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£ U+00A3, £
Latin-1 Supplement ¤
U+FFE1, £

Halfwidth and Fullwidth Forms



From the first letter of Latin lībra (pound). The symbol is derived from the mediaeval tradition of placing a stroke over a letter or letters of a word (in this case L) to indicate an abbreviation; when letters have ascenders like L, the stroke frequently passes through that ascender. £ is thus cognate with the pound sign #, which was similarly derived from lb with a stroke through the ascenders.



  1. pound sterling
  2. various other currencies called pound or lira.
    • 2007, Dave Lee (jazz musician), Nothing Rhymes with Silver 2[1], page 78:
      Flanders was able to flog his piece of land, for which he had originally paid £4,000, to one of the largest gold-mining corporations for something like a couple of million smackers.

Derived terms[edit]

The practice of placing a stroke through the initial of the name for a currency as a symbol for that currency has been extended to other currency symbols, including several shown below.

See also[edit]

  • £sd (pounds, shillings and pence)
  • £B (Bristol pound)
  • (lira)

Currency signs

Formerly used currency signs