One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The fee or duty charged for alnage of cloth; the revenue raised by this means.
2The action of formally determining whether woollen cloth conforms to particular standards of shape and quality, as required at various times under British law; attestation that these standards have been achieved, by the affixing of a lead seal.
Late Middle English. From Anglo-Norman aulnage, alnage, Anglo-Norman and Middle French aunage (French aunage) duty paid per ell on cloth sold, measurement and inspection of cloth from aulner, auner to measure by the ell, to measure (cloth) against a fee + -age.
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