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Lant is aged urine. Lant had many uses in pre-industrial households. Most often, it was used for cleaning floors. It was effective because of the ammonium content. According to early housekeeping guides bedpans would be collected by one of the younger male servants and put away for aging before use. When partly fermented, the lant is mildly caustic and can be used in the laundry or the mop-bucket. Lant was also recommended to freshen the breath, to flavor ale (as in "lanted-" or "double-lanted ale") and to glaze hard pastries. In larger cottage industries, lant was used in wool-processing and as a source of saltpeter for gunpowder. In times of urgent need and in districts where these were the chief industries, the whole town was expected to contribute to its supply.


  • Ray, John (1691) North Country Words
  • Addys, Sidney (1888) Glossary of Sheffield Words
  • Kacirk, Jeffrey (1997). Forgotten English. New York: William Morrow & Co. ISBN 0-688-15018-7.
  • Ray, John (1691). A Collection of English Words Not Generally used, with their Significations and Original, in two Alphabetical Catalogues, The One Of such as are proper to the Northern, the other to the Southern Counties. London: Christopher Wilkinson. No ISBN.
  • Kelly, John F. " The Urine Cure and Other Curious Medical Treatments" Hippocrates Magazine. (May/June 1988)
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