Ell (Scots)

Ell (Scots)

A Scottish ell (Scottish Gaelic: "slat thomhais") was a measurement of length. It was standardised in 1661. It was generally assumed to be the length of someone's average arm, and came from the Latin "ulnia", rather than "elbow" (or Scots "elbuck").

It was used in the popular expression -:"Gie 'im an inch, an he'll tak an ell":(equivalent to "Give him an inch, and he'll take a mile", more literally "he'll take a yard)

The Ell Shop (1757) in Dunkeld, Perth and Kinross (National Trust for Scotland), is so called from the 18th century iron ell-stick attached to one corner, once used to measure cloth and other commodities in the adjacent market-place.

The shaft of the old 17th century Kincardine Mercat cross stands in the square of Fettercairn, and is notched to show the measurements of an ell.

English measurements were imposed in 1824 by an act of parliament.

Equivalent to -
* Scottish measures
** 3 and 1/12 ft
* Metric system
** 94.1 cm
* Imperial system
** 1.03 international yards, approx. 37.1 inches

ee also

* Ell
* Inch (Scots)
* Mile (Scots)
* Fall (Scots)

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