In parts of India, 19th century, a unit of length used primarily in the lumber business, about 1.21 inches (3.0 centimeters). It may have had different values for sawn and unsawn wood, perhaps in the ratio 8:5. Also spelled borrel, borell.



borell, a timber measure on the Malabar coast, the 12th part of a covid, or 1½ inch when the timber is sawed, but only ¾ of an inch when the timber is unsawn. See borrel.

borrel, borell, a name for the Malabar inch; the kole of 24 borrels answers to about 29 English inches; in Travancore the borrel is nearly 1¼ English inch.

Simmonds (1892) page 47.


Bombay and Canara Measurement of Timber and Plank. … Plank is measured by the guz of 28 English inches, or 24 borels. 24 borels in length, 12 borels in breadth and 1 borel in thickness, make a guz. A borel is equal to 4,666 English inches.

Malabar Measurements.—Timber is measured by the candy or covit—16 moganies make 1 borel—24 borels 1 koll; 24 kolls 1 covit or candy. Plank is measured by the guz—thus 10 moganies make 1 borel—92 [sic, probably a misprint for 12] borels in breadth, 24 borels in length, and 1 borel in thickness, constitute a guz.

Robert Montgomery Martin.
History of the Colonies of the British Empire in the West Indies, South America, North America, Asia...
London: W. H. Allen & Co. and George Routledge, 1843.
Page 144 of Appendix 4. We are mystified by the "4,666 English inches."


Travancore. …

The following is the Timber Measure in use both here and in Cochin. 

Timber, both round and square, is measured by the Kole of 24 Borrels or Malabar Inches, answering to 29 1/16 English Inches, or more accurately 29.065, and hence 13824 Cubic Borrels make 1 Candy or Cubic Kole, 24553 1/3 Cubic Inches, or 14.209 Cubic Feet English.

The tooda, by which plank taldoms, &c. are measured, is 576 Borrels square and 2 Borrels thick, and therefore contains 1152 Cubic Borrels, answering to 2046 Cubic Inches, or 1.184 Cubic Foot English.

Kelly (1835), Second Supplement, page 374.

home | units index | search |  contact drawing of envelope |  contributors | 
help | privacy | terms of use