Did You Know: Jack and Jill

Tuesday, August 28, 2018
By Martin Myall

FTR Jack & JillWhat has a nursery rhyme and a liquid measurement have in common? You might already know, but if you didn’t this might come as a surprise!

Gill, also spelled jill, in measurement, unit of volume in the British Imperial and United States Customary systems.

The gill was introduced in the 14th century to measure individual servings of whiskey or wine. The term jill appears in the nursery rhyme “Jack and Jill,” and here’s why.

Soon after ascending to the throne of England in 1625, King Charles I scaled down the jack or jackpot (sometimes known as a double jigger) in order to collect higher sales taxes. The jill, by definition twice the size of the jack, was automatically reduced also and “came tumbling after.”

Furthermore, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, in the 17th century the term “humpty dumpty” referred to a drink of brandy boiled with ale.

(News/Feature: Origin of Jack and Jill)

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