Middle English payle 'wooden container', from Old English pæġel 'wine vessel, container for liquids, pail; liquid measure', from Proto-Germanic *pagilaz 'peg, rake' (compare Middle Dutch/Middle Low German pegel 'half pint', Danish pægl 'id.'), diminutive of *pag-. More at peg.
pail (plural pails)
- A vessel of wood, tin, plastic, etc., usually cylindrical and having a handle -- used especially for carrying liquids, for example water or milk; a bucket (sometimes with a cover).
- The milkmaid carried a pail of milk in each hand.
- (In technical use) A closed (covered) cylindrical shipping container.