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Cut Off with a Shilling

Disinherited. Blackstone tells us that the Romans set aside those testaments which passed by the natural heirs unnoticed; but if any legacy was left, no matter how small, it proved the testator's intention. English law has no such provision, but the notion at one time prevailed that the name of the heir should appear in the will; and if he was bequeathed “a shilling,” that the testator had not forgotten him, but disinherited him intentionally.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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