Skip to main content

Pound (currency)

A pound is any of various units of currency in some nations. The term originated in the Frankish Empire as a result of Charlemagne's currency reform ("pound" from Latin pondus, a unit of weight) and was subsequently taken to Great Britain as the value of a pound (weight) of silver. As of December 2019, this amount of silver was worth approximately ?147 sterling.

The English word pound is a cognate with, among others, German Pfund, Dutch pond, and Swedish pund. All ultimately derive from a borrowing into Proto-Germanic of the Latin expression l?bra pond? ("a pound by weight"), in which the word pond? is an adverb meaning "by weight" and related to the noun pondus ("weight").

The currency's symbol is ?, a stylised representation of the blackletter L ( L {\displaystyle {\mathfrak {L}}} ), standing for libra (Latin: "pound").

Today, the term may refer to the English name of a number of (primarily British and related) currencies and a variety of obsolete currencies. Some of them, such as in countries formerly belonging to the Ottoman Empire, are called pound in English, while in the local languages their official name is lira.


Last Updated on: 2022-07-18