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Question for the UK contingent: I know £ is the symbol for pounds (currency). Is the same symbol used for pounds (weight) as well? I don't think it is, but I just want to be sure. Ortonmc 16:02, 5 Mar 2004 (UTC)

No, it isn't. Five pounds in weight is 5 lb. Both £ and lb are abbreviations of Latin libra, 'pound'; £ began as a decorative letter L. Amatlexico 09:32, 7 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I think £ was also used sometimes for Italian lire, and possibly for other currencies (Turkish lire?). Can anyone confirm this?

It's not exactly an authority, but the Windows character map shows the lire sign (₤, Unicode 20A4) as having two horizontal lines, vice one for the pound sign. Ortonmc 17:20, 8 Mar 2004 (UTC)
I'd say there's a good chance that one or more of the countries using the Lira sign once used the pound sign before deriving their own version and that the pound sign is often used as a stand-in where the lira sign is not available. In an article on the lira sign the etymology is sure to be the pound sign. Needs investigating though...
American Heritage Dictionary (1978 edition) lists the following currencies with the £ symbol:
  • £C - Cypriot pound
  • £G - Gambian dalasi
  • £Ir. - Irish pound
  • I£ - Israeli pound
  • L£ - Lebanese pound
  • £M - Maltese pound
  • S£ - Syrian pound
  • T£ - Turkish lira
  • £ - U.K. pound
Not, however, Italy's lira, which is listed as Itl. Ortonmc 02:41, 9 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Interesting. Before Italy (and Ireland) changed their currencies to the euro, the abbreviation I saw most often used by shopkeepers and the like in Italy was LIT. I don't know how official that was though. -- Paul G 16:05, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)