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90s Slang You Should Know


[peyl] /peɪl/
the amount filling a pail.
Origin of pail
before 1000; Middle English payle wooden container, continuing Old English pægel wine container, liquid measure (of unknown orig.; compare Middle Dutch, Low German pegel half pint), by association with Old French paielle pan < Latin patella; see patella
Can be confused
pale, pail.
Regional variation note
1. See bucket. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for pail
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Evelyn looked on for a while, and finally took up a pail and began milking, too.

  • Close mold securely and place in a pail of chopped ice and salt.

  • "Get a pail of water and throw it over your dad, Sophia," said Mrs. Holbrooke.

    A California Girl Edward Eldridge
  • I reached down and drew up a pail of water, and it was right cold.

    Maw's Vacation Emerson Hough
  • Suppose you wanted to lift the pail with the least possible effort, where would you put your hand?

    Common Science Carleton W. Washburne
  • Then, seeming satisfied with her scrutiny, she picked up her pail.

  • One afternoon, Lydia took her pail to get some water from the swollen stream running by the door.

  • Ven I go to sleep, puy one pail of pranty for ze Soldaten, ant zey will sleep.

    Boyhood Leo Tolstoy
British Dictionary definitions for pail


a bucket, esp one made of wood or metal
Also called pailful. the quantity that fills a pail
Word Origin
Old English pægel; compare Catalan paella frying pan, paella
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for pail

mid-14c., of uncertain origin, probably from Old French paele, paelle "cooking or frying pan, warming pan;" also a liquid measure, from Latin patella "small pan, little dish, platter," diminutive of patina "broad shallow pan, stewpan" (see pan (n.)).

Old English had pægel "wine vessel," but etymology does not support a connection. This Old English word possibly is from Medieval Latin pagella "a measure," from Latin pagella "column," diminutive of pagina (see page (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for pail



The stomach (1950s+ Black)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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