One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The amount by which a container falls short of being full.
- ‘In drastic levels of dryness, this damage may cause the ullage (the empty space in the neck of a bottle) to increase.’
- ‘Half-bottles usually contain 37.5 cl and tend to hasten wine ageing, partly because they contain more oxygen per centilitre of wine since the bottle neck and ullage are the same as for a full bottle.’
- 1.1 Loss of liquid, by evaporation or leakage.
- ‘This suggests ullage during the life of the wine due to easing of the cork and/or inconsistent storage conditions.’
- ‘On a very old wine, say 35 or more years old, an inch of ullage is quite acceptable.’
- ‘The space left by evaporation is called the ullage, while the liquid lost is sometimes called the ‘angels' share’ and is particularly financially significant in the production of older cognac and Armagnac.’
Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French ulliage, from Old French euillier ‘fill up’, based on Latin oculus ‘eye’ (with reference to a container's bunghole).
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