- a small, wooden tub for butter, lard, etc.
- a unit of capacity equal to barrel
Origin of firkinME, contr. ; from firdekyn ; from MDu, diminutive of vierdel, fourth
- A small wooden barrel or covered vessel.
- Any of several British units of capacity, usually equal to about 1/4 of a barrel or 9 gallons (34 liters).
Origin of firkinMiddle 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.
- (UK) A varying measure of capacity, usually being the fourth part of a barrel; specifically, a measure equal to nine imperial gallons. [Eng.]
- (US) A small wooden vessel or cask of indeterminate size, -- used for butter, lard, etc.
- A weight measure for butter, equalling 56 pounds.
From Middle Dutch *vierdekijn, diminutive of vierde (“fourth”), from vier (“four”), equivalent to fourth + -kin.