Online Encyclopedia

LAST

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V16, Page 238 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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LAST. 1. (A syncopated form of "latest," the superlative of O.E. laet, late), an adjective applied to the conclusion of anything, all that remains after everything else has gone, or that which has just occurred. In theology the "four last things " denote the final scenes of Death, Judgment, Heavenand Hell; the " last day " means the Day of Judgment (see ESCHATOLOGY). 2. (O.E. last, footstep; the word appears in many Teutonic languages, meaning foot, footstep, track, &c.; it is usually referred to a Teutonic root lais, cognate with Lat. lira, a furrow; from this root, used figuratively, came " learn " and " lore "), originally a footstep, trace or track, now only used of the model of a foot in wood on which a shoemaker makes boots and shoes; hence the proverb " let the cobbler stick to his last," " ne sutor ultra crepidam." 3. (O.E. hlaest; the work is connected with the root seen in " lade," and is used in German and Dutch of a weight; it is also seen in " ballast "), a commercial weight or measure of quantity, varying according to the commodity and locality; originally applied to the load of goods carried by the boat or wagon used in carrying any particular commodity in any particular locality, it is now chiefly used as a weight for fish, a " last " of herrings being equal to from ro,000 to 12,000 fish. The German Last= 4000 lb, and this is frequently taken as the nominal weight of an English " last." A " last " of wool= 12 sacks, and of beer =12 barrels.
End of Article: LAST
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