money of small denomination issued by the government, especially one issued by the US government from 1862 to 1878.

[From its resemblance to paper used in plasters for sore legs.]


(Banking & Finance) US and Canadian and Austral a promissory note on brittle paper, issued by an individual
[C19: so called because of its resemblance to a sticking plaster]


(ˈʃɪnˌplæs tər, -ˌplɑ stər)

1. a plaster for the shin or leg.
2. Informal. (formerly)
a. a piece of paper money of a denomination lower than one dollar.
b. money of little value, as that issued on insufficient security.
[1815–25, Amer.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.shinplaster - paper money of little value issued on insufficient security
money - the most common medium of exchange; functions as legal tender; "we tried to collect the money he owed us"
References in classic literature ?
In the North a carpenter got three dollars a day, gold valuation; in the South he got fifty -- pay- able in Confederate shinplasters worth a dollar a bushel.
Wells, Robert Sherwood, Allen Ginsberg, Gore Vidal, Mario Cuomo, Garry Wills, Richard Slotkin (using an excerpt from Slotkin's inept shinplaster, Abe: A Novel of the Young Lincoln), E.
Weber, Free Banking, Wildcat Banking, and Shinplasters, FED.