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Glossary: Home Tables A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T Th U V W X Y Z

bis *
bis for *dwis, cf bellicose for *dwellium [war of two sides]. by this ultimately related to two (zB duel).
      so binary, bit = binary digi, billion, bi = 2x
      bes = 2/3 roman pound
      Bin (= dustbin, etc), is from benne (two-wheeled card), is probably unrelated.
bismar *
A unit derived from a torque balance. The equality happens when the moments are equal, so one pound . foot = one bismar-mound . inch.
      It gets favour from the relative lightness of the balance to the load, but made illegal because of the relative easiness to diddle the scales.
      These units were used in the Norse lands.
block *
An american unit of land, being a furlong in length or area. This becomes 660 feet in Imperial measure.
body mass index *
A scale for determining relative overweightness in humans being, as
      weight in kilograms / square of the height in metres.
      Measures in this way is now depreciated in favour of linear measures (waist, hips) and ratios formed therefrom.
body units *
The body is often used as a portable ruler. The units in this table are direct measurements from a number of (small) willing victims.
digit 1 width of finger
deal 3 width of three middle fingers, as a unit
horn 10? distance between outstretched index and little finger
lick 12 distance between outstretched index finger and thumb
span 15 distance between thumb and little finger
length of the hand from the middle finger tip to second bracelet.
foot 18 length of the foot
cubit 36 length of the cubit, from elbow to fingertip.
knee 45 height the knee is above the ground (knee deep)
yard 72 length of half-fathom
groin 75 the height of the groin area
navel 90 height the navel is off the ground = 2 kneedepths
chin 120 depth, to the middle of the chin
height 135 the height = 3 knee-depths
fathom 144 width of outstretched arms
body weight *
For determining how many people are allowed in a lift, the weight of a person is taken to be 68 kgs., or 150 lbs.
      New born babies ought lie in the range of 3.5 to 3.8 kgs., or 124-134 oz.
brace *
brace, = two hands = fathom
      brace = pair of hands -> pair (eg of mules in harness)
      brace = fathom measure
      italian brazze, brent = yard-like measure (one outstretched arm).
"British" system
A system of lengths and weights which reflect many of the metrological equations taken at the turn of the 19th century.
length Unchanged mile \ 8 furlong \ 660 foot \ 12 inch
weight Changed ton \ 2250 lb \ 16 oz \ 16 dr \ 27 grain
water Custom ton = 36 cu ft, cu in = 250 gt. cu ft = 1000 oz
The relation, particularly cu ft = 1000 oz, features in the us decimal system.
Broadcast Units *
An association of area to volume, by way of the manner that seeds are broadcasted in the fields.
      Berriman says that Wheat is typically 2.5 bushels to the acre, while Barley is 2 to 3.5 bushels to the acre. The following table gives some actual units defined on broadcast relations, normalised for the system.
litre/are Volume (L) Area (a) Unit Country
0.89869 36.368722 40.468564 bu/ac English Measure
1.00000 1.00000 1.00000 L/a Metric Measure
1.85309 68.8608 27.16 pour Latvia
2.03910 283.68 139.12 Tondele Denmark
2.52183 137.76 54.627 Tonne ?
3.11016 39.514 12.7048 Scheffel Lubeck
3.25198 93.592 28.78 Strych Bohemia
3.75212 103.8286 27.6715 Scheffel Saxony
3.9205 164.845 42.047 Scheffel Hamburg
A basket of about 8 gallons. The unit is about the size of a typical clothes basket, for example. Filled with fruit, etc, represents a load that might be regularly handled in ones or twos.
      The unit is 8 gallons for dry measure: that is pourable solids, like grains, fruit, coal, etc.
      The division is bushel \ 4 pecks \ 2 gallon \ 4 quarts
Name bushel gallon notes
Henry Prototype 2148.28 268.97 as measured 1931-32
Elizabeth P'type 2144.8 268.43 as measured 1931-32
Dry Gallon 2150.42 268.8025 Cyl, diam 18.5 in, height 8 in, still US
Irish Corn Gallon 2178 272.25 2178 = 66*33
Imperial 2219.36 277.42 Since 1824.
A coal gallon of 33 quarts is also known.
      As with all dry capacity, it becomes a variable weight representing a standard bushel of something, eg 60 lb wheat.
butt *
butt means a large cask.
      bottle = casklet, -> to bottle = to put in bottles
      boot = leather bag, -> boot = foot covering -> to boot (to use a boot), -> boot(strap) = strap to pull boot on, whence to lift by one's bootstraps, and hence to bring a computer on line
      butt, boot etc are germanic
      booth is from be, build, bower

© 2003-2004 Wendy Krieger