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# Why is lb the abbreviation for pound?

Question #77667. Asked by darkpresence. (Mar 22 07 1:58 PM)

bottle_rocket

It comes from the latin word libra for "scales" which was also used by the Romans as a measure of weight similar to the pound.

 Mar 22 07, 2:01 PM
Eolena

"The origin is in the Latin word libra, which could mean both balance scales (hence the symbol for the astrological sign Libra, which was named after a constellation that was thought to resemble scales) and also a pound weight, for which the full expression was libra pondo, the second word being the origin of our pound."

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-pou1.htm

 Mar 22 07, 2:02 PM
darkpresence

Very fast! Thanks, didn't think there really was a reason.

 Mar 22 07, 2:04 PM
romeomikegolf

The abbreviation lb only applies to weight. The symbol for the Pound Sterling is £.

 Mar 23 07, 10:26 AM
Baloo55th

And # is NOT a pound sign of any sort in the UK, no matter what some people outside may think.

 Mar 23 07, 11:10 AM
queproblema

But over here in the US of A we do call "#" on a telephone the "pound button," and often write "#" to mean a pound avoirdupois. It also means "number."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_sign

 Mar 23 07, 8:50 PM
Baloo55th

Here, it's assumed to mean number, although we usually put No.

 Mar 24 07, 8:03 AM
darkpresence

I've always called # the hash symbol but yes, I use it to mean number.

 Mar 25 07, 3:09 PM
What-A-Mess

And I thought it was a Tic-Tac-Toe board!? :-)

It has many other names (and uses) in English. (Those in bold are listed as alternative names in the Unicode documentation.)

* comment sign
o from its use in many shell scripts and some programming languages like Perl to introduce comments
* crosshatch
o resemblance
* fence, gate, grid, gridlet
o resemblance
* hash / hash mark / hash sign
o the most common name outside the U.S., including in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.
o Used in Ireland, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand on touch-tone telephones – "Please press the hash key"
o In the UK and Australia the symbol is often used as medical shorthand for 'fracture' [1][2]
o Used among computer professionals. For example, in Unix scripting, it's used in combination with an exclamation mark to produce a "#!" or "hash-bang," used to tell the kernel which program to use to run the script.
* hex
o from its use to denote hexadecimal values in some markup and programming languages
* mesh
o introduced in the tonsil of the Intercal reference manual, and often reproduced in The Hacker's Dictionary
* octothorn
William Sherk in 500 Years of New Words (1983), p. 272, has the following entry: "Octothorn, The number sign (#); so called because there are eight points, or thorns, sticking out of it ..."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_sign

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_sign

 Mar 25 07, 4:34 PM

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