Why Does lbs stand for Pounds?
We use lbs to stand for pounds because lbs is the abbreviation of the old Latin word libra, which was the Roman word for mass. This is the simple answer, but the real question is why have we have continued to use it to this day. We could have easily replaced it with something else that made a little bit more sense with the other languages of the world, but we decided to keep this old abbreviation around and it doesn’t appear to be going for any change.
Why do we continue to use an old Latin term to define English words? Well, that question can be asked about a lot of words, and the only answer that can be given is that they just stuck around through the years and people didn’t want to have to use new ones. It isn’t laziness as much as it is just something that has worked for us over the years.
Even though all of the letters in lbs aren’t in the word ‘pounds,, it’s easy for kids at a young age to recognize its meaning, so it really hasn’t been a problem for anyone. People don’t actually say ‘lbs,, so it has never been an issue of having to pronounce a Latin word or anything like that. The fact that the letter B in the abbreviation is spun around P probably helps us all to recognize it very quickly to mean pounds.
I really doubt that lbs will be replaced with anything else in the future because it is part of a system that has worked for hundreds of years now. There aren’t too many complaints from people about it, so it really wouldn’t make sense to fix something that isn’t necessarily broken. This is just one of hundreds of words and abbreviations that the Latins gave us that we still use today.