MEANING: noun:
1. Money; wealth; cash.
2. A monetary unit of Israel.

ETYMOLOGY: From Hebrew sheqel, from shaqal (to weigh). Ultimately from the Semitic root tql (to weigh), which also gave us scallion and shallot. Earliest documented use: 1560.

NOTES: A shekel was an ancient unit of weight of the Babylonians. From there the term came to be applied to a coin of this weight. In 1980, Israel replaced the pound as its monetary unit with the shekel. Hyperinflation forced the replacement of shekel with the new shekel in 1986. Today, the new shekel is simply called a shekel. Three shekels equal approx. one US dollar.

SHECKEL - what the Lower East Side bartender gave to the martini he was mixing for James Bond

SHEQUEL - 1. followup tale as related by a drunken storyteller; 2. with a female main character

SHEIKEL - a minor middle-Eastern potentate