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Quintal, kintal, kentle, 1470, OF quintal, pl. quintaus, arab qintar. a) A weight of 100 pounds; a hundredweight (112 pounds) b) In the metric system, a weight of 100 kilograms

Quintal [traditional]

a traditional unit of weight in France, Portugal, and Spain, historically used in commerce throughout Europe and the Arab world during the last two millennia. Originally, the Latin centenarius equal to 100 Roman pounds, it then passed into Arabic as the cantar or qintar (q.v.) and then returned to Europe through Arab traders in the form quintal. cf the American centner, German zentner and English hundredweight (q.v.). The traditional French quintal equalled 100 livres (~49 kilograms or 108 pounds), but today is the metric quintal (q.v.). The Spanish quintal is 100 libras (~ 46 kilograms or 101 pounds). The Portuguese quintal is 128 libras (~ 130 pounds or 59 kilograms). Pronunciation varies from "kwintal" to "kintal" and "kantal". Also "kentle" (Grand Banks ca. 1900, Mark Snow)

Quintal [Newfoundland fisheries, ca. 1800]

Jeremy Greenwood adds:
  • France 100 French pounds (= 112 pounds British)
  • Castilian = 101.8 British pounds
  • Spanish = 101.6 British pounds - in practice the same as the last
  • Portuguese 129.52 British pounds
These only applied to Newfoundland fish and were the computations used by English merchants

Dave Stevenson adds that the 2nd edition of "The Dictionary of Newfoundland English" has a lengthy reference to documents mentioning - quintal, cantel, kental, kintal 'a hundredweight (112 lbs) esp in measuring fish'. Examples from documents dated 1970, 1623, 1712, 1745, etc. describe salt cod fish as well as seal pelts, and also flour, hard bread for British French and Portuguese markets. It is always described as 112 lbs (50.8 kg)

Quintal [New England fisheries]

Bill Bunting:

Quintals were always the standard measure of dried fish used in New England, although a quintal was variously 112 or 114 pounds.

Quintal, cantaro [cotton, Robert White Stevens' On the Stowage of Ships and Their Cargoes, 1869 edition]

quoted by Lars Bruzelius:

The gross weight of a bale of Egyptian cotton at Alexandria averages 230 rottolo or 228.07 lb., and allowing 12 rottolo as tare for sacking and cordage, the net weight of the bale will be 219 lb. The quintal or cantaro 36 okes. Alexandrian "pressed bales" mean hydraulic pressed, Milvain v. Cassavetti, Newcastle, March 3, 1851. The cantar of Turkish cotton is stated to have been fixed at Constantinople in 1836, at 100 rottolo. Some make the quintal or cantaro 44 okes, others 45 okes = 127.2 lbs.

Qantar, cantar:

English transliteration of Arabic quintal. Accepted today as a metric unit of 50 kilograms (~ 110.231 pounds); traditional cantars tended to be slightly higher.

quintal [metric]:

unit of mass equal to 100 kilograms or ~ 220.4623 pounds.

Hundredweight [The Macmillan Dictionary of Measurement, 1994]:

quoted by John Harland:

"There are two forms of hundredweight in the avoirdupois system. The traditional cwt used mainly in Britain and English speaking countries other than North America, relates to the original form of ton, sometimes called the long or gross ton in North America, and also known as the centner or qintal. The *more recent* cwt, used mainly in North America, really does correspond to 100 lesser units, and according relates to a ton consisting of a number of pounds that is much easier to remember (sometimes called the short ton) and is also known as a centner or quintal."

oka, oke

Traditional Turkish unit of weight, ~ 2.8 pounds (~ 1.28 kilograms) but varied somewhat across the Eastern Mediterranean.

rottolo, rotl, rotel, rottle, ratel, arratel

Traditional Arab unit of weight probably based on the Roman libra, but varied widely in time and geography (limits ~ 0.9 - 1.15 pounds, 450 - 530 grams). N.B. a Syrian rotl of nearly 6 pounds (~ 2.8 kilograms) was used.



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