scale, noun

Origin:
English, Dutch, AfrikaansShow more English (obsolete), drinking bowl or cup (Dutch schaal). The forms sekale (see quotation 1959) and skaal (see quotation 1977) represent this word’s use in the Sintu (Bantu) languages and Afrikaans respectively.
colloquial
Especially in township English: a large vessel for beer or other liquor, used in drinking establishments; a measure for drink.
1946 P. Abrahams Mine Boy (1954) 36Old Ma Plank sat over a huge vat in the yard and doled out scales of beer...Xuma put the scale to his lips then passed it to Daddy.
1953 P. Lanham Blanket Boy’s Moon 274Drink a scale of fine home-brewed kaffir beer with us.
1959 K.M.C. Motsisi in M. Mutloatse Casey & Co. (1978) 33They have to use both their hands to lift up the painted tin scales to their mouths each time they take a swig.
[1959 L. Longmore Dispossessed 142The client is..expected to buy a sekale, about a pint of illegally brewed liquor or beer.]
1959 L. Longmore Dispossessed 227He had to steal a packet of candles..to give it away to a beer brewer for a scale of mbamba (about a pint of strong drink).
1969 Golden City Post 6 Apr. 14Chauke..gave her R1 and told her to buy a scale of KB from Mathebula, who ran a shebeen and sold offal.
1970 Drum Oct. 8I found myself firmly grasping a plastic scale. That’s what they call them. I thought it was a pot plant...The next minute I was shoving my scale under a tap from which oozed a fawn liquid with a familiar smell.
[1977 P.C. Venter Soweto 124Classy establishments..serve anything from imported beer to Scotch whiskey. But don’t ask for a skaal of Bantu beer.]
1978 C. Motsisi in M. Mutloatse Casey & Co. 33They have to use both their hands to lift up the painted tin scales to their mouths each time they take a swig.
1989 Weekly Mail 27 Oct. 26Next to the tray stood two four-litre glass containers (‘scales’), and a dozen beer quarts were placed under the table.
1987 M. Melamu Children of Twilight 298They supported each other as they staggered their unsteady way from their drinking spree. It cost a mere sixpence for a ‘scale’ of mqomboti in those days.
1992 [see umqombothi].
a large vessel for beer or other liquor, used in drinking establishments; a measure for drink.
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19461989