Random Word Post – hogshead
April 23, 2016 12:14pm CST
I find a random word by flipping through my 2003 The New Webster’s Concise Dictionary and write a quick – often silly – little post about it. # “hogshead – 1 A large cask. 2 Any of various liquid measures, especially, in the US, a unit equal to 63 gallons.” I’ve read a lot of historical pieces and have often come across mentions of hogsheads. I knew it was a big cask, but I’ve wondered how it got that name. So I went to Wikipedia, and discovered that the exact measure of a hogshead has varied over the centuries and that a hogshead of port is probably different from a hogshead of beer. But as to the origin of hogshead, apparently it should be oxhead, because they would brand the barrels with a head of an ox. For some reason. And somehow that became a hog. Maybe they drank too many oxheads of ale.