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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The gill (pronounced /ˈdʒɪl/[1]) is a unit of measurement for volume equal to a quarter of a pint.[2] It is no longer in common use, except in regard to the volume of alcoholic spirits measures but it is also kept alive by the occasional reference, such as in the cumulative song "The Barley Mow."[3]

Copper gill measuring jugs
Imperial gill
1 imperial gill = 5 imperial fl oz
= 142.0653125 ml (exactly)[4]
≈ 142 ml
≈ 1.2 U.S. gills
United States customary gill
1 U.S. gill = 4 U.S. fl oz
= 118.29411825 ml (exactly)[5]
≈ 118 ml
≈ 5/6 imperial gills

In Great Britain, the standard single measure of spirits in a pub was 1/6 gill (23.7 ml) in England, and 1/5 gill (28.4 ml) in Scotland; though this has now been replaced by either 25 ml or 35 ml measures (Landlords can choose which one to serve). The 1/4 gill was previously the most common measure in Scotland, indeed there are pubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow called the The Quarter Gill, which insists on serving whisky by the 1/4 gill (35.5 ml). In southern England it is also called a noggin, but in northern England the large noggin is used, which is two gills. In some areas, a gill came to mean half a pint for both beer and milk. [6]

In Ireland the standard spirit measure was historically 1/4 gill. In the Republic of Ireland, it still retains this value, though it is now legally specified in metric units as 35.5 ml.


  1. ^ Not /ˈɡɪl/ as in a fish's gill
  2. ^ This was the legal definition although in some areas a gill of milk or beer is referred to as a half-pint; elsewhere a gill was the ⅓ pint of milk given free to school children.
  3. ^ Good Luck to the Barley Mow, lyrics and audio
  4. ^ after 1985 in the UK, c. 1964 in Canada
  5. ^ after 1964 redefinition of liter and 1959 redefinition of inch
  6. ^ International Dictionary of Food and Cooking by Charles Gordon Sinclair, ISBN 1579580572, published by Taylor & Francis, 1998

Simple English

The gill (pronounced like the girl's name Jill) is a unit for measuring volume. It is equal to a quarter of a pint. People do not use it much now.

1 imperial gill = 5 imperial fluid ounces (fl. oz.)
= 142.0653125 millilitres (ml) (exactly)
≈ 142 ml
≈ 1.20 U.S. gills
1 U.S. gill = 4 U.S. fl. oz.
= 118.2941183 ml (exactly)
≈ 118 ml
≈ 0.83 imperial gills


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