One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
As much as can be held or carried in a billy.‘he'd gone down to the creek for a billyful of water’
- ‘We managed to pick up a billyful of plum pudding as well as apple pies and cream, which had been ordered in anticipation on the previous Friday night.’
- ‘He threw more wood on top of the socks and made a billyful of tea to start the morning off.’
- ‘He watched as we staggered in, and he handed us a billyful of orange juice.’
- ‘So I picked a billyful of mushrooms for Patty and me and a paper-bagful of toadstools for Folsom.’
- ‘I gathered a billyful of mussels, which we had for supper.’
- ‘The coldest natural temperature recorded on earth (-89°C) was recorded there—so cold that, toss a billyful of liquid water high in the air, and it crashes to the ground as ice.’
- ‘Rich patches of the precious metal occur frequently, and a man took 54 ounces out of what he described as a 'billyful of stuff'.’
- ‘Then she was standing in the gateway, as she had stood at the door the other morning when she came with the billyful of soup.’
- ‘We agreed to sacrifice a small billyful of our remaining stock of water for this unfortunate last victim to our enterprise.’
- ‘Clutching my brimming billyful of milk, I make my way carefully back across the 'home-paddock' to the gravel road.’
Mid 19th century: from billy + -ful.
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