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# Troy Weights and Other Measures Quiz

### My 1933 British Dictionary has a section on "Tables of Weights and Measures" that reveals a complex situation with different sets of measures for various different commercial activities. Can you answer these questions?

A matching quiz by davejacobs. Estimated time: 4 mins.

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Time
4 mins
Type
Match Quiz
Quiz #
393,977
Updated
Dec 03 21
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10
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Top 35% Quiz
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(a) Drag-and-drop from the right to the left, or (b) click on a right side answer box and then on a left side box to move it.
 Questions Choices 1. Troy weights (for measuring precious metals and gemstones). 24 grains equals Mile 2. Avoirdupois system: 16 drams make one Chaldron 3. Apothecaries' system for measuring small quantities of drugs and chemicals: twenty grains made one Tod 4. Middle Ages wool trade system of measuring: 14 pounds made a stone and two stones made one Dram 5. Linear measurement: four poles make Acre 6. Linear measures used by surveyors: 80 chains make one Quire 7. In square measures, four roods equal one Ounce 8. Under measure of capacity (used for liquids and dry goods generally), 36 bushels make one Scruple 9. Paper measures: 24 sheets make one Pennyweight 10. Apothecaries' fluid measure for dispensing drugs: 60 minims = one Chain

1. Troy weights (for measuring precious metals and gemstones). 24 grains equals
2. Avoirdupois system: 16 drams make one
3. Apothecaries' system for measuring small quantities of drugs and chemicals: twenty grains made one
4. Middle Ages wool trade system of measuring: 14 pounds made a stone and two stones made one
5. Linear measurement: four poles make
6. Linear measures used by surveyors: 80 chains make one
7. In square measures, four roods equal one
8. Under measure of capacity (used for liquids and dry goods generally), 36 bushels make one
9. Paper measures: 24 sheets make one
10. Apothecaries' fluid measure for dispensing drugs: 60 minims = one

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Troy weights (for measuring precious metals and gemstones). 24 grains equals

Weighing precious metals and gemstones is nowadays the only remaining use for the troy system. The name derives from the town of Troyes in the Champagne district of France which was an important European trading place in the twelfth century.

In the Middle Ages, a pennyweight was the weight of a silver penny in England.
The abbreviation for a pennyweight is dwt, because the symbol for an old penny was d for the Latin denarius, and wt was short for weight! This inconsistency is very English.
2. Avoirdupois system: 16 drams make one

Sixteen ounces make one pound in the avoirdupois system, while in the troy system there are twelve ounces to a pound. In many countries avoirdupois has been superseded by the metric system.

Do not confuse this ounce with the snow leopard which is often called by the same name. Far from weighing an ounce, adult snow leopards can weigh between 50 and 120 pounds.
3. Apothecaries' system for measuring small quantities of drugs and chemicals: twenty grains made one

Apothecary is the old name for what would now be called a pharmacist, or druggist. The table of apothecaries' weights goes: 20 grains = 1 scruple; 3 scruples = 1 dram; 8 drams = 1 ounce; 12 ounces = 1 pound.

The name scruple comes from the Latin scrupulum, a small sharp stone.
Scruples also has the meaning of a kind of conscience, or moral principles, and it is a standard joke to say that pharmacists must have scruples.
4. Middle Ages wool trade system of measuring: 14 pounds made a stone and two stones made one

This must be one of the weirdest systems, at least as far as naming goes.
6½ tods = 1 wey; 2 weys = 1 sack; 12 sacks = 1 last.

The names have north European origins, as most of the wool merchants belonged to the Hansa league of trading nations. The name tod is similar to High German zotta (a tuft of hair), Frisian todde (a rag) and Icelandic toddi (a bush). It is said that the fox is sometimes called Tod from his bushy tail.
5. Linear measurement: four poles make

The table goes: 12 inches = 1 foot; 3 feet =- 1 yard; 5½ yards = 1 pole, rod or perch; 4 poles = 1 chain; 10 chains = 1 furlong; 8 furlongs = 1 mile; 3 miles = 1 league. The name is from the Latin catena, a chain.

You can work out that a chain is 22 yards long, which happens to be the length of a cricket pitch. Distances expressed in furlongs are now used predominantly in the sport of horse racing, although at one time some athletics races were based on furlongs. The 220 yard sprint is one furlong, and we also had the 440 and 880 yard races, and of course the mile.
6. Linear measures used by surveyors: 80 chains make one

The table goes: 7.92 inches = 1 link; 100 links = 1 chain; 80 chains = 1 mile.
That would be a statute mile of 5280 feet, as distinct from a geographical or nautical mile of 6080 feet. About those 7.92 inches in a link, a chain is obviously 792 inches, or 66 feet, or 22 yards. The name mile is from the Latin millia, a thousand paces.
7. In square measures, four roods equal one

Acre is defined in my dictionary as a measure of land containing 4840 square yards.

The complete table is: 144 square inches = 1 square foot; 9 square feet = 1 square yard; 30¼ square yards = 1 rood; 4 roods = 1 acre; 640 acres = 1 square mile. The name acre is from the Latin ager, meaning pasture.

That 30¼ square yards is because one rood is 1 square rod, and a rod is 5½ yards.
8. Under measure of capacity (used for liquids and dry goods generally), 36 bushels make one

Dry goods are the kind of solid that can be poured; that is consisting of small pieces. This (in some parts unfamiliar) table goes: 4 gills = 1 pint; 2 pints = 1 quart; 4 quarts = 1 gallon; 2 gallons = 1 peck; 4 pecks = 1 bushel; 8 bushels = 1 quarter; 5 quarters = 1 load; 36 bushels = 1 chaldron.

In the dictionary part of this book we find this definition:
'Chaldron: a measure for coals containing 25½ cwt (hundredweight)'.
Up to the 19th century coal was sold by volume and a chaldron was about a cartload. Then the law was changed in England and coal had to be sold by weight.
9. Paper measures: 24 sheets make one

My book distinguishes between writing paper and printing paper! In the former we have: 24 sheets = 1 quire; 20 quires = 1 ream. For printing paper we have: 516 sheets = 1 ream; 2 reams = 1 bundle; 5 bundles = 1 bale. Nowadays we buy printing paper for our computers in blocks of 500 sheets, which is about halfway between a writing ream (480 sheets) and a printing ream (516 sheets)!
10. Apothecaries' fluid measure for dispensing drugs: 60 minims = one