Talk:Stone (unit)

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Here's the current organisation.

1 History 
1.1 Great Britain and Ireland
1.2 Continental Europe
1.3 Metric stone
2 Current use 
2.1 Conversion
3 See also
4 References
5 External links

The "Conversion" section contains two things.

  • a table with incorrect/unreferenced/out-of-date data
  • a note that there exist websites which can convert to and from the stone

That there exist unit conversion websites is no big news. It's useless to mention this here. Incorrect information is worse than useless. I suggest we delete this.

The rest of the "Current use" section deals with the current use in the UK & Ireland. So here's how the article currently flows: an intro, the UK & Ireland (from the middle ages to the eighties), continental Europe, the metric stone then back the the UK & Ireland (from the eighties on). I suggest merging the "Current use" section into the "Great Britain and Ireland" section. Once that's done I propose to ditch the "History" heading (not the text). So the article would look like this.

1 Great Britain and Ireland
2 Continental Europe
3 Metric stone
4 See also
5 References
6 External links

JIMp talk·cont 15:54, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the deletions. I'm reminded of all those "Waiter! waiter! There's a fly in my soup" jokes." Bad material in a Wikipedia article is like a fly in your soup. Zyxwv99 (talk) 16:54, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
I have reinstated the conversions as the stone was part of system of weights which should be noted. I have alosd double-checked the conversions. I have also instroduced a new section heading - "Antiquity" as the second paragraph of what was the lede is not a summary of material in the body of the article. Martinvl (talk) 05:47, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
The table looks fine to me, as it is only to four decimal places. Thus the differences between the current pound and kilogram and those of the early 19th century are not relevant. The text, however, could be improved, as "clarified" is ambiguous and slightly misleading, as it suggests that the relationships indicated in the table did not exist prior to the 1830s. Zyxwv99 (talk) 14:33, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
The word "clarified" was deliberate. Prior to 1824 the stone had many values, depending on commodity, location etc. The 1824 Act outlawed the stone, but traders continued to use it, so in the 1830's the value of the stone was clarified as being 14 lb. (The meat trade remained unconcinved until the eve of WWII). Martinvl (talk) 15:06, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
I suggest moving the table into the GB & I section rather than letting it dangle all by itself between the continental Europe section and the metric section. If the act didn't define these measures in terms of the kilogram, this should be stated. It also should be stated that the values are approximate; readers are looking for definitions and for non-SI units exact conversions to SI (where possible) are part of this. I also suggest adding a column for the (exact) current values. JIMp talk·cont 18:27, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
I am happy to move the table into the UK & I section. Martinvl (talk) 20:00, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
This is both an issue of semantics and politics. The various sorts of stones are as different from one another the troy ounce is from the ounce avoirdupois: they are different units with similar names. This has been universally recognized by metrologists. On the other hand, when abolishing units of measurement, it is not uncommmon for governments to resort to tactic similar to those used to abolish minority languages by classifying them as dialects. Irish was once classified as a dialect of English, for political reasons, by the same governments that were trying to abolish it, even when linguisists insisted that it was a separate language. The word "clarify" in this context is obviously political. I am not referring merely to the user, but to the text of the legislation itself. [unsigned comment by Zyxwv99 19:37, 3 September 2012]

Revocation of 4 October 2012[edit]

I revoked the changes of 4 October 2012. Even though the use of the kilogram mightg be increasing at the expense of the stone, we need a reliable source to make this statement - personal observations are often restricted to the socio-economic class of the observer. Martinvl (talk) 15:49, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Feedback available[edit]

Just stumbled across this.[1]

Might be worth thinking about putting the conversion more prominently at the top.

GaramondLethe 01:08, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

I checked both the version as it existed when feedback was made and the curent version. The issue has been resolved. Martinvl (talk) 04:00, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
Ah, should have checked that myself. Thanks! GaramondLethe 04:17, 6 October 2012 (UTC)


Many thanks to all of you for this wonderful article. When weighing myself on a hotel scale a few days ago I got the value 9st:13 3/4 and had no idea what that could mean. Now I know, and learned quite a bit of fascinating cultural history as well. --Remotelysensed (talk) 09:48, 20 January 2014 (UTC)

Mass or Force?[edit]

The article does not make it clear whether the stone is considered a mass or a force. It is compared to both pounds (force) and kilograms (mass). The historical use of an actual stone on a balance would suggest it is mass, but then it is used in measuring human body weight. Is there any official or legal definition? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:35, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

In common with other units such as pound and kilogram, the stone is a unit of mass, but it is also used as a unit of weight. If you want to make the distinction then use "stones weight" for the force, just as you would for "pounds weight". Where did you get the idea that the pound is a unit of force? Dbfirs 16:43, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
I stand corrected. I had always assumed that pounds were force, because they are used in measuring rocket thrust, torque, pressure, etc. Once again, Wikipedia has educated me. Pound (mass) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:53, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
The article was misleading, so I've made a slight adjustment. You are correct that pounds-force are used in measuring forces, but the pound itself was always mass, and was traditionally measured by comparing it with a standard mass.
Just to make matters more confusing, we also have the Poundal as a unit of force. Dbfirs 17:00, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Vs. Pound Sterling[edit]

Is it known whether the UK's continued common use of "stone" has anything to do with avoiding confusion over the fact "pound" is also the unit of currency? (talk) 13:47, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

Interesting idea but to be honest I doubt it. Please don't let that put you off researching it if you'd like to follow it up, but as a BrE speaker brought up pre-metric I can tell you that I don't "feel" the language point at all - context is all, and you can almost never get confused between the two. But feel free to prove me wrong! Cheers DBaK (talk) 18:48, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
No, I think it's just that we have continued with the traditional unit (stone) and see no need to express heavy weights in what to us are less appropriate units (in that pounds go into hundreds for human body weight). We still use pounds for smaller weights (cakes etc) without any confusion, and hundredweights (cwt = 112 lb) and tons (20 cwt = 2240 lb) for larger units, though 50kg has replaced the hundredweight, and the metric tonne has replaced the imperial ton for many applications. Dbfirs 08:58, 14 April 2015 (UTC)


in the imperial system is utterly inexplicably 108 or 112 lbs, neither 100 nor 120 (the old Germanic long hundred). This unit is the reason why and per WP:LEAD (inter alia, "explain why the subject is notable") it belongs in the lead. Against claims that the hundredweight is unnotable... at the very least it's much more notable than this unit itself is. — LlywelynII 13:58, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

You have presented no sources for your claim that the values of the hundredweight are "utterly inexplicable". You have presented no sources here for your contradictory claim that they are explained by differences in the value of the stone. You have presented a lesser claim at hundredweight, using only primary sources that indicate nothing but variations in the values of the hundredweight with no indication of the historical reasons; it is surmise and original research. The claim is not required to confer notability on Stone (unit) and the notability of the stone is not dependent on the notability of the hundredweight; you will notice that no-one else has challenged the notability of this unit of measure or suggested that this article should not exist. Far from being required in the lead, this claim is not a summary of material presented in the body of the article per WP:LEDE. Please do not reinstate it until - per WP:BRD - you have achieved consensus for the claim, presenting secondary sources, integrated the material into the body of the article and established consensus that it is of sufficient value to the reader to include a summary of it in the lead. NebY (talk) 10:00, 26 April 2015 (UTC)


Was this necessary? Who is it saving from what confusion? The article is already entitled "Stone (unit)". Best wishes to all DBaK (talk) 20:44, 5 October 2015 (UTC)