(A). A huge pewter measuring-pot, containing at least
three English quarts. Readers of Waverley will remember (in
chap. xi.) the Baron Bradwardine's tappit-hen of claret from Bordeaux.
To have a
tappit-hen under the belt is to have swallowed three quarts of
claret. A hen and chickens means large and small drinking mugs
or pewter pots. A tappit was served from the tap. (See Jeroboam.)
Weel she loed a Hawick gill,
And leugh to see a tappit-hen.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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