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See also: Puncheon


English wine cask units.jpg

Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Anglo-Norman ponchon, pounceon et al., and Middle French ponçon, poinchon et al., from Old French ponchon, from Latin pūnctiōnem (act of piercing). Doublet of punction.



puncheon (plural puncheons)

  1. A figured stamp, die, or punch, used by goldsmiths, cutlers, etc.
  2. A short, upright piece of timber in framing; a short post; an intermediate stud.
    • 1891, Mary Noailles Murfree, In the "Stranger People's" Country, Nebraska 2005, p. 7:
      he chose to regard [his father] with a lowering and suspicious mien, unless it were in the dead hours of the night, when he developed a morbid craving to be trotted back and forth and up and down the puncheon floor [...].
    1. A piece of roughly dressed timber with one face finished flat.
    2. A split log or heavy slab of timber with the face smoothed, used for flooring or construction.
  3. A walkway over wet ground constructed by laying planks or dressed timbers over sills set directly on the ground.
  4. A short low bridge of similar construction. Also called puncheon bridge.
  5. A cask used to hold liquids, having a capacity varying from 72 to 120 gallons; a tercian.
    • 1882, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, p. 205:
      Again, by 28 Hen. VIII, cap. 14, it is re-enacted that the tun of wine should contain 252 gallons, a butt of Malmsey 126 gallons, a pipe 126 gallons, a tercian or puncheon 84 gallons, a hogshead 63 gallons, a tierce 41 gallons, a barrel 31.5 gallons, a rundlet 18.5 gallons.
    • 1913, D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, chapter 8
      Then he went to the scullery, wetted his hands, scooped the last white dough out of the punchion, and dropped it in a baking-tin.

Related terms[edit]