The “standard” pronunciation of lb or lbs is the same as for pound(s).

However, given the nature of humans, I find it likely that in some slang a pronunciation based on the written word is used, e.g., /lɒb/. I am curious whether my guess is correct, i.e., whether such a pronunciation exists.

Unfortunately, searching the Internet for this did not give any satisfying (positive or negative) results, as it primarily yields non-slang dictionary entries, which only give the standard pronunciation.

  • 4
    The unit is descended from the Roman libra (hence the abbreviation "lb"); The name pound is a Germanic adaptation of the Latin phrase libra pondo, "a pound by weight" SeeRoman measure. In my experience it is always pronounced pound in English. Though in other languages, such as French -livre -, it is closer to its Latin original.
    – WS2
    Nov 28, 2015 at 18:30
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    Nope. Always 'pounds'
    – Mitch
    Nov 28, 2015 at 18:31
  • Well, I always pronounce them "lub" and "lubs". (But then, I do get a lot of strange looks.)
    – Hot Licks
    Nov 28, 2015 at 18:31
  • 1
    @HotLicks In my region, we sometimes say "libs" for pounds.
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Nov 29, 2015 at 1:14
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    I'm suprised, though I guess I shouldn't have been, by @Kit's response. I have never heard of anyone referring to points as anything resembling lbs. I was just about to say so in an answer when I read the comment. I wonder who the "we" is that says "libs" and in what context they could hope to be understood? Nov 30, 2015 at 5:44

1 Answer 1


This is the only instance I have ever heard of, of someone pronouncing "lbs." as something other than "pounds." Since it's intended as a joke on Lucy's naive understanding, I'd say it's clear enough: few do this even as slang, except as a joke or a mistake. (And if it weren't for Kit's comment above, I'd say "nobody.")

Peanuts cartoon about "ozzes" and "libs"

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