Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
firkin (plural firkins)
- (Britain) A varying measure of capacity, usually being the fourth part of a barrel; specifically, a measure equal to nine imperial gallons.
1882, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, volume 4, page 205:
- 23 Hen. VIII, cap. 4... The barrel of beer is to hold 36 gallons, the kilderkin 18 gallons the firkin 9. But the barrel, kilderkin, and firkin of ale are to contain 32, 16, and 8 gallons.
- (US) A small wooden vessel or cask of indeterminate size, used for butter, lard, etc.
- A weight measure for butter, equalling 56 pounds.