from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A cask.
- n. An obsolete English measure of capacity equal to about 18 gallons (68 liters).
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A small barrel.
- n. An old English liquid measure, usually being half a barrel; containing 18 English beer gallons, or nearly twenty-two gallons, United States measure.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A small barrel; an old liquid measure containing eighteen English beer gallons, or nearly twenty-two gallons, United States measure.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A measure of capacity, half a barrel or 2 firkins.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an obsolete British unit of capacity equal to 18 Imperial gallons
Or his comic masterpiece, Mac Flecknoe, satirising an obscure Restoration rival: "A tun of man, in thy large bulk is writ,/but sure thou'rt but a kilderkin of wit" (kilderkin: an old English unit of volume equal to two firkins).
Southcombe, marching slowly with his long limp burdens, found ready on the sand the little barrel, about as big as a kilderkin, of true and unsullied Stockholm pitch, which he had taken, as his brother took Madeira, for ripeness and for betterance, by right of change of climate.
But the figure of the woman was still more awkward: an unwieldy bulk, two extended arms which seemed to bear it up with difficulty, and looked like two carved handles from the neck to the widest part of a large kilderkin, and beneath this enormous body, two legs, naked up to the knees, which could scarcely totter along.
Two firkins, or bushels, make a measure called a rundlet or kilderkin, liquid, and a strike, dry.
Devil a drop have you left in the great kilderkin.
Because of this fact alone I should not commend the diversion of moving save to people of very ample means as well as perfect leisure; there are more reasons than the misery of flitting why the dweller in the kilderkin should not covet the hogshead reeking of claret.
There is no house to which one would return, having left it, though it were the hogshead out of which one had moved into a kilderkin; for those associations whose perishing leaves us free, and preserves to us what little youth we have, were otherwise perpetuated to our burden and bondage.
"Were I Diogenes," says wrathful Charles Lamb in one of his letters, "I would not move out of a kilderkin into a hogshead, though the first had nothing but small beer in it, and the second reeked claret."
Southcombe, marching slowly with his long limp burdens, found ready on the sand the little barrel, about as big as a kilderkin, of true and unsullied Stockholm pitch, which he had taken, as his brother took
September, 1529, the price of a kilderkin of single beer was fixed at a shilling, the kilderkin of double beer at two shillings; but this included the cask; and the London brewers replied with a remonstrance, saying that the casks were often destroyed or made away with, and that an allowance had to be made for bad debts.