Friday, June 17, 2011

Does a Hobbit weigh a hobbit?

Ah, words - as King Azaz sighed in The Phantom Tollbooth.

As I was paging through Black's Law Dictionary I was astounded to spot this:
HOBBIT. A measure of weight in use in Wales, equal to 168 pounds, being made up of four Welsh pecks of 42 pounds each. Hughes v. Humphreys, 26 Eng. L. & Eq. 132.
[BLD 864]
Amazing. I guess a hobbit who weighed a hobbit would be a fairly chunky one.

Also, speaking of strange units to be discussed at the next meeting of the ISO:
RASUS. In old English law. A rase: a measure of onions, containing 20 flones, and each flone is 25 heads. Fleta, lib. 2, c. 12 ยง 12.
[BLD 1427]
So a Rase is 500 onions. I guess we'll soon speak of a megarase as 500,000,000 onions, and so forth; a centirase is just 5, and 2 millirases is a single onion. I feel so happy to know these units: flone, rase, hobbit. It is a good thing.

Question for homework: would a rase weigh a hobbit?

I know there was other stuff to tell, but the papers got away. And besides all my other stuff, I have to get back to Quayment - or Stirling. I forget which. Bye.


At 18 June, 2011 08:51, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice! :)

At 18 June, 2011 20:12, Anonymous some guy on the street said...

I suppose a hobbit might weigh a hobbit, but the other might think it rude --- gross impertinence, if you will; or at best terribly vulgar. It makes perfect sense, though, for a hobbit to weigh a rase, because onions (and hence rases) are not all created equal, nor alike in dignity --- to hobbits.


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