from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The pound (abbreviation pfd. , Pf. Or lb ; mhd. And ahd. Pfunt, phunt, borrowed from Latin pondo in libra pondo '[Roman] pound of weight', to pondus ' weight ',' load ',' mass ') is an old unit of mass - determined differently according to time and place .

In today's parlance, a pound is half a kilogram and a hundredth of a hundredweight is 50 kg. The historical measurements deviate from this, as does the pound, which is commonly used as the “English pound” in the existing Anglo-American system of measurement, at approximately 454  grams, as well as the pharmacist's weight troy pound at approximately 373 grams.

5 kilo / 10 pound weight with the indications “5 K.” and “10 lb.”: the pound with 500 grams

Today's units of mass

Pound in German usage

Public bathroom scales with body weight table and pound information (Berlin, 1971)

In Germany, according to the definition of the former customs union from 1858, the pound is still understood today as 500 grams. In Germany in particular, and less so in Switzerland, this pound, which is adjusted to the metric measure, is still used in everyday language , especially for food (half a pound, quarter pound), and in Germany also for body weight. However, this pound is neither an SI unit nor is it permissible in commercial and official transactions according to the German " Einheit- und Zeitgesetz ".

In Austria the expression pound is rarely used; instead, kilograms and decagrams (10 grams) - commonly known as kilos and deca - are common.

Anglo-American pound

The English pound with the designation pound is a unit of the Anglo-American system of measurement . This unit of measurement corresponds to

  • as commercial weight ([short] Avoirdupois Weight): 1 pound = 1 lb. av. = 16 ounces (oz. av.) = 453.592 37 g (exact, defined) ≈ 0.454 kg (rounded)
⇒ 1 kilogram ≈ 2.204 622 6 lb. av. (converted, rounded)

A distinction must be made between the troy pound, a unit of measurement for fine pharmaceutical weighing,

  • as Troy and Apothecaries' Weight: 1 pound = 1 lb. t. = 1 lb. ap. = 12 ounces (oz. Ap.) = 144175 lb. av. ≈ 0.373 kg (rounded)
⇒ 1 kilogram ≈ 2.681 lb. ap. (converted, rounded)
Abbreviation (derived from "lb") for the weight measure pound

The abbreviation lb (from Latin libra , 'scales', 'pounds'), synonymous with lb m or lbm , often appears in the plural form in the United States as lbs (1  lb , 2  lbs , etc.). For pipelines according to the US American standard, the compressive strength is given in psi or lbs , which means lbs per square inch , more precisely pound-force per square inch . The tire pressure is also indicated in this way.

Historical units of mass

The pound of the Carolingian Empire goes back to the ancient Roman libra (to which the abbreviations Lb., lb., lb, ℔. Or [ U+2114] are based). The Roman measure of weight libra , which was weighed against in equilibrium, corresponded as as to the counterweight of 12 ounces ( unciae ). It measured with a mass of approximately 327 g (in the literature values ​​between 322.6 g and 328.9 g are assumed). The ancient Roman mina , on the other hand, was equivalent to 16 ounces, which is a third heavier (around 436 g). Under Charlemagne , the usual unit of measurement for weight was redefined. The Karl pound (pondus Caroli) was about 406.5 grams.

Commercial weight

In the Middle Ages , the pound was widely used as a measure of weight across Europe , but its weight often varied from city to city. While the pound in Nuremberg was a good 510  grams , it was 480 grams in Würzburg and only about 467 grams in Berlin .

The “grocer's weight” was 1 pound = 16 ounces = 32 lot = 128 quents = 512 pfennig weights = 1024 penny weights (or 1: 16: 2: 4: 4: 2).

Pharmacist weight

As a pharmacist's weight in medicine and pharmacy , the Nuremberg pharmacist pound was able to establish itself at around 358 g, in the subdivision 1 lb = 12  ounces = 24 lot = 96 drachmas (or quintlets ) = 288  scruples = 576  oboloi = 5760  grains (or 1 : 12: 8: 3: 2: 10).

In the Austrian crown lands , the Viennese medicinal pound was used for this purpose at around 420 g, with the division into 12 ounces. One ounce contained 2 lots and 1 lot contained 4 quintlets or drachms. Three scruples corresponded to a quintlet. The smallest unit was the gran , whereby a gran was about the same weight as a peppercorn, the equivalent of about 0.073 grams. 20 grains was a scruple. A normal Viennese trading pound was equivalent to around 560 grams.

Since around the middle of the 19th century, decimal-metric units have also been used in the pharmaceutical industry (for the British or American pharmacist's pound troy pound, see pharmacist weight ).

Coin weight

As a coin weight, one pound was previously equivalent to two marks .

Inch pound

Weight to 10 inch pounds ("10 Z. Pf.")

In 1854, the German Customs Union set the pound (inch pound) at exactly 500 grams, making it around seven percent heavier than the unit it had replaced. This definition was already valid in some southern German states (see Old Dimensions and Weights (Baden) , Old Dimensions and Weights (Hesse) ) and in Switzerland (see Old Dimensions and Weights (Switzerland) ) and was also used in North in 1858 - and large parts of central Germany introduced as a regional weight. The hundredweight was then 50 kilograms. As a result, the subordinate units of measurement were also widely redefined:

  • In northeastern Germany and widespread in central Germany (including Prussia), 1 inch pound = 30 lot = 300 quentchen = 3000 cents = 30,000 grain.
  • In north-west Germany 1 inch pound = 10 new lots = 100 quint = 1000 half grams.
  • In parts of central and southern Germany as well as in Austria, however, the pound was still divided into 32 lots of 4 quentchen.

Today's colloquial pound goes back to the customs pound with its 500 grams.

Selected historical pound measurements

Conversion table for weight measurements from a school book, Vienna 1848
Weight piece of 25 pounds (mass 12.25 kg), which could be adjusted to a (regional) higher pound size by filling the cavity on the underside with lead .

Up to the middle of the 19th century, different weight measures were used regionally, each referred to as "pound":

Historical weights
region designation Mass ( g )
to bathe 1 pound (inch weight) 0500
Bavaria 1 pound 0560
Birch field 1 trading pound 0543.43
Birch field 1 pound grate weight 0487.355
Bremen 1 trading pound 0498.5
Bremen 1 grocer's pound 0470.283
England 1 pound ( Avoirdupois -Pound) 0453.59
England 1 pound (troy pound) 0373.24
Frankfurt am Main 1 light pound 0467.711
Frankfurt am Main 1 heavy pound 0505.128
France 1 pound ( livre "poid de marc") 0489.506
Hanover 1 pound 0467.711
Hamburg 1 pound 0484,609
Denmark 1 pound 0499
Hessen-Darmstadt 1 pound (inch weight) 0500
Lauenburg 1 pound 0486,474
Lippe-Detmold 1 pound 0467.41
Lübeck 1 pound lovely 0484.7
Mecklenburg-Schwerin 1 trading pound 0484.708
Nassau 1 pound (inch weight) 0500
Netherlands 1 pond (= 10 onsen) 1000
Norway 1 pound 0498.4
Austria 1 pound (Viennese pound) 0560.012
Poland 1 pound 0406
Prussia 1 pound (Berlin pound) 0467.711
Russia 1 pound 0410
Saxony-Altenburg 1 Leipzig pound 0467.625
Saxony-Meiningen 1 pound 0509.996
Schleswig-Holstein 1 heavy pound 0486,474
Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt 1 Leipzig pound 0467.625
Sweden 1 pound 0425
Switzerland (from 1838) 1 pound 0500
Spain 1 pound 0460
Hungary 1 trading pound ( Ofner ) 0491.5909
Württemberg 1 light pound 0468

Pound as a piece measure

Pound was also a piece measure. In some places it denoted a quantity of 8 or 240.

In Regensburg, the piece measure was also a measure of salt .

Pound as a measure of area

The pound as a measure of area was widespread in Austria around Vienna . It can be proven in the entries in the land registers .

  • 1 pound of vineyard = 80 square fathoms (Wiener = 3,597 m²) = around 287 square meters
  • 10 pounds = 800 (Viennese) square fathoms = ½ (Lower Austrian) yoke

Figuratively pound

In a figurative sense, pound means a person's ability or talent (alluding to the biblical parable of entrusted talents (often translated as ... pounds ) in Matthew 25:18). The term talent also denotes both a certain amount of silver and a gift.

Derived from pounds was the word in 1900 pfundig a fashion expression of youth language . In some parts of Bavaria the expression “great, great” has been preserved. The expression "Pfundskerl" (a decent, lovable, dear, capable person) has been used nationwide in German to this day. In the language of the American Amish , the “pound” is a manager and is often confused with “founder” in English. Here too, however, the meaning of the word is the biblical use of talent.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: books  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : books  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. POUND, n. . In: Jacob Grimm , Wilhelm Grimm : German Dictionary . Hirzel, Leipzig 1854–1961 ( , University of Trier).
  2. ^ Research Highlights of the National Bureau of Standards By United States. National Bureau of Standards in Google Book Search
  3. ^ Hans-Peter Baum : Fundamentals of the Würzburg Social History 1814-2004. In: Ulrich Wagner (Hrsg.): History of the city of Würzburg. 4 volumes, Volume I – III / 2, Theiss, Stuttgart 2001–2007; III / 1–2: From the transition to Bavaria to the 21st century. Volume 2, 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-1478-9 , p. 1328, note 111.
  4. a b c General German real encyclopedia for the educated classes. Conversations Lexicon. Eleventh, revised, improved and increased edition. Volume ninth: Konradin to Mauer. Brockhaus, Leipzig 1866, p. 567 f., Keyword Loth; ibid., Volume 11 : Occupation to Premium. Brockhaus, Leipzig 1867, p. 634, keyword books .
  5. Leopold Carl Bleibtreu : Handbook of coin, measure and weight, and the bill of exchange, government paper, banking and shares in European and non-European countries and cities. Published by J. Engelhorn, Stuttgart 1863, p. 78.
  6. ^ Heinrich Christian Burckhardt : Forest auxiliary boards. Carl Rümpler, Hanover 1858.
  7. August Schiebe : Universal encyclopedia of commercial sciences, containing: coin, measure and weight, bills of exchange, government paper, banking and stock exchange [...]. Volume 3. Fleischer, 1839, p. 588.
  8. ^ French Ministry of Industry: 2.4 The definitive standards. Basically: "One kilogram weighs 18,827.15 grän of the mark weight." (The old pound was 9216 grän.)
  9. ^ Johann Friedrich Krüger : Complete manual of the coins, measures and weights of all countries in the world. Verlag Gottfried Basse, Quedlinburg and Leipzig 1830, p. 247.
  10. Franz von Heintl: The wine of the Austrian Empire. Volume 1, self-published, Vienna 1821, p. 31.