Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by MaKenna from AL. MaKenna Wonders, “why is pounds lbs?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, MaKenna!
When you're little, growing taller and getting bigger is a… well… BIG deal! Children often look forward to certain milestones that they'll reach only when they're tall enough or weigh enough. Of course, when you get older, getting bigger isn't nearly as fun anymore.
Weight changes if the amount of gravity pulling on an object changes. Take yourself, for example. If you weigh 100 pounds on Earth, you would weigh only 16.6 pounds on the moon! That's because the moon's gravitational pull is significantly weaker than Earth's.
For the answer, we have to travel back to ancient Rome. The ancient Romans gave the name "Libra" to a constellation they thought looked like a pair of scales. The astrological sign Libra took its name from this constellation.
When the ancient Romans referred to weight, they used the term libra pondo. Libra meant "weight" or "balance scales," and pondo meant "pound." They eventually shortened the phrase to just libra, which they abbreviated “lb."