Wondering Why?

Why is Pound abbreviated to lb?

Why is Pound abbreviated to lb?

The ‘lb’ is the short form for the word called ‘Libra’ in Latin. This word means ‘weight’. The initial phrase was called as ‘Libra pondo’ which means pound in weight”. The word ‘pondo’ means ‘weight’. Later the meanings also started to change and ‘pondo’ slowly became pound”. The initial name which is original one has become extinct. It is not in use now. The word ‘Libra’ became redundant. So, the ‘pound’ was called in its original name as ‘lb’.

There is an opinion that if pound was abbreviated as ‘pd’ then 2 pounds will become 2 per day. The short form ‘pd’ is read as ‘per day’ normally. The Latin word ‘Libra’ meant weight or balances or scales. Though the ‘Libra’ part was taken away from ‘Libra Pondo’, the word ‘Pondo’ was later converted into ‘pound’. The word ‘Libra’ was used for the creation of the abbreviation as ‘lb’.

Coming to the history behind this name ‘pound’, there are certain facts reported. Pound is the traditional name given to the mass or weight. The Romans used to represent this unit of weight as collection of 12 ounces. Most of the Western Europe countries considered weight either as 12 or 16 ounces. The 12-ounce system was believed by people in Italy and Southern France. People in Northern Europe and Spain believed pound to be of 16-ounces.

The unit of weight was called with the word ‘Libra’ in Italy, Spain and Portugal. The ‘pound’ of English, the ‘pund’ of Danish, the ‘pfund’ of Germany, and the ‘funt’ of Russians was originated from the Latin word ‘pound’ which means ‘weight’. The symbol which is later traditionalized for pound was ‘lb’. This has originated from the Latinized version of weight called ‘Libra’, which is representation of ‘pound’ again. Hence, the Latin words pound and Libra are linked using the symbol ‘lb’.


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