An old Arabic unit. Also romanized as oka, occa, ocka, ocque, oque, huqqah ocao, occhia. Primarily a unit of mass (= 400 drachmes).
In Turkey, two units, one of mass and one of liquid capacity.
At least as early as the 14ᵗʰ century – 19ᵗʰ century, a unit of mass, about 2.834 pounds avoirdupois.
For Smyrna, Hayes (1740, page 410) reported the oke (which he spelled “oak”) = 400 “drams”, and was about 2 pounds 11 ounces avoirdupois (about 1.219 kilograms). But he also says 1 avoirdupois pound is 140 drams, making the oke 1.296 kg. There were special okes for some high-value commodities: an oke of opium was 250 drams (about 810 grams, using Hayes’ equivalent for a pound), an oke of saffron was 120 drams (about 388 grams).
On 24 August 1821, the London Mint compared British standards with a set of weights certified as accurate on 10 April 1821 by the official in Constantinople responsible for such certification (see Kelly, 1835, volume 1, page 376). They obtained the value 1 oke = 19800 English troy grains, equivalent to 1.283 kilograms or 2.828 pounds av. (about 2 pounds 13¼ ounces).
The standards of Constantinople and Smyrna apparently differed, though theoretically identical.
Il cantare d’Acri si è ruotoli cento, e lo ruotoli si è 12 occhie, e ogni occhia si è pesi 44, di pesi 79 per una libbra.
The cantare of Acre is 100 rotolli, and that rottolo is 12 oke, and each oke is 44 pesi, with 79 pesi to a libbra.
Et ancora in Constantinopoli sono alcuno drugarie le quale se vendeno ad uno pexo il quale se chiama ochaa. Et ochaa 1 sono lire 4 sotile venetiane.
And even in Constantinople there is some produce which they sell by a weight which they call oke. And 1 oke equals 4 Venetian libbra sottile.
Bartolommeo di Pasi.
Tariffa de' pesi e mesure con gratia et privilegio.
In Constantinople and its environs there are daily consumed from nine to eleven thousand kilos of corn. Experience has proved, that one person consumes nine kilos a year, one with another. One kilo of wheat is twenty-two okes, which renders eighteen okes of flour, of which they make twenty-seven okes of bread, as their bread is very moist, made into flat cakes seemingly half baked. An oke is about two pounds and three quarters English avoirdupois weight. (In France, one pound of wheat produces exactly one pound of bread. This was the rule observed by their government with respect to the price of bread.) According to this calculation, the medium number of inhabitants would be 426,000 souls; and this misled Sir James Porter, formerly English ambassador at the porte, as it has done, many others, who rely on the information received from interpreters.
A survey of the Turkish Empire. In which are considered… 3rd edition.
London: T. Cadell, jun. and W. Davies, 1801. Pages 265-266.
And, in Turkey, a unit of liquid capacity, 1.28 liters. But Guillame says in Turkey 1.1518 imperial pint (about 654.5 milliters).
As oca. In Romania,
3rd Ed., rev. by the author and Andrei Bantaș.
Bucharest: Editura Științifică, 1973.
In Yugoslavia, a unit of liquid capacity, about 1.415 liters (about 1.5 U.S. liquid quarts).
In Bulgaria, a unit of liquid capacity, 1.28 liters.
In Greece, a unit of liquid capacity, 1 1/3 liter.
In Cyprus, ? - present, two units:
United Nations, 1966. TRNC, 2002. Technical Factors..., 1972, page 142.
In Lebanon and Libya, 20ᵗʰ century, a unit of mass, approximately 1.282 kilograms.
United Nations, 1966.
In Saudi Arabia, 20ᵗʰ century, a unit of mass, = 2.8 pounds, approximately 1.2701 kilograms.
United Nations 1966.
In Syria , 20ᵗʰ century, a unit of mass, approximately 1.2825 kilograms.
United Nations 1966.
In Egypt, a unit of mass, the Custom’s oke 2.751 pounds. In Alexandria, 2.805 pounds.
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Last revised: 23 December 2020.