pugillus, pugil

In pharmaceutical recipes, as much as can be taken between the thumb and two (some say three) fingers.



Manipulus, is a great handful  M
Pugillus, is a small handful.   p

Sarah Wigges her Book 1616.
Manuscript in possession of the Royal College of Physicians (London), MS654.


Note, That by Parts is to be understood a Pugil; which is no more than one does usually take up between the Thumb and the two next Fingers. By Fascicule a reasonable full Grip, or Handful.

J[ohn] E[velyn].
Acetaria. A Discourse of Sallets.
London: Printed for B. Tooke, 1699.


In the apothecary's shop, which blazed like a ball room, one of the fattest court-lackeys was begging of one of the leanest dispensers a maniple more and a little pugillus* of moxa for his Highness. But the lean man took behind his scales a half-open handful of moxa, and four finger-tipfuls more (for in fact a little pugillus amounts to only three finger-tips), and sent it all to the feet of the Prince.…

The reason why the dispenser gave more than the recipe said was…

* A fistful. — Tr[anslator].

Jean Paul Friedrich Richter.
Charles T. Brooks, translator.
Hesperus, or Forty-Five Dog-Post-Days. Vol. 1.
Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1865.
Page 305.


pug. pugillus. A pugil; a pinch; a grip between thumb and first two fingers; the eighth part of a handful; from thirty to sixty grains; originally what one can hold in the fist; a handful.

An Epitome of Therapeutics with Special Reference to the Laboratory Products of John Wyeth and Brother.
Philadelphia: John Wyeth and Brother, 1906.
Page 362.


The weight to be used in all shops is that introduced into Bavaria in 1811, as the Apothecaries' weight. … By Mp (Manipulus) half an ounce is understood; by Pg (Pugillus) two drachms, whether the quantity refers to petals or leaves.

The Pharmaceutical Journal, v 4, no 12 (June 1, 1845).
Review of Entwurf einer Arznei-Taxe.
Page 574


Sorry. No information on contributors is available for this page.

home | units index | search |  contact drawing of envelope |  contributors | 
help | privacy | terms of use