Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tael, Catty

Catty: Catty is a unit of weight in China and southeast Asia of approximately 500 grams or one pound. It is derived from a 16th century Malay word and shares its etymology with caddy, as in a box to hold tea - a tea caddy.

Tael: Tael is another 16th century Chinese unit of weight, also derived from the Malay. It is equal to 1/16 of a catty, thus the Chinese cliche: 1/2 a caddy, 8 taels (equivalent to six of one, a half dozen of the other).
Where if you catch two taels of houseflies, you are entitled to a catty of rice if you bring it to the district bureau.
A Book for Today: The Piano Teacher by Janice Y K Lee

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