What Are Those Brits Thinking?

We went to Britain a few years back and I noticed this thing they do there with weights. They measure their weight in stone. One stone equals 14 pounds, so if you weighed 140 lbs, you would say, "I weigh ten stone." If you weighed 143 pounds, you would say, "I weigh ten stone three." (I think.) I've gotten slightly obsessed with this lately.

Why? Why would you have a base 14 measurement for weight, when your whole number system is a base ten? Isn't that difficult? I mean, it's only straightforward if you weigh 140 pounds. I don't think I know anyone who weighs 140 pounds. Any other weight seems a bit too complicated. Wouldn't it be much easier to say a stone was ten pounds? But it's not. It's fourteen.

The Swedes are pretty logical. A Swedish mile is ten kilometers, for instance. Much more practical.

British people don't seem to always know how many pounds or kilograms they weigh, just stone. So now I wonder if they have scales over there that tell you your weight in stone. They must, right? Has anyone ever seen one?


  1. The weight in stone thing has always driven me nuts...you need a calculator just to figure it out. Well, I do anyway...I am amazingly bad at math! ;)

  2. I'm sorry, but a base of fourteen is ridiculous. I remember one time in a book reading that someone had lost three stone, and I couldn't figure out what the hell they were trying to say!

  3. I have no problem with base 14. Must be a girl thing.

  4. Yeah. Girls like to keep things simple and straightforward.