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1. A small wooden barrel or covered vessel.
2. Any of several British units of capacity, usually equal to about 1/4 of a barrel or 9 gallons (34 liters).

[Middle English ferken, ferdekin, probably from Middle Dutch *verdelkijn, diminutive of veerdel, one-fourth : veerde, fourth; see kwetwer- in Indo-European roots + deel, part; see dail- in Indo-European roots.]


1. (Brewing) a small wooden barrel or similar container
2. (Units) Brit a unit of capacity equal to nine gallons
[C14 fir, from Middle Dutch vierde fourth + -kin]


(ˈfɜr kɪn)

1. a small wooden vessel or tub for butter, lard, etc.
2. an early English unit of capacity usu. equal to a quarter of a barrel.
[1400–50; late Middle English ferdkyn, firdekyn=ferde (variant of ferthe fourth) + -kin -kin]


 a measure of quantity; half a kilderkin, 1465; as a small cask for liquids, fish, butter, etc.


A unit of volume, used especially to measure beer or ale. 1 firkin = 9.8 US gal.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.firkin - a British unit of capacity equal to 9 imperial gallons
British capacity unit, Imperial capacity unit - a unit of measure for capacity officially adopted in the British Imperial System; British units are both dry and wet
congius, Imperial gallon, gallon - a British imperial capacity measure (liquid or dry) equal to 4 quarts or 4.545 liters
kilderkin - an obsolete British unit of capacity equal to 18 Imperial gallons
2.firkin - a small wooden keg
keg - small cask or barrel
References in classic literature ?
While I," quoth the other loudly, "do maintain the good sense and extraordinary wisdom of that most learned William against the crack-brained fantasies of the muddy Scotchman, who hath hid such little wit as he has under so vast a pile of words, that it is like one drop of Gascony in a firkin of ditch-water.
I had in my cellar a firkin of potatoes, about two quarts of peas with the weevil in them, and on my shelf a little rice, a jug of molasses, and of rye and Indian meal a peck each.
Firkin (who was dressing the very small remnant of hair which remained on Miss Crawley's pate), flung up her head and said, "I think Miss is very clever," with the most killing sarcastic air.
For years the Victorian establishment, the Queen's Vaults, in Westgate Street, was known as the Fly Half and Firkin.
The former Cricketers pub overlooking the St Helen's rugby and cricket ground, was re-named the Fine Leg and Firkin in 1997, but after a refit later this month it will get its old name back.
Ireland's Cork City Ballet boasts that its annual performances, held in April, will take place in the Firkin Crane Theater, where Curran's company danced last November.
Until a daring Scots barman from Allied Domeq's Fiddle and Firkin pub in The Hague secretly flew home to buy a haggis.
Jock Andrew, assistant manager of the Philanthropist and Firkin in St Albans, Herts, said last night: "It's been a huge success.
There will be only one firkin (72 pint cask) of each beer available in any individual pub
Mr Vince was punched and kicked, dragged from the Force and Firkin pub in Cheshunt, Herts, and left in a pool of blood last March.
I AM trying to find descendants of Charles Henry Blakeman, who was born 1879 in Dudley and later lived in Birmingham, and Amy Firkin, who was born 1884 in Birmingham.