|1 imp pt in ...||... is equal to ...|
|SI derived unit||568.26125 mL|
|1 US pt in ...||... is equal to ...|
|SI derived unit||473.176473 mL (liquid)|
|SI derived unit||550.610471 mL (dry)|
The pint (//, ⓘ; symbol pt, sometimes abbreviated as p) is a unit of volume or capacity in both the imperial and United States customary measurement systems. In both of those systems it is traditionally one eighth of a gallon. The British imperial pint is about 20% larger than the American pint because the two systems are defined differently. Almost all other countries have standardized on the metric system, so although some of them still also have traditional units called pints (such as for beverages), the volume varies by regional custom.
The imperial pint (≈ 568 mL) is used in the United Kingdom and Ireland and to a limited extent in Commonwealth nations. In the United States, two kinds of pint are used: a liquid pint (≈ 473 mL) and a less common dry pint (≈ 551 mL). Other former British colonies, such as Canada, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, converted to the metric system in the 1960s and 1970s; so while the term pint may still be in common use in these countries, it may no longer refer to the British imperial pint once used throughout the British Empire.
Pint comes from the Old French word pinte and perhaps ultimately from Vulgar Latin pincta meaning "painted", for marks painted on the side of a container to show capacity. It is linguistically related, though greatly diverging in meaning, to Pinto – an Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese name for a person with a speckled or dark complexion, often used as a surname in these languages.
- The imperial pint is equal to one eighth of an imperial gallon.
1 imperial pint = 1⁄8 imperial gallon = 1⁄2 imperial quart = 4 imperial gills = 20 imperial fluid ounces = 568.26125 millilitres (exactly)[a] ≈ 34.677429099 cubic inches[b] ≈ 1.2009499255 US liquid pints ≈ 1.0320567435 US dry pints ≈ 19.21519881 US fluid ounces ≈ the volume of 20 oz (567 g) of water at 62 °F (16.7 °C)
US liquid pint
In the United States, the liquid pint is legally defined as one eighth of a liquid gallon of precisely 231 cubic inches.
1 US liquid pint = 1⁄8 US liquid gallon = 1⁄2 US liquid quart = 2 US cups = 4 US fluid gills = 16 US fluid ounces = 32 US tablespoons = 96 US teaspoons = 128 US fluid drams = 28.875 cubic inches (exactly)[b] = 473.176473 millilitres (exactly)[c] ≈ 0.83267418463 imperial pints ≈ 0.85936700738 US dry pints ≈ 16.65348369 imperial fluid ounces ≈ the volume of 1.041 lb (472 g) of water at 62 °F (16.7 °C)
US dry pint
In the United States, the dry pint is one sixty-fourth of a bushel.
1 US dry pint = 0.015625 US bushels = 0.0625 US pecks = 0.125 US dry gallons = 0.5 US dry quarts = 33.6003125 cubic inches = 550.6104713575 millilitres[c] ≈ 0.96893897192092 imperial pints ≈ 1.1636471861472 US pints
|Flemish pintje||250 mL|
|India||330 mL||330 mL||'Pint bottle' capacity.|
|South Australian pint||425 mL||425 mL||Known in the rest of Australia as a schooner|
|US liquid pint||16 US fl oz||≈ 473 mL||Used in the United States.|
|US dry pint||18.6 US fl oz||≈ 551 mL||Less common.|
|Imperial pint||20 imp fl oz||≈ 568 mL||Used in the UK and Ireland.|
|Australian pint||570 mL||570 mL||Based on the imperial pint rounded to a metric value.|
|Royal pint or pinte du roi||48 French cubic inches||≈ 952 mL||Varied by region from 0.95 to over 2 litres.|
|Canadian pinte de bière (only in French)||Imperial quart||≈ 1136 mL|
|Scottish pint or joug (obsolete)||2 pints and 19.69 imp fl oz||≈ 1696 mL|
The United States dry pint is equal to one eighth of a United States dry gallon. It is used in the United States, but is not as common as the liquid pint.
A now-obsolete unit of measurement in Scotland, known as the Scottish pint, or joug, is equal to 1696 mL (2 pints 19.69 imp fl oz). It remained in use until the 19th century, surviving significantly longer than most of the old Scottish measurements.
The word pint is one of numerous false friends between English and French. They are not the same unit although they have the same linguistic origin. The French word pinte is etymologically related, but historically described a larger unit. The Royal pint (pinte du roi) was 48 French cubic inches (952.1 mL), but regional pints varied in size depending on locality and on commodity (usually wine or olive oil) varying from 0.95 L to over 2 L.
In Canada, the Weights and Measures Act (R.S. 1985) defines a pint in English as one eighth of a gallon, but defines a pinte in French as one quarter of a gallon.[d] Thus, if "a pint of beer" is ordered in English, servers are legally required to serve an imperial pint (568 mL) of beer, but under the federal Act, "une pinte de bière" legally refers to the larger imperial quart (1136 mL), while an imperial pint is designated as une chopine. However, in practice and according to Quebec’s Board of the French Language, une pinte commonly refers to the same 568 mL imperial pint as in English.
In Flanders, the word pintje, meaning 'little pint', refers only to a 250 mL glass of lager. Some West- and East-Flemish dialects use it as a word for beaker. The equivalent word in German, Pintchen, refers to a glass of a third of a litre in Cologne and the Rhineland.
In South Australia, ordering "a pint of beer" results in 425 mL (15 fl oz) being served. Customers must specifically request "an Imperial pint of beer" to get 570 mL (20 fl oz). Australians from other states often contest the size of their beers in Adelaide.
However, the statement does not hold around the world because the British imperial pint, which was also the standard measure in Australia, India, Malaya, New Zealand, South Africa and other former British colonies, weighs 1.2528 pounds (20.0448 oz). This prompted the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge to coin a saying for use in Commonwealth countries: "a pint of pure water weighs a pound and a quarter".
The pint is traditionally one eighth of a gallon. In the Latin of the apothecaries' system, the symbol O (octavius or octarius; plural octavii or octarii – reflecting the "eighth" concept in its octa- syllable) was used for the pint. Because of the variety of definitions of a gallon, there have been equally many versions of the pint.
Britain's North American colonies adopted the British wine gallon, defined in 1707 as 231 cubic inches exactly (3 in × 7 in × 11 in) as their basic liquid measure, from which the US wet pint is derived; and the British corn gallon (1⁄8 of a standard "Winchester" bushel of corn, or 268.8 cubic inches) as its dry measure, from which the US dry pint is derived.
In 1824, the British parliament replaced all the various gallons with a new imperial gallon based on ten pounds of distilled water at 62 °F (16.667 °C) (277.42 cubic inches), from which the current UK pint is derived.
The various Canadian provinces continued to use the Queen Anne Winchester wine gallon as a basis for their pint until 1873, well after Britain adopted the imperial system in 1824. This made the Canadian pint compatible with the American pint, but after 1824 it was incompatible with the British pint. The traditional French pinte used in Lower Canada (Quebec) was twice the size of the traditional English "pint" used in Upper Canada (Ontario). After four of the British provinces united in the Canadian Confederation in 1867, Canada legally adopted the British imperial system of measure in 1873, making Canadian liquid units incompatible with American ones from that year forward. In 1873, the French Canadian pinte was defined as being one imperial quart or two imperial pints, while the imperial pint was legally called a chopine in French Canada. Canadian imperial units of liquid measure remain incompatible with American traditional units to this day, and although the Canadian pint, quart, and gallon are still legal units of measure in Canada, they are still 20% larger than the American ones.
Historically, units called a pint (or the equivalent in the local language) were used across much of Europe, with values varying between countries from less than half a litre to over one litre. Within continental Europe, these pints were replaced with liquid measures based on the metric system during the 19th century. The term is still in limited use in parts of France and Central Europe, notably some areas of Germany and Switzerland, where ein Schoppen is colloquially used for roughly half a litre. In Spanish holiday resorts frequented by British tourists, 'pint' is often taken to mean a beer glass (especially a dimple mug). Half-pint 285 mL, and pint mugs , 570 mL, may therefore be referred to as media jarra ('half jar/jug') and jarra (grande) ('large jar/jug').
Effects of metrication
In the British and Irish metrication processes, the pint was replaced by metric units as the legally defined primary unit of measure for trading by volume or capacity, except for the sale of draught beer and cider, and milk in returnable containers. As a supplementary unit, the pint can still be used in those countries in all circumstances. UK legislation mandates that draught beer and cider must be sold in a third of a pint, two thirds of a pint or multiples of half a pint, which must be served in stamped, measured glasses or from government-stamped meters. Milk, in returnable containers may come in pints without the metric equivalent stated. However all other goods apart from the aforementioned exceptions must be sold or labelled in metric units. Milk in plastic containers mostly comes multiples of 1 pint sizes, but are required to display the metric equivalent on packaging. Filtered milk, and UHT Milk sold in the UK is commonly sold in multiples of 1 litre bottles or containers.  Recipes published in the UK and Ireland would have given ingredient quantities in imperial, where the pint is used as a unit for larger liquid quantities, as well as the metric measure - though recipes written now are more likely to use metric units.
In Australia and New Zealand, a subtle change was made to 1 pint milk bottles during the conversion from imperial to metric in the 1970s. The height and diameter of the milk bottle remained unchanged, so that existing equipment for handling and storing the bottles was unaffected, but the shape was adjusted to increase the capacity from 568 mL to 600 mL—a conveniently rounded metric measure. Such milk bottles are no longer officially referred to as pints. However, the "pint glass" in pubs in Australia remains closer to the standard imperial pint, at 570 mL. It holds about 500 mL of beer and about 70 mL of froth, except in South Australia, where a pint is served in a 425 mL glass and a 570 mL glass is called an "imperial pint". In New Zealand, there is no longer any legal requirement for beer to be served in standard measures: in pubs, the largest size of glass, which is referred to as a pint, varies, but usually contains 425 mL.
After metrication in Canada, milk and other liquids in pre-packaged containers came in metric sizes so conversion issues could no longer arise. Draft beer in Canada, when advertised as a "pint", is legally required to be an imperial pint (568 mL). With the allowed margin of error of 0.5 fluid ounces, a "pint" that is less than 554 mL of beer is an offence, though this regulation is often violated and rarely enforced. To avoid legal issues, many drinking establishments are moving away from using the term "pint" and are selling "glasses" or "sleeves" of beer, neither of which have a legal definition.
A 375 mL bottle of liquor in the US and the Canadian maritime provinces is sometimes referred to as a "pint" and a 200 mL bottle is called a "half-pint", harking back to the days when liquor came in US pints, fifths, quarts, and half-gallons. Liquor in the US has been sold in metric-sized bottles since 1980 although beer is still sold in US traditional units.
In France, a standard 250 mL measure of beer is known as un demi ("a half"), originally meaning a half-pint.
- After the 1985 (UK), c. 1964 (Canada), redefinition of the imperial gallon
- Fifty imperial pints, or sixty US liquid pints, are both very close to one cubic foot
- After the 1964 redefinition of the litre and the 1959 redefinition of the inch
- The site Measurement Canada contains a wealth of documentation on official Canadian measurements. The French language version of the site is Mesures Canada.
- IEEE SA - 260.1-2004 - IEEE Standard Letter Symbols for Units of Measurement 1 Pint is 1 cup (SI Units, Customary Inch-Pound Units, and Certain Other Units). IEEE. 2010. Archived from the original on 26 December 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
- BS 350:Part 1:1974 Conversion factors and tables - Part 1. Basis of tables Conversion factors. British Standards Institution. 1974. pp. 10–11.
- "Definition of P". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
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- Text of the Units of Measurement Regulations 1995 (Schedule) as originally enacted or made within the United Kingdom, from legislation.gov.uk.
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- Perreault, Mathieu (2021-12-31). "Les mystères des mesures de l'alcool". La Presse (in Canadian French). Retrieved 2023-11-24.
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- Duden, February 28, 2016.
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- "Cravendale Semi skimmed Milk 2l".
- The Baking Pocket Bible, Amy Lane, “Most UK recipes are now written in metric units but some recipes passed down through families or in older recipe books may be written using imperial measurements”.
- Skills in Food Technology, Jenny Ridgwell, “If you are using old recipe books to help with research for food ideas, you will find that the ingredients are given in Imperial measures.”
- "Is a pint really a pint in Wellington?, 6 Sept 2012, The Dominion
- Weights and Measures Act, Government of Canada, 1985, retrieved November 8, 2014
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- Elizabeth E. Epstein, Barbara S. McCrady (2009). Overcoming Alcohol Use Problems: A Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Program. Oxford University Press. p. 7.
- US CFR Title 27, Part 5, Subpart E, Section 5.47a