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See also: Pottle



From Middle English potell, potel, from Old French potel, diminutive of pot; see more at pot.


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɒtəl/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒtəl


pottle (plural pottles)

  1. (archaic) A former unit of volume, equivalent to half a gallon, used for liquids and corn; a pot or drinking vessel of around this size.
    • c. 1604, William Shakespeare, Othello, Act II, Scene 3,[1]
      Why, he drinks you, with facility, your Dane dead drunk; he sweats not to overthrow your Almain; he gives your Hollander a vomit, ere the next pottle can be filled.
    • c. 1605, Thomas Dekker, The Honest Whore Part 2, London: Nathaniel Butter, 1630,[2]
      a pottle of Greeke wine
    • 1826, Walter Scott, Woodstock, Chapter 10,[3]
      And yonder sate Desborough with a dry pottle of sack before him, which he had just emptied, and which, though the element in which he trusted, had not restored him sense enough to speak, or courage enough to look over his shoulder.
  2. (New Zealand) A receptacle, typically for potato chips, yoghurt or other foodstuffs.
  3. (archaic) A small pot or other receptacle, e.g. for strawberries.
    • 1851, Henry Mayhew, London Labour and the London Poor, Volume I, “Of the tricks of costermongers,”[4]
      Strawberry pottles are often half cabbage leaves, a few tempting strawberries being displayed on the top of the pottle.
    • 1861, Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, Chapter 21,[5]
      He had a paper-bag under each arm and a pottle of strawberries in one hand, and was out of breath.
    • 2005, Dan Keding and Amy Douglas (eds.), English Folktales, World Folklore Series, Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, →ISBN, page 21,[6]
      "I was wondering whether you’ve got such a thing as a pottle of brains to spare?"