Copper gill-measuring jugs

The gill /ˈɪl/ or teacup is a unit of measurement for volume equal to a quarter of a pint. It is no longer in common use, except in regard to the volume of alcoholic spirits measures.


In imperial units
1 imperial gill ≡ 5 imperial fluid ounces
132 imperial gallon
14 imperial pint
12 Imperial cups
= 40 Imperial fluid drams
≡ 142.0653125 mL[a]
≈ 142 mL
≈ 1.2 US gills
≈ 8.67 in3


In United States customary units
1 US gill ≡ 4 US fl oz
132 US gallon
18 US quart
14 US pint
12 US cup
≡ 8 tablespoons
≡ 24 teaspoons
≡ 32 US fluid drams
≡ 7732 in3
≡ 118.29411825 mL[b]
≈ 118 mL
56 imperial gills

United Kingdom

Prior to metrication, in the United Kingdom, the standard single measure of spirits in a pub was 16 gill (23.7 mL) in England and Northern Ireland, and either 15 gill (28.4 mL) or 14 gill (35.5 mL) in Scotland. After metrication, this was replaced by measures of either 25 or 35 millilitres (0.176 or 0.246 gi), at the discretion of the proprietor.

However, a spirit measure in the Isle of Man is still defined as 15 gill (28.4 mL) and 16 gill (23.7 mL) in Northern Ireland.[1][2] Colloquially, in all jurisdictions, a measure of spirits is referred to as a 'gill' regardless of metrication and the way it is defined.

Half of a gill is a jack, or an eighth of a pint.[3] But in northern England, a quarter pint could also be called a jack or a noggin, rather than a gill, and in some areas a half pint could be called a gill, particularly for beer and milk.[4][5][6]


In Ireland, the standard spirit measure was historically 14 gill and in both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, it still retains this value, though it is now legally specified in metric units as 35.5 mL.


In Scotland, there were additional sizes:[7]

In popular culture

There are occasional references to a gill in popular culture, such as in:





Because of its more widely used homograph, gill has sometimes been mispronounced with a hard 'g' sound. In English, the sound of soft ⟨g⟩ is the affricate /dʒ/, as in general, giant, and gym. A ⟨g⟩ at the end of a word usually renders a hard ⟨g⟩ (as in "rag"), while if a soft rendition is intended it would be followed by a silent ⟨e⟩ (as in "rage").


  1. ^ after 1985 in the UK, c. 1964 in Canada
  2. ^ after 1964 redefinition of litre and 1959 redefinition of inch


  1. ^ "Changes to Isle of Man alcohol measurements scrapped". BBC News. March 8, 2013.
  2. ^ "1/5 Gill Shot Glass Government Stamped". Gellings.
  3. ^ Klein, Herbert Arthur (1974). The Science of Measurement: A Historical Survey. New York: Dover Publications, Inc. p. 34. ISBN 0-486-25839-4. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  4. ^ Griffiths, Samuel (1873). Griffiths' Guide to the Iron Trade of Great Britain. Griffith. p. 292.
  5. ^ O'Gorman, Daniel (1853). Intuitive calculations; the readiest and most concise methods. Manchester. p. 50.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  6. ^ International Dictionary of Food and Cooking by Charles Gordon Sinclair, ISBN 1-57958-057-2, published by Taylor & Francis, 1998
  7. ^ Purves, James (1903). "The Scottish Licensing Laws". Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Good Luck to the Barley Mow, lyrics and audio". Retrieved 2011-02-14.
  9. ^ VanDerWerff, Emily (11 February 2011). "Archer: "Blood Test"". The A.V. Club.
  10. ^ VanDerWerff, Emily (30 September 2011). "Archer: "Heart Of Archness, Part Three"". The A.V. Club.