Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Why are pound and ounce abbreviated "lb." and "oz"?

“Lb.” stands for libra, the basic unit of Roman weight, from which our present-day pound derives. The libra weighed a little under 12 ounces avoirdupois.

“Oz.” stands for the Italian onza, ounce. It came into use in the 15th century. Ounce comes from the Latin uncia, a 12th, which is also the source of the term “inch.”

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