I have 16th century literature that I am studying. It contains the word sechschillinger.

I cannot find this word in the dictionary. What does it mean?

  • 9
    Can you please provide more context? I don't know the word, but just from looking at it, I would guess it is about something that costs 6 Shillings. – infinitezero Nov 22 '19 at 14:57
  • 1
    What is the text/section/paragraph about that contains this word? – Arsak Nov 22 '19 at 15:13
  • @germanresearcher edit your question as requested please. – πάντα ῥεῖ Nov 22 '19 at 17:23

As user infinitezero already commented, this word is probably derived from "sechs Schilling" - it is a coin.

I've found this paper from 1916 by H. O. Schwabe about "Germanic Coin-Names". On page 593 is an entry about the Styrian (Styr.) usage:

Styr. sechs-schillinger schlechte Münze.

("bad coin")

It seems this was not only one of many types of coin, but also had a (bad) quality connotation, probably due to it's low value.

The "Historisches Lexikon Kaisersteinbruch - Der Geist des Barock" (here) also mentions a Sechsschillinger (on page 153):

Der C. K. wird aber ein Sechsschillinger sein u. bleiben, weil er gleich zu dem Meister lief u. alles versechsschillingt.

("The C.K. is and will be a "Sechsschillinger*, because he immediately ran to the master and versechsschillingt everything.")

This section is about judiciary in Kaisersteinbruch. The sentence above is about a trial in 1633. From the context one can conclude that the person C.K. was said to be what we call a snitch today. A person who gives away information too easily, for a bad coin/ little money for example.

Hence, depending on your text, a sechsschillinger can be a coin or a slander.

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The Grimmsche Deutsche Wörterbuch explains Sechsschillinger as

1) könnte eine sechs schillinge geltende münze bezeichnen.

2) quadruplator, ein verräther, auffstecher

saying it's wether a coin worth Sechs Schillinge or a traitor/informer.

Another book explains it as a word from Zurich for "Zehen Kreuzerer" (coins) (presumably: Zehn Kreuzer).

This book imply it's a word for a cheap horse

Sie fehrt in einem rohrverdecktem Kammerwagen / denselben ziehen zween Sechsschillinger oder Schindpferde

And last but not least:

Maybe it's just a surname

Mathias Sechsschillinger

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