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I'm reading through a book of cocktails from 1865 and I often seen the measurement for a given ingredient listed as "do.". What does this mean?

Examples:

40 1/2 ounces of roast and ground cocoa.
6 2/3 do. ground cardamom seeds.
6 2/3 do. ground Ceylon cinnamon.
7 pints of alcohol, 95 per cent.
20 do. water.

Or:

2 gallons of ground malt.
6 do. water, at 142° (degrees) heat.

Or, most bafflingly:

1 pound = 16 ounces
1/2 do. = 8 do.
1/4 do. = 4 do.

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1  
I was going to say tablespoon based on the spices but would be a really weird way to measure water –  draksia Aug 15 '13 at 14:21
    
@TFD But the final example I posted makes no sense if "do." is a specific unit of measurement that is not equal to infinity –  Yamikuronue Aug 15 '13 at 20:39
1  
@Yamikuronue - What if the amount of do. is 0 ounces. Check and mate. –  Dason Aug 15 '13 at 21:44

1 Answer 1

up vote 48 down vote accepted

I suspect it means "ditto (the above line)": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ditto_mark seems to indicate that "do." was an old way of abbreviating before the ditto mark (") became widespread.

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4  
do. (ditto) simply refers to the unit of measure of the above line. Some recipes bunch up the ingredients by the size of pale you need to pick them up. Hence the ounces, gallons and pounds are put together. More modern recipes might separate them by dry, wet, spice, meat, etc. –  MandoMando Aug 15 '13 at 15:25
    
This makes the most sense, considering the question. –  Ben Aug 15 '13 at 15:40
    
The second quoted section seems to confirm this too: 1 pound = 16oz, 1/2 pound = 8 oz etc. –  ElendilTheTall Aug 15 '13 at 15:49

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