from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun obsolete amount that can be held in two hands cupped together
  • noun obsolete two hands cupped together


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • The amount that can be held in two hands cupped together; also, the two cupped hands themselves.

    May 2, 2009

  • This is rather nifty. Did you make it up?

    May 2, 2009

  • The Oxford English Dictionary defines yepsen as, "The two hands placed together so as to form a bowl-shaped cavity; as much as can be held in this," and notes that is obscure and possibly dialectical. It is linked with gowpen, and the earliest cited usage is circa 1325.

    The original post is, I believe, a direct quote from Ammon Shea's book, "Reading the OED", which includes this delightful word!

    January 16, 2011