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Countries where the official English name of the currency is "pound"

The pound is a unit of currency in some nations. The term originated in the Frankish Empire as a result of Charlemagne's currency reform ("pound" from Latin pondus, a unit of weight) and was subsequently taken to Great Britain as the value of a pound (weight) of silver.[1]

The English word pound is cognate with, among others, German Pfund, Dutch pond, and Swedish pund. All ultimately derive from a borrowing into Proto-Germanic of the Latin expression lībra pondō ("a pound by weight"), in which the word pondō is an adverb meaning "by weight" and related to the noun pondus ("weight"). The English word "pound" first referred to a unit of mass or weight; the monetary pound originated as a pound (by weight) of silver.[2]

The currency's symbol is £, a stylised representation of the letter L, standing for libra (Latin: "pound"). Historically, £1 worth of silver coins were a troy pound in weight; in August 2016 this amount of silver was worth approximately £170 sterling.

Today, the term may refer to the English name of a number of (primarily British and related) currencies and a variety of obsolete currencies. Some of them, those official in former Italian states[citation needed] and in countries formerly belonging to the Ottoman Empire, are called pound in English, while in the local languages their official name is lira.


Countries and territories currently using currencies called poundsEdit

Historical currenciesEdit

Currencies of the former British colonies in AmericaEdit

All of the following currencies have been replaced by the US dollar.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, entry "pound"
  3. ^ a b c Unofficial code
  4. ^ "Foreign and Commonwealth Office country profiles: British Antarctic Territory". Archived from the original on 2003-09-02.
  5. ^ Foreign and Commonwealth Office country profiles: South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  6. ^ [1] Foreign and Commonwealth Office country profiles: British Indian Ocean Territory Archived October 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine