Prior to decimalisation, the pound was divided into 20 shillings and each shilling into 12 pence, making 240 pence to the pound. The symbol for the shilling was "s."—not from the first letter of the word, but from the Latin solidus. The symbol for the penny was "d.", from the French denier, from the Latin denarius (the solidus and denarius were Roman coins). A mixed sum of shillings and pence such as 3 shillings and 6 pence was written as "3/6" or "3s. 6d." and spoken as "three and six". 5 shillings was written as "5s." or, more commonly, "5/-". The stroke (/) indicating shillings is also known as a solidus, and was originally an adaptation of the long s which represented that word.
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