1. History Detective

    History Detective Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    English
    Bonjour, mes amis! I see that the origin of the word "Hectare" is circa 1800-1810, according to Dictionary.com. I am wondering what the name (or names) of the similar unit of land measurement in France was prior to that time, particularly in the period of the 1770s, and what it is equal to in modern terms.

    Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hectare?s=t&ld=1134

    Merci beaucoup!
     
  2. History Detective

    History Detective Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    English
    Hi again! I scrolled down aways and found a little more: hectare 1810, from Fr. hectare "a hundred ares," formed from Gk. hekaton "hundred" (see hecatomb) + L. area "vacant piece of ground." A superficial measure containing 100 ares, coined by decree of the French National Convention in 1795. However I'm still looking for the word prior to that time. Merci!
     
  3. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    I think the point is that not only was the word hectare invented at that time, but so was the entire metric concept. So the strictly correct answer is that there was no word for a "similar unit of land measurement".

    However, the acre has existed in French since 1059, and though its size was variable, it was around 52 ares. So the real-life answer is probably "environ deux acres".
     
  4. History Detective

    History Detective Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    English
    Thank you so much, Keith Bradford--that is very helpful information!
     
  5. bh7 Senior Member

    Limestone City
    Canada; English
    There is also the ' arpent ', of Gallic origin, used both as measure of length and of area (arpent carré).

    Or also the " ouvrée ", a local Burgundian land measure for vineyards recently mentioned on this forum:
    [Burgundy] a local measure of surface area for vineyards equal to 0.45 arpent, 45 perches, 4.28 ares or 428 m²; originally, the vineyard surface that one worker could work in a day.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  6. mehoul Senior Member

    french
    and also "seterée" : the area which yields one "setier" (about 150 liter) of grain.
     
  7. History Detective

    History Detective Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    English
    Merci beaucoup to bh7 and to mehoul--I greatly appreciate you posting this information!
     
  8. petit1 Senior Member

    français - France
    le problème est que la plupart des mesures, qu'elles soient de poids, de surface ou de longueur, variaent grandement selon la région ;
    Par exemple l'arpent variait entre 160 et 400 toises carrées, c'est à dire entre 720 m2et 2800 m2.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2013
  9. History Detective

    History Detective Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    English
    Thank you, petit1! […]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2013
  10. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
  11. History Detective

    History Detective Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    English
    Thank you, Kelly B--that is very interesting! I appreciate you posting the link!
     
  12. Martyn94 Senior Member

    English
    It may be worth adding that the pre-metric measures continued to be very widely used (all them with a wide range of local variations in size, as petit1 says) well after the Revolution in provincial, and especially peasant, speech and writing. I suspect that my country neighbours still have a pretty good idea of the size of their fields in "arpents".
     
  13. petit1 Senior Member

    français - France
    My great-grandfather who was born during the second empire sometimes spoke in "journaux" but never in "arpents". I am not sure "arpents" was used in my area which encloses Vendée Poitou and Charentes.
     
  14. Martyn94 Senior Member

    English
    Leaving aside local custom, I guess that "journaux" was the more natural term if it was arable land. Round me, it's mostly dairy.
     
  15. History Detective

    History Detective Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    English
    Thank you, Martyn94 and petit1--the historic cultural information is fascinating to me!
     

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