In some languages, “milyard” means billion.


In the United Kingdom, a proposed unit of length = 1000 yards. When the British standards of weight and length were destroyed in the burning of the Houses of Parliament in 1834, a select committee of scentists was appointed to recommend what should be done. Their report strongly recommended decimalization of new units, including a 1000-yard unit of length, the milyard.

So far as we know, the milyard never found actual use, and never made it to the Oxford English Dictionary.



35. That the name milyard, or some other to be fixed by Act of Parliament, be recognized as describing the measure of 1000 yards, without the necessity of further definition.

Report of the Commissioners Appointed to Consider the Steps to be Taken for Restoration of the Standards of Weight and Measure.
London: Printed by W. Clowes and Sons for Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1841.
Page 11.


In the Table of Long Measure, the yard and foot are units in such constant use, and have become so intimately associated with our ideas of lineal extension, and are besides of a length so convenient for the purposes to which they are severally applied, that any attempt to suppress either the one or the other would justly be regarded as little short of madness. … The Commissioners, therefore, in their Report made in 1841, have not thought it advisable to urge any fundamental change in this part of the metrical system, but have contented themselves with strongly recommending the recognition of a new measure of 1,000 yards, to be called a Milyard, in all bills relating to railways, roads, and canals, and in the collection of duties upon them. On looking at the matter in a practical light, it may fairly be doubted whether the Commissioners have chosen the proper starting point. It is well known that surveyors and engineers employ neither the yard nor the inch, but work by the foot, and its decimal divisions. They have also brought into very general use ten-feet measuring staves, which are invariably graduated after the same manner. Moreover, in foot-rules and scales, the decimal now generally accompanies the duodecimal divisions; and in philosophical instruments, and in the records of scientific experiments, the former has now almost entirely superseded the latter. Hence, it appears that, taking the foot as the basis, considerable advances have been made towards the adoption of a decimal scale; but no steps have been taken in the same direction from the yard.

Journal of the Society of Arts and of the Institutions in Union, vol. 1.
No. 14, February 25, 1853, Page 160.
An account of an address by Professor Jack of King's College, New Brunswick, to the Eleventh Ordinary Meeting of the Society on February 23, 1853.


Since the above was written, a Report (December 21, 1841) has appeared from Messrs Airy, Baily, Bethune, Herschel, and other scientific commissioners appointed by government to consider the steps to be taken for restoration of the metrical standards which were destroyed in the burning of the Houses of Parliament in 1834. … They at the same time suggest, that the avoirdupois pound should be assumed as the unit of weight; and that the troy pound, the avoirdupois weights above 10 lbs. (as the stone, hundredweight, &tc.), and the avoirdupois dram, should be abolished, and other weights in the ascending decimal scale of troy ounces and avoirdupois pounds, and in the descending decimal scale from the avoirdupois pound, should be substituted in their place. Other moderate changes of a systematic kind are recommended, particularly with the view of introducing the decimal scale — as a milyard, or mile of 1000 yards, a 10 gallon measure, and the more complete incorporation of the land-chain and its decimal multiples and divisions, with both our measures of length and of surface. The commissioners likewise direct public attention to the advantage of a decimal system of coinage.

William Waterston.
A Cyclopedia of Commerce...
London: Henrhy G. Bohn, 1863.
Page 469.

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