Poulter-s-measure meaning

A metrical pattern employing couplets in which the first line is in iambic hexameter and the second is in iambic heptameter.
A metre with alternate lines of 12 and 14 syllables, because it was said that poulters gave 12 eggs for the first dozen and 14 if you bought a second dozen.

Good ladies, ye that have your pleasure in exile.

Step in your foot, come take a place and mourn with me awhile.

And such as by their lords do set but little price,

Let them sit still, it skills them not what chance come on the dice.


Origin of poulter-s-measure

  • From obsolete poulter a poultry dealer (from the practice of giving a few extra eggs in the dozen) from Middle English pulter from Old French pouletier poultry

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • See Coined by George Gascoigne in 1576, See poulter & definition below.

    From Wiktionary