Middle English payle 'wooden container', origin uncertain. Probably from Old French paielle (“pan, cooking vessel, liquid measure”), from Latin patella, or 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.