One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A measure of fresh herrings, equivalent to 371/2 gallons.
- ‘One outstanding day is remembered by some ever now, when a average of 80 cran of herring were landed by 40 boats.’
- ‘Each finished barrel held a cran of herring.’
- ‘‘One year in a plosher, the Venus, we landed 110 cran in five nights’ fishing.’
Late 18th century: from Scottish Gaelic crann, perhaps the same word as crann ‘lot’, denoting the share of fish given to each member of the crew.
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