WHY IS ‘LBS’ THE ABBREVIATION FOR ‘POUNDS’?

I suppose I could look this up quite easily, but I’ll ask anyways. I started wondering about six months ago and everyone I’ve asked doesn’t know. If you don’t know, don’t look it up – instead, try and guess what it means. That will be more fun and then we can let someone who already knows have their spotlight. I will literally find you and shine a light on you if you know what this means, unless that would annoy you.

 Here’s my guess, which is completely founded on nothing: it’s an abbreviation of a latin term for the measurement of weight. 

So weigh in (hee hee) with your guess or the mysterious answer!

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  1. What? I thought it meant libs. Man, I’m stupid!

    Seriously though.

    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.

    It’s all Latin baby! Your assumption was correct. Yay!

  2. Yay!

    You totally looked that up, didn’t you? No light for you. Either way, I am impressed.

    I can’t believe you swore on my wordcast.

  3. For anyone who’s interested, the previous comment was made by Brent Roos, not Steeno.

  4. benjaminwood

    Ha, I have wondered this myself for quite sometime and never took the time to think about it, or ever look it up. It is one of those things that you take it for what it is, like the color orange in actually orange. What happens if i think orange is actually blue? What does blue become, orange? No! Blue is red, because red is brown and brown is orange.

    With my experience working in massive kitchens it amazing me that i never asked what the meaning was behind it.

    I choose not to swear on your wordcast, by the way.

  5. I apologize for using that word. I did not realize that this is a Christian blog. My bad. I respect that this blog is Christian. Please delete or change/censor the word if you feel offended.

  6. Ben – thanks for making sense of the colors. It’s more clear now. Massive kitchens, eh?

    Brent – no sweat. I thought you were a different Brent and was surprised that the Brent I was thinking of would swear. You did say “yay” – one of my favorites words! That made me happy.

  7. Aaron James

    That is a logical and senseably accurate conclusion, Brent and I choose to reject it out of hand and supplement my own.

    I think it is an abbrevation for Roger Libbros’ last name (1732-1790). The inventor of our modern system of weight measurement, and professional wuss. He played his part in the revolutionary war by rebelling against the metric system.

    He first introduced this system when he didn’t want to carry heavy things and needed a way to trick his assistant into carring stuff for him. He could tell his assistant that it only weighs so many pounds, which is different from kilograms so the assistant would have no idea how much the thing really weighed until he picked it up and by then it was too late of course, he was duped. This continued for some time until the assistant demanded to know what the conversion ratio between pounds and kilograms was and Mr. Libbros was forced to set something in stone.

    Wow, I put way too much thought into that.

  8. emilymea

    Someone beat me too that random nugget of information that I learned a few years ago in college Latin.

    Isn’t etymology (I think I spelled that right) a strange thing?

  9. I’m sad that it was all answered before I could even begin to fashion a guess. Ah well…

    The colors thing is something I’ve pondered before. Well, kinda. I tend to specify that the difference would be in internal representation. And as a computer science graduate (it feels good to say that), I’ve decided that internal representation doesn’t matter. Only that a certain frequency of light causesa certain behaviour in me.

    Yay for being off topic!

  10. I was bummed too that the guessing stopped before it even started. Especially cuz the guessing was stopped by someone who obviously looked it up, the precise thing I suggested not to do. Sigh. 🙂

    I love etymology! It makes me happy.

    I have no idea what you all are talking about with the colors.

  11. It’s cool, I meant it in a humorous way anyway, not in anger or in vain.

    Yay!!!!!!!

  12. Brent – I know you meant it in a humorous way. No worries! Who are you by the way? Glad you’re commenting here.

  13. Brent – by the way, I read your rules of engagement and I am happy that you request correct grammar and readability. As a former English major, this makes me very glad indeed!

  14. Yay!!!!

    By the way, you asked who I am. I’m Brent Roos from Peoria, IL.

  15. I love Peoria! What’s Rooster Radio? Do you have a radio show? Sorry, you can let me know if these questions are annoying.

  16. Not annoying at all. You have been to Peoria?

    Rooster Radio is just my playlist, but I do work for a company that owns five radio stations here in Peoria, as a program director.

    Are you also from the Midwest? You love Peoria? Wow, that’s a bold statement. Just kidding. I do too!

    😎

  17. I have been to Peoria – I came about two years ago for a ministry trip to a Menonite Church that I can’t remember the name of right now. Wow, they fed us good food! Everyone I met there was so kind and generous.

    I am from Cleveland, Ohio. I’ve lived here in KC, MO for 4 years. Actually, when I was living in Cleveland, I met a guy from Peoria named Derek Kistler. He was playing hockey in Cleveland.

    Your job sounds cool!

  18. emilymea

    Someone else who likes etymology. YAY!

    My favorite parts of Latin class were always the conversations we would have about the etymology of every day words. Its amazing how many common words came from the words on our vocabulary lists.

    Hmmm… I miss the easy life that was college.

  19. My job is very fun indeed. If you can find a job that you enjoy, you are doing alright, as far as I’m concerned.

    What do you do?

  20. Emily – I regret not taking Latin very much! I’d like to take a course in it sometime.

    Brent – I agree! We spend so much of our lives working, it’s a shame if we don’t enjoy what we do. I work at a Christian ministry center where we have 24/7 worship and prayer. It’s open for anyone to come at any time. We have live worship bands that play for two-hour sets and transition one after the other. Live worship and prayer hasn’t stopped for over 7 years. I spend most of my time sitting in that room praying and worshipping. I also spend a lot of time serving. We believe that we are impacting the nations through prayer and exalting Jesus. It’s called the International House of Prayer. I’ve been doing it for four years and it’s the most challenging yet rewarding thing I have ever done.

  21. Want to start your private office arms race right now?

    I just got my own USB rocket launcher 🙂 Awsome thing.

    Plug into your computer and you got a remote controlled office missile launcher with 360 degrees horizontal and 45 degree vertival rotation with a range of more than 6 meters – which gives you a coverage of 113 square meters round your workplace.
    You can get the gadget here: http://tinyurl.com/2qul3c

    Check out the video they have on the page.

    Cheers

    Marko Fando

  22. Home schooled girl

    hay
    i have nothing on the hole “why the pound in abbrevated ‘lb'” thing but i want to say that my sister’s best friend Myha went to International House of Prayer. Myha’s family moved from the little town call Mt.Carmal,IL. because her dad felt a need to serve God in Kansas City. it was funny when Myha came back one summer to see my sister she said that she went to IHOP every sunday; my dad looked at her funny and said “you must me made of money, to go to IHOP every sunday.” she looked at him and said “no i go to Interational House of Prayer.” we all laughed at her.
    i don’t know if theres more then one but her dad is Chuk Scott. i thought you would find that story funny. and i think it’s asome that you prayes God 24/7 that’s what everyone should do.
    woowwoo!!!! God is good, all the time. all the time, God is good!!!!!!!




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