1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pail
PAIL, a bucket, a vessel for carrying water, milk or other liquids, made of wood or metal or other material, varying in size, and usually of a circular shape and somewhat wider at the top than the bottom. The word is of somewhat obscure origin. The present form points to the O. Eng. paegel, but the sense, that of a small wine-measure, a gill, is difficult to connect with the present one. The earlier forms of the word in Mid. Eng. spell the word payle, paille, and this rather points to a connexion with O. Fr. paelle, payelle, a small pan or flat dish, from Lat. patella, diminutive of patera, dish. The sense here also presents difficulties, " pail " in English being always a deep vessel.