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[hawgz-hed, hogz-] /ˈhɔgzˌhɛd, ˈhɒgz-/
a large cask, especially one containing from 63 to 140 gallons (238 to 530 liters).
any of various units of liquid measure, especially one equivalent to 63 gallons (238 liters).
Abbreviation: hhd.
Origin of hogshead
1350-1400; Middle English hoggeshed, literally, hog's head; unexplained Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hogshead
  • And after all that, you sees it put in hogshead barrels and they tote it away in the fall.
British Dictionary definitions for hogshead


a unit of capacity, used esp for alcoholic beverages. It has several values, being 54 imperial gallons in the case of beer and 52.5 imperial gallons in the case of wine
a large cask used for shipment of wines and spirits
Word Origin
C14: of obscure origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hogshead

"large cask or barrel," late 14c., presumably on some perceived resemblance. The original liquid measure was 63 old wine gallons (by a statute of 1423); later anywhere from 100 to 140 gallons. Borrowed into other Germanic languages, oddly, as ox-head (cf. Dutch okshoofd, German oxhoft, Swedish oxhufvud).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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