13 Mar Is a “buttload” more…or less…than a “hogshead”? Or a “tun”? Or an “assload”? Wacky wine terms explained
The Other Side of Wine
tackles the vexing question:
just how much exactly is a “buttload”?
To find out, we travel back to medieval days
when kings were kings,
knights were knights
and wine barrels were “butts”
Thus, a “buttload” meant “a full cask or barrel”.
Buttload eventually became a recognized form of liquid measurement,
approximately 126 gallons,
of mead or muscatel or whatever fermented fruit juice
the Middle Agers could get their hands on
and fill their “butt” with.
The meaning of buttload morphed over time
eventually signifying a good deal of something/anything.
Buttload is one of
many popular wine terms of the era…
terms like “hogshead”
and…wait for it…
A hogshead is half a buttload
A tun (yes, that is the correct spelling)
is two buttloads
and an assload
is the amount of anything…
wine, olive oil, bowling balls…
that can be carried by a donkey
Some 900 or so years later
Sir Mix A Lot would produce a rap song
utilizing medieval wine measurement terms
in his own inimitable manner,
surprisingly with no references whatsoever to wine!
We’ll elaborate in a different blog post.
For right now, that’s a (w)rap on another edition of
The Other Side of Wine!