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The gill (pronounced // ( listen)) or teacup is a unit of measurement for volume equal to a quarter of a pint. It is no longer in common use, except in regard to the volume of alcoholic spirits measures.
1 imperial gill ≡ 5 imperial fluid ounces ≡ 1⁄32 imperial gallon ≡ 1⁄4 imperial pint ≡ 142.0653125 ml ≈ 142 ml ≈ 1.2 US gills 1 US gill ≡ 4 US fl oz ≡ 1⁄32 US gallon ≡ 1⁄4 US pint ≡ 1⁄2 US cup ≡ 8 tablespoons ≡ 24 teaspoons ≡ 32 US fluid drams ≡ 77⁄32 in3 ≡ 118.29411825 ml ≈ 118 ml ≈ 5⁄6 imperial gills
In Great Britain, the standard single measure of spirits in a pub was 1⁄6 gill (23.7 ml) in England, and 1⁄5 gill (28.4 ml) in Scotland; after metrication this was replaced by either 25 or 35 ml (0.176- or 0.246-gill) measures (landlords can choose which one to serve). The 1⁄4 gill was previously the most common measure in Scotland, and still remains as the standard measure in pubs in Ireland.
Half of a gill is a jack, so an eighth of a pint. But in northern England, a quarter pint could also be called a jack or a noggin rather than a gill, and in some areas a half pint could be called a gill, particularly for beer and milk.
- big gill = 1.5 Imp. gill
- wee gill = 3/4 Imp. gill
- wee half gill = 3/8 Imp. gill
- nip=1/4 Imp. gill
In popular culture
There are occasional references to a gill in popular culture, such as in:
- In L. Frank Baum's The Patchwork Girl of Oz, one of the ingredients required for a magic spell is a gill of water from a dark well. In chapter 19, the obscure unit is used for humor including a pun with the nursery rhyme "Jack and Jill", which also involved a well.
- In George Orwell's Animal Farm, Moses the Raven is allotted a gill of beer a day after he returns, with the implication that this is part of his payment for supporting the farm leaders, the pigs.
- Dan Simmons' novel, The Terror (2007), makes frequent references to gills of grog and rum.
- The cumulative song "The Barley Mow".
- In The Doors song "The Crystal Ship", the line, "the crystal ship is being filled a thousand girls," some people report that "girls" should be "gills".
- A gill is also referenced in “Archer” season 2, episode 3 ("Blood Test") when Barry explains to Archer that a liter is, "about 8 gills".
- In "Bart the Genius," an episode of "The Simpsons," a child tricks Bart by offering, "I'll trade you 1,000 picoliters of my milk for four gills of yours." (A picoliter is a trillionth of a liter, so Bart is losing almost a pint of milk in this exchange.)
Because of its more widely used homograph, gill is often mispronounced with a hard 'g' sound.
- FX's animated cartoon Archer, mispronounced gill in the episodes "Blood Test" (Season 2, Episode 3) and "Heart of Archness: Part Three" (Season 3, Episode 3).
- Television host Stephen Fry mispronounced gill in a 2013 edition of the BBC TV programme QI.
- Not // ( listen) as in a fish's gill
- This was the legal definition although in some areas a gill of milk or beer is referred to as a half-pint; elsewhere a gill was the 1⁄3 pint of milk given free to school children.
- after 1985 in the UK, c. 1964 in Canada
- after 1964 redefinition of litre and 1959 redefinition of inch
- Klein, Herbert Arthur (1974). The Science of Measurement: A Historical Survey. New York: Dover Publications, Inc. p. 34. ISBN 0-486-25839-4. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- Griffiths, Samuel (1873). Griffiths' Guide to the Iron Trade of Great Britain. p. 292.
- O'Gorman, Daniel (1853). Intuitive calculations; the readiest and most concise methods. Manchester. p. 50.
- International Dictionary of Food and Cooking by Charles Gordon Sinclair, ISBN 1-57958-057-2, published by Taylor & Francis, 1998
- "The Scottish Licensing Laws". Retrieved 6 September 2016.
- "Good Luck to the Barley Mow, lyrics and audio". Chivalry.com. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
- VanDerWerff, Todd. "Archer: "Blood Test"".
- VanDerWerff, Todd. "Archer: "Heart Of Archness, Part Three"".