Why is Pound Abbreviated as “Lb?”

Well, it’s all because of Latin.


I know that you’ve tried thinking of the word pound and why it has an abbreviation of lbs. It neither has the the letter l nor the letter b in it. However, every time you see the three (3) letters lbs, you automatically know that it stands for pounds. The ultimate question as to where this originated is actually thrown all around the globe.

The roots of the word "Pound"
This image was taken from Pixabay | Pixabay.com | Weighing Scale

Where did this come from?

Before we start to figure out why the abbreviation of pounds is seemingly different from its word, let’s discuss the word “pounds” first. Pounds is a word derived from the name of a Roman unit of measurement in ancient times, Libra Pondo. 



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This specific Latin phrase is translates to “pound by weight.” So, Libra Pondo is some sort of a measurement by the Ancient Romans. Libra, from the Zodiac sign, actually means “weight” or “scales.” Therefore, the star sign Libra represents the Scales of Justice. Now it makes sense, right?

So, we now know why the abbreviation of pounds is lbs. It’s not just some weird random abbreviation. As a matter of fact, its roots actually come from something spectacular and ancient.

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Pounds as the British currency

In addition to its abbreviation, we all know the United Kingdom and their currency, which is pounds, right? Well, if you know that, you very well know that the symbol for pounds is £—L; and you guessed it correctly, L is for Libra!

The currency actually shares its distinction with a unit of weight because before, the British pound held the same worth as one lb of silver.

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As you may have noticed, we actually owe a lot of things in our language and modern alphabet from the Ancient Romans.

Right now, it’s safe to say that the Latin time still runs in our generation. Not with what their cultures were; not with how they lived, but with what language they have used in accordance to the modern alphabet we have.


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