Differences between American and British coinage.

Today’s Word of the Day is shill. You may not find this in a British English dictionary, but the American journalist Michael Tomasky wrote in his Guardian blog post yesterday:

“Listen up. I am not a shill!!”

The Oxford English Dictionary does list the word in Tomasky’s sense of ‘a decoy or accomplice, esp. one posing as an enthusiastic or successful customer to encourage other buyers, gamblers, etc,’ which it dates to 1916. It adds, from 1976, ‘One who poses as a disinterested advocate of another but is actually of the latter’s party; a mouthpiece, a stooge’. The usage is described as ‘slang (chiefly N. Amer.), [Origin unknown.]’

Interestingly, Tomasky later uses the verb shilling – what kind of a coinage is that?