The etymology of "ton" is described by the OED as derived from French meaning "cask."
In origin the same word as tun n.1 (Old English tunne, Old French tonne) a cask. In Middle English this was commonly spelt, as in French, tonne; in 16–17th cent., more often tun; from c1688 the two spellings have been differentiated, tun being appropriated to the sense ‘cask’ and the liquid measure, and ton to the senses here treated, which, it will be seen, are partly measures, and partly weights
My question is essentially how a word with this origin came to have a colloquial meaning referring to one hundred of something, such as in OED definitions referring to 100 points in cricket or darts, or 100 pounds in money. The variants of this meaning are first attested from 1936 - 1962, where the 1962 attestation is the first under the definition:
In other miscellaneous colloq. uses to denote one hundred.
A ton can refer to a whole lot of different measurements, many of which are outlined on its Wikipedia page, and some of which are formally defined in the OED as well.
The second definition given in the OED (after "cask") mentions one meaning specifically referring to "100 cubic feet," so to some extent I wonder if the meanings referring to 100 in colloquial use in the 20th century have some relationship to the meaning referring to 100 cubic feet.
- A unit used in measuring the carrying capacity or burden of a ship, the amount of cargo, freight, etc. Originally, the space occupied by a tun cask of wine (see explanatory quot. 1894 on tight adj. and quot. 1539 here). Now, for the purposes of registered tonnage, the space of 100 cubic feet. For purposes of freight, usually the space of 40 cubic feet, unless that bulk would weigh more than 20 cwt., in which case freight is charged by weight. But the expression ‘ton of cargo’ is also used with regard to special packages which are conventionally assumed as going so many packages to the ton. Cf. also tonnage n.
This definition has attestations ranging from 1379 - 1867. The OED doesn't draw a direct connection between "Now... the space of 100 cubic feet" and the other definitions that refer to 100. Are they related, or is there a separate etymology for the later uses of "ton" referring to 100?