How long is a piece of string? How heavy is a stone?

Ages ago I read Bridget Jones’s Diary and I remember the main character quoting her weight in stone. I think i googled it way back then to see if it actually existed but figured this unit of measurement wasn’t really used anymore it was just a clever way for the author to make us think the Brits were a wee bit old school and actually weigh themselves using some unit of measurement invented by the Flintstones.

Come to find out since moving here…it is true! We were talking about people’s weights today at lunch (as we all ate pizza) and out of curiosity, I asked my colleagues what measurement they knew their weight in and every one of them said ‘stone’. A few of them knew what their stone weight converted to roughly in pounds or kilos but weren’t entirely sure as stone was their normal unit of measurement for someone’s weight.

WTF is a stone? (and why isn’t it plural?) That’s like measuring your height in string…I am 16 string…how long is the string? How big is the stone? Are they boulders, pebbles, gravel? For the longest time I had absolutely no perception of what it means to be a certain number of stone so when someone said ‘Did you see the show about the guy who was….50 stone’…I pictured both a very large and very small person cause it had to be one of the two.

For those of you who are interested and didn’t know, one stone is equal to 14 pounds (nice round number eh?!) which still doesn’t help me much as my 14 times tables aren’t great so if someone tells me they are 11 stone it still takes me ages to get a proper idea of what that means. At least if I was ever on Jeopardy and they said ‘it equals 14 pounds’ I would know what the question was!

How much is a stone

I am thinking I might write a Canadian version of Bridgette Jones but quote her weight in timbits

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2 Responses to How long is a piece of string? How heavy is a stone?

  1. nicspic2608 says:

    Brilliant post Adrienne, this made me chuckle!! I am one of those Brits that only knows my weight in stone, haven’t a scoobies when it come to pounds.

    Hope all is well with you. I’m off on holiday this Saturday for two weeks. We’ll need to see if we can fit in a drink (or several) before christmas!


  2. Kirstin says:

    I knew this – my British relatives all talk about their weight in stone but… but… if you go on a diet you have to wait to lose 14 POUNDS before you can say, “whoo hoo! dropped a stone!”. That’s exhausting. What if you only want to lose 5lbs? You have no way of obsessing over whether or not you’ve made it! Hmm… maybe that’s part of why north america is so fat and obsessed with weight – we have too accurate a system… If I had 14lbs of leeway on either side maybe I wouldn’t worry about it all so much…

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