This unusual name is Scottish, and topographical in origin. It is mainly from the border region, and derived from the Middle English word "schele", equivalent to the Old Norse word "skali", meaning a shed or hut, specifically a shepherd's summer hut. Later the word also meant a small house, as in the line from Robert Burns: "The swallow jinkin round my shiel". In the modern idiom there are a number of Variant forms of the surname, ranging from "Shiel, Shiell, Sheil and Sheill", to "Shill, Shills, Shiells, and Sheills". One "John Schiell" was recorded as a citizen of Glasgow in 1527, and "John Shill" died in 1721 and was buried in Earlston church yard. Robert Shiels, the amanuensis to Dr. Samuel Johnson when compiling his Dictionary, was born in Roxborough. The name also appears in London Church Registers, the earliest entry being the marriage of William Shill to Dorothy Bradshaw on August 2nd 1702, at St. James, Duke Place. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas of le Schele, Juror on Inquisition, which was dated 1274, Documents relating to Scotland, Public Records Office, during the reign of King Alexander 111 of Scotland, 1249 - 1286. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Shill — Shill, v. t. [Cf. {Sheal}.] To put under cover; to sheal. [] Brockett. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Shill — Shill, v. t. To shell. [Obs. or Prov. Eng.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • shill — [ ʃıl ] noun count AMERICAN someone who pretends to be interested in something in order to persuade other people to buy it or do it ╾ shill [ ʃıl ] verb intransitive …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • shill — [shil] n. [contr. < shillaber < ?] Slang 1. the confederate of a gambler, pitchman, auctioneer, etc. who pretends to buy, bet, or bid so as to lure onlookers into participating 2. a person who works energetically to sell or promote… …   English World dictionary

  • shill — (n.) 1916, one who acts as a decoy for a gambler, auctioneer, etc. (probably originally circus or carnival argot), probably a shortened form of shillaber (1913) with the same meaning, origin unknown. The verb is attested from 1914. Related:… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Shill — A shill is an associate of a person selling goods or services or a political group, who pretends no association to the seller/group and assumes the air of an enthusiastic customer. The intention of the shill is, using crowd psychology, to… …   Wikipedia

  • Shill — Ein Lockvogel (von engl. shill: Lockvogel, Anreißer) ist eine Person, die im Auftrag von Dienstleistern oder Produzenten im Sinne einer Interessenvertretung bestimmte Waren bewirbt, die der Konkurrenz abwertet oder andere Handlungen im Interesse… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • shill — /shil/, Slang. n. 1. a person who poses as a customer in order to decoy others into participating, as at a gambling house, auction, confidence game, etc. 2. a person who publicizes or praises something or someone for reasons of self interest,… …   Universalium

  • shill — 1. noun /ʃɪl/ a) A person paid to endorse a product favourably, while pretending to be impartial. Witnesses have testified that Jim Jones (like a few other professional faith healers) used shills part of the time.... b) An accomplice at a… …   Wiktionary

  • shill — [[t]ʃɪl[/t]] n. 1) a person who poses as a customer in order to decoy others into participating, as at a gambling house 2) cvb a person whose praises, endorsements, etc., are motivated by self interest 3) cvb to work as a shill: to shill for a… …   From formal English to slang

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.