This blog is about my musings and thoughts. I hope you find it useful, at most, and entertaining, at least.

Date: 2013-08-01

Tags: cooking units

The English Fluid Units are quite nice for every-day use, especially cooking. Being based on halves allows quick and easy stepping up and down the chain of units without having to precisely measure each step.

Dram | ||

Teaspoon | 1—1/3 Drams | Used to be equal to a dram. |

Tablespoon | 4 Drams or 3 Teaspoons | I cannot find a unit equal to 2 drams |

Ounce | 2 Tablespoon | |

Jack | 2 Ounces | |

Gill | 2 Jacks | |

Cup | 2 Gills | |

Pint | 2 Cups | |

Quart | 2 Pints | |

Pottle | 2 Quarts | Commonly known as a Half-Gallon |

Gallon | 2 Pottles |

While this is a nice system, there are two different versions of it, the Imperial and US Customary that are slightly different in their base definitions.

Also, unlike length that are based on the human body and therefor have arbitrary relationships, having power-of-two relationships is easy to work with and fractionate. I don’t quite understand the hate of having to add fractions.

Personally, I would love to see some unit that is equal to 4 liters (a US gallon is 3.785 L) and keep the above relationships. This “metric gallon” would have easy and exact relationships to the liter. While the obvious downside is that all existing measurements would be slightly off (~5%), I think it may be a useful step forward. New cookware, for instance, could be made to the new size, with a line inside denoting the older standard.

“New Unit” | Relation to previous unit | Relation to metric unit |
---|---|---|

Metric Dram | – | 3.90625 mL |

Metric Teaspoon | 2 Metric Drams | 7.8125 mL |

Metric Tablespoon | 2 Metric Teaspoons | 15.625 mL |

Metric Ounce | 2 Metric Tablespoon | 31.25 mL |

Metric Jack | 2 Metric Ounces | 62.5 mL |

Metric Gill | 2 Metric Jacks | 125 mL |

Metric Cup | 2 Metric Gills | 250 mL |

Metric Pint | 2 Metric Cups | 500 mL |

Metric Quart | 2 Metric Pints | 1 L |

Metric Pottle | 2 Metric Quarts | 2 L |

Metric Gallon | 2 Metric Pottles | 4 L |