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Where ONE was the number, then ‘one’ was the description.

Where TWO was the number, then ‘a couple’ (or even a ‘brace’) was the description.

Where THREE was the number, then ‘a few’ was the description. When using this terminology, however, inexactitude was implied therefore it could include FOUR or FIVE, but THREE would be the expected number. I should note that where I am from (Ireland), the term ‘a good few’ would imply more again (even up to NINE or TEN) and indicate satisfaction with the number also. This can be compared to the more generally used ‘only a few’, or ‘few’, which could indicate dis satisfaction.

Another example of contextual usage would be in boxing or sparring, where someone would recieve or give ‘a few’ punches. No actual number is implied here in fact, only a very general impression is implied but suggests how well or poorly a fighter did over the entirety of the match.

Therefore, to answer your question, the actual numerical range indicated is only done so when dealing with already small amounts, and would generally be accepted to contain at least three, but allow for four or five. When using this term, inexactitude is a given and is indeed the primary implication when dealing with large numbers.

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