# The Archaic Unit of Measurement Quiz

We take it for granted that the weights and measures we use now will be around forever, but they might not be. Here’s a quiz testing your knowledge of archaic, obscure, and obsolete units of measure. Once you’re done, reward yourself with a butylka of beer! (Don’t worry…that’s only 624 ml in obsolete Russian terms.)

1 of 12

The mutchkin was a common unit of liquid measure in Scotland until the 19th century. How many milliliters are in a mutchkin?

24

424

ANSWER: A mutchkin was equivalent to four gills, and if you had two mutchkins of liquid, you had yourself a chopin. A mutchkin was equivalent to four gills, and if you had two mutchkins of liquid, you had yourself a chopin.

2 of 12

The length of an English perch varied quite a bit, but which of these is the closest to the usual length?

18 feet

250 feet

ANSWER: The perch was the descendant of an ancient Roman measure called the pertica, and it varied quite a bit. Estimates peg it at anything from 16 to 25 feet long at various times. It fell out of fashion in the 15th century in favor of the rod. The perch was the descendant of an ancient Roman measure called the pertica, and it varied quite a bit. Estimates peg it at anything from 16 to 25 feet long at various times. It fell out of fashion in the 15th century in favor of the rod.

3 of 12

We don’t measure mass using the pennyweight much anymore, but if we did, how much would each one weigh?

0.01 ounces

0.055 ounces

ANSWER: The pennyweight was based on an actual penny’s weight, which corresponded to 1/240th of a troy pound of silver. It’s actually still used by jewelers and dentists to measure tiny weights when working with precious metals. The pennyweight was based on an actual penny’s weight, which corresponded to 1/240th of a troy pound of silver. It’s actually still used by jewelers and dentists to measure tiny weights when working with precious metals.

4 of 12

You’ll hear tales involving talents in the Bible, including a famous parable from Jesus. Just how heavy was a Greek talent?

16 kilograms

26 kilograms

ANSWER: The weight of a talent corresponded to the weight of the water required to fill an amphora. The weight of a talent corresponded to the weight of the water required to fill an amphora.

5 of 12

The term “faggot” is now loosely applied to any bundle of sticks, but at one point in time it had a clear definition. How many feet in girth was a faggot of sticks?

2

5

6 of 12

How many pecks of apples do you need to make a kenning of apples?

2

10

ANSWER: A peck is equal to eight dry quarts, and two pecks make a kenning. Four pecks make a bushel. A peck is equal to eight dry quarts, and two pecks make a kenning. Four pecks make a bushel.

7 of 12

If Captain Nemo traveled 20,000 leagues under the sea, about how far did he go?

1 million miles

60,000 miles

ANSWER: The league was a variable unit of measure that meant various distances in various countries. For the English-speaking world, though, a league measured how far a person could walk in an hour, which came to about 3 miles. The league was a variable unit of measure that meant various distances in various countries. For the English-speaking world, though, a league measured how far a person could walk in an hour, which came to about 3 miles.

8 of 12

What kind of measurements are recorded in foot-lamberts?

Luminance

Loudness

ANSWER: The foot-lambert, which is still used in movie projections and flight simulators, is a measurement that measures luminance. The foot-lambert, which is still used in movie projections and flight simulators, is a measurement that measures luminance.

9 of 12

The cubit is the earliest recorded measurement of length. About how long is a cubit?

One and a half feet

Ten feet

ANSWER: The cubit was originally meant to measure the distance from a man’s elbow to the tip of his fingers. The cubit was originally meant to measure the distance from a man’s elbow to the tip of his fingers.

10 of 12

What did the old Irish system of measure use as its standard unit of volume?

A potato's volume

A hen's eggshell

ANSWER: It was just over 55 ml. It was just over 55 ml.

11 of 12

Grampa Simpson once claimed his car got 40 rods to the hogshead. About how many miles per gallon is that?

200

.002

ANSWER: A rod is 16.5 feet, and a hogshead is 63 gallons. A rod is 16.5 feet, and a hogshead is 63 gallons.

12 of 12

Once upon a time, tailors may have measure length using the ell. About how long was an English ell?

45 inches

24 inches

ANSWER: The ell was never strictly defined, but it was around 45 inches. It measured the length from one shoulder to the opposite arm’s fingertips. The ell was never strictly defined, but it was around 45 inches. It measured the length from one shoulder to the opposite arm’s fingertips.