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