Measurement differences and conversions : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

This forum is read world-wide, and there is potential for confusion about measurements.

In particular there is the chance for confusion between US and Imperial volume measures (I was brought up with Imperial measurements, but we more or less use metric in Australia now). Mostly the confusion would be with people who understand Imperial measures reading the more common (on this forum) US measures, but it could work the other way too.

For those who want to be aware of the "gotchas", the big problem area (in fact, area isn't a problem) is volumes. The relationship (approximately) is:
US pints have only 16 fluid ounces, whereas Imperial pints have 20.
This means US gallons are only 4/5 of Imperial gallons, or that Imperial gallons are 1.25 US gallons.
This means that a US 55 gallon drum is in fact my old standard 44 gallon (imp) drum, or current 200 litre drum.
There are differences in cooking measures too - not my area of expertise, but teaspoons, cups, etc. are different; and recipes may not work.

Another area of confusion is tons: US tons are 2000 pounds (a "short ton" in international shipping), Imperial tons are 2240 pounds (1.12 short tons), metric tonnes are 1000 kg = 2200 pounds = 0.98 Imperial tons = 1.1 short tons.

Temperatures can sometimes be a source of confusion too. A few useful yardsticks are:




Freezing point of water



Boiling point of water



Pleasant cool spring day



Warm spring day



Normal human temperature, taken orally



Normal mid-summer day where I was brought up



A number



An interesting number



A few useful links for conversion are:

-- Don Armstrong (, July 21, 1999


Good point, Don. Here's a site with cooking measurements information:

Thre are differencesc in names of ingredients too: aubergine for eggplant, spring onion for green onion, cornflour for cornstarch, plain flour for all-purpose flour, and so on.

I've translated British cookbooks to American for a British food trade organization, so if anyone needs help with deciphering British or American cooking terms, ask away.

-- Old Git (, July 21, 1999.

This site is a good one to bookmark:

-- Gus (, July 21, 1999.

Agreed. But when you get to volumes, remember they are giving Imperial measures - not US.

-- Don Armstrong (, July 21, 1999.

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