One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A quarter of a pint.
- ‘They seat themselves at their tables, calling, some for pots of beer, some for quarterns of gin’
- ‘John Goff, waiter at the Mitre tavern, related, that the prisoner, with a woman and child, came to their house some time about two o'clock on Sunday the 5th of December: they had two quarterns of rum, two pints of porter, and went away about half past four.’
- ‘Take a quartern of flour or more if you have occasion, and to every quartern of flour put a pound of butter, and a little salt, knead it with boiling water, then work it very well, and let it lie whilst it is cold.’
Middle English (in the general sense ‘a quarter’): from Old French quart(e)ron, from quart(e) (see quart).
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