Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A 16th-century French silver coin.
  • noun An English coin stamped with the image of Henry VIII's head.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A silver coin of Louis XII. of France.
  • noun A name given both officially and popularly to the shilling coined by Henry VIII., from its resemblance in appearance and value to the French coin. The value of the coin was reduced later to sixpence. Also testoon.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete A tester; a sixpence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun obsolete A tester; a sixpence.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, from Italian testone, augmentative of testa, head, from Late Latin, skull, from Latin, shell.]

Examples

  • And when he changed a teston, cardecu, or any other piece of money, the changer had been more subtle than a fox if Panurge had not at every time made five or six sols (that is, some six or seven pence,) vanish away invisibly, openly, and manifestly, without making any hurt or lesion, whereof the changer should have felt nothing but the wind.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • And when he changed a teston, cardecu, or any other piece of money, the changer had been more subtle than a fox if Panurge had not at every time made five or six sols (that is, some six or seven pence,) vanish away invisibly, openly, and manifestly, without making any hurt or lesion, whereof the changer should have felt nothing but the wind.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • As we entered their den, said a common mumper, to whom we had given half a teston, Worshipful culprits, God send you a good deliverance!

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • As we entered their den, said a common mumper, to whom we had given half a teston, Worshipful culprits, God send you a good deliverance!

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • This art is so far advanced in Paris that there are tavernkeepers who will give you something to eat at their places for all prices, for a teston, for an écu, for four, for ten, even for twenty apiece if you wish it, but for twenty écus I hope they will give you manna en potage or roast phoenix, or whatever in the world is most precious.13

    Savoring The Past

  • This art is so far advanced in Paris that there are tavernkeepers who will give you something to eat at their places for all prices, for a teston, for an écu, for four, for ten, even for twenty apiece if you wish it, but for twenty écus I hope they will give you manna en potage or roast phoenix, or whatever in the world is most precious.13

    Savoring The Past

  • I have been told on good authority that in the town (lodgings, as opposed to a college) one can live quite decently on 16 or at most 20 crowns: also that sometimes three or four students, or more, take a house or a room, and then club together and engage a cook, and that their weekly bills scarcely amount to a teston < 1/5 of a crown > a head.

    The Age of Erasmus Lectures Delivered in the Universities of Oxford and London

  • You cannot give him less than a shilling in conscience, for the book he had it out of cost him a teston at least.

    Every Man in His Humor

  • As we entered their den, said a common mumper, to whom we had given half a teston, Worshipful culprits, God send you a good deliverance!

    Gargantua and Pantagruel, Illustrated, Book 5

  • And when he changed a teston, cardecu, or any other piece of money, the changer had been more subtle than a fox if

    Gargantua and Pantagruel, Illustrated, Book 2

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