The inscription may be translated as “Ju made this ritual vessel for grandfather Ding.”
The Ju is a Shang dynasty clan, which is often associated with the official title ce in bronze inscriptions. Ce, which literally translates to 'bamboo slips', is an important official position in the Shang and Zhou dynasties. People who hold this position are responsible for compiling government documents and drafting decrees for the kings. The association between the Ju clan and ce in bronze inscriptions might suggest that the ce is a hereditary position in the Ju clan. A line drawing of a you vessel and cover of similar form and decoration but lacking the handle is published in the Song dynasty bronze catalogue Xuanhe bogutu, vol. 9, p. 29. It is interesting to note that the bogutu you bears a four-character inscription, Ju ce zu ding, which is plausibly dedicated to the same zu ding as the inscription on the present you.