Meaning of poulter's measure in English:

poulter's measure


historical Prosody
  • A metre consisting of lines of 12 and 14 syllables alternately.


Late 16th century; earliest use found in George Gascoigne (d. 1577), author and soldier. Apparently with reference to the habit of poulterers of frequently adding some extra eggs when selling a dozen eggs, making the total number either twelve or fourteen.