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A one pood kettlebell

Pood (Russian: пуд, romanized: pud, IPA: [put], plural: pudi or pudy) is a unit of mass equal to 40 funt (фунт, Russian pound). Since 1899 it is set to approximately 16.38 kilograms (36.11 pounds).[1] It was used in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine. Pood was first mentioned in a number of 12th-century documents. Unlike funt, which came at least in the 14th century from Middle High German: phunt, Old East Slavic: пудъ pud (formerly written *пѫдъ pǫdŭ) is a much older borrowing from Late Latin "pondo", from Classical "pondus".

Use in the past and present[edit]

1959 postage stamp giving weight of grain in poods instead of tonnes

Together with other units of weight of the Imperial Russian weight measurement system, the USSR officially abolished the pood in 1924. The term remained in widespread use until at least the 1940s.[2] In his 1953 short story "Matryona's Place", Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn presents the pood as still in use amongst the Khrushchev-era Soviet peasants.

Its usage is preserved in modern Russian in certain specific cases, e.g., in reference to sports weights, such as traditional Russian kettlebells, cast in multiples and fractions of 16 kg (which is pood rounded to metric units). For example, a 24 kg kettlebell is commonly referred to as "one-and-half pood kettlebell" (polutorapudovaya girya). It is also sometimes used when reporting the amounts of bulk agricultural production, such as grains or potatoes.

An old Russian proverb reads, "You know a man when you have eaten a pood of salt with him." (Russian: Человека узнаешь, когда с ним пуд соли съешь.)

Idioms in Slavic languages[edit]

In modern colloquial Russian, the expression sto pudov (сто пудов) – 'a hundred poods,' an intentional play on the foreign "hundred percent" – imparts the ponderative sense of overwhelming weight to the declarative sentence it is added to. The generic meaning of "very serious" or "absolutely sure"[3] has almost supplanted its original meaning of "very heavy weight." The adjective stopudovy and the adverb stopudovo are also used to convey the same sense of certainty.

The word is also used in Polish idiomatically or as a proverb (with the original/strict meaning commonly forgotten): nudy na pudy (Polish for 'unsupportable boredoms', literally 'boredoms [that could be measured] in poods')


  1. ^ Yakovlev, V. B. (August 1957). "Development of Wrought Iron Production". Metallurgist. Volume. 1 (8). New York: Springer: 546. doi:10.1007/BF00732452. S2CID 137551466. 0026-0894.
  2. ^ Vasily Grossman (2007). A Writer at War: A Soviet Journalist with the Red Army, 1941-1945. Knopf Doubleday Publishing. ISBN 978-0307275332.
  3. ^ English-Russian-English dictionary of slang, jargon and Russian names. 2012

External links[edit]