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A toise (French pronunciation: ​[twaz]; symbol: T) is a unit of measure for length, area and volume originating in pre-revolutionary France. In North America, it was used in colonial French establishments in early New France, French Louisiana (La Louisiane), and Quebec. The related toesa (Portuguese pronunciation: [tuˈezɐ]) was used in Portugal, Brazil and other parts of the Portuguese Empire until the adoption of the Metric system.


Unit of length[edit]

  • 1 Toise was exactly 6 pieds (feet) (about 1.949 metres) in France until 1812.
  • 1 Toise was exactly 2 metres in France between 1812 and 1 January 1840 (mesures usuelles).
  • 1 Toise = 1.8 metres in Switzerland.
  • 1 Toesa = 6 pés (feet) = 1.98 m in Portugal.

According to an article written in 1866, during investigation of various measuring standards, the toise was determined to be 1,949.03632 mm.

Seearticle: A. R. Clarke and Henry James 1867 'Abstract of the Results of the Comparisons of the Standards of Length of England, France, Belgium, Prussia, Russia, India, Australia, Made at the Ordnance Survey Office, Southampton', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 157, 161-180. Article Stable URL:

Unit of area[edit]

  • 1 Toise was about 3.799 square metres or, of course, a square French toise, as a measure for land and masonry area in France before 10 December 1799.

Unit of volume[edit]


Historical French unit. Early Louisiana in the United States.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]