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A DICTIONARY OF
WEIGHTS, MEASURES
AND UNITS
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WEIGHTS & MEASURES

 
 
           
 

The next time your friend Jacques takes you for a ride in his Citroën deux-chevaux , careening down a narrow, tree-lined French country road, passing and darting in front of other cars with centimeters to spare before oncoming traffic speeds by, perhaps you'll be grateful to know that: (1.) Any speed seems faster in a deux-chevaux, (2.) Europeans have always been more in tune with the tolerances of their vehicles than Americans, and (3.) The 100 kilometers per hour you see on his speedometer is really only 60 miles per hour. Phew! (It's also reassuring that this classic vehicle can stop on a dime.)

That said, you will no doubt find it practical, from time to time, to convert weights and measures between the Imperial and the Metric systems. If you're using a pocket calculator, the tables below will give you the basics — but our nifty JavaScript calculators will perform the conversions directly in your browser in real time! Try them out. Not that the average tourist will need to convert metric horsepower to megajoules everyday, but many of these can be truly useful. Let us know what you think!

If you plan to shop for clothes or shoes, you will find the sizing standards different in the U.S., U.K. and the continent. Consult our sizing chart before you shop (or print out this page and take it with you), to be sure of getting it right!

 Metric Conversions
 LIQUID VOLUME
To convert Multiply by
U.S. gallons to liters 3.8
Liters to U.S. gallons .26
U.S. gallons to Imperial gallons .83
Imperial gallons to U.S. gallons 1.20
Imperial gallons to liters 4.55
1 liter = .26 gal. or 1.8 pints; 1 gal. = 3.8 liters
 DISTANCE
To convert Multiply by
Inches to centimeters 2.54
Centimeters to inches .39
Feet to meters .30
Meters to feet 3.28
Yards to meters .91
Meters to yards 1.09
Miles to kilometers 1.61
Kilometers to miles .62
1 mile = 1.6km; 1km = .62 mile; 1 ft. = .30m or 30cm;
1m = 3.3 ft.; 1 inch = 2.54 cm
 WEIGHT
To convert Multiply by
Ounces to grams 28.35
Grams to ounces .035
Pounds to kilograms .45
Kilograms to pounds 2.20
1 oz. = 28g; 1g = .04 oz.; 1 lb. = .45kg; 1kg = 2.2 lb.
 TEMPERATURE
To convert °F to °C, subtract 32 and multiply by 5/9 (.555)
To convert °C to °F, multiply by 1.8 and add 32.

  Clothing Size Conversion
 WOMEN'S CLOTHING
American 6 8 10 12 14 16      
Continental 36 38 40 42 44 46      
British 8 10 12 14 16 18      
 WOMEN'S SHOES
American 5 6 7 8 9 10      
Continental 36 37 38 39 40 41      
British 4 5 6 7 8 9      
 CHILDREN'S CLOTHING
American 3 4 5 6 6X        
Continental 98 104 110 116 122        
British 18 20 22 24 26        
 CHILDREN'S SHOES
American 8 9 10 11 12 13 1 2 3
Continental 24 25 27 28 29 30 32 33 34
British 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 1 2
 MEN'S SUITS
American 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48  
Continental 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58  
British 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48  
 MEN'S SHIRTS
American 14-1/2 15 15-1/2 16 16-1/2 17 17-1/2 18  
Continental 37 38 39 41 42 43 44 45  
British 14-1/2 15 15-1/2 16 16-1/2 17 17-1/2 18  
 MEN'S SHOES
American 7 8 9 10 11 12 13    
Continental 39-1/2 41 42 43 44-1/2 46 47    
British 6 7 8 9 10 11 12    

 

 
 

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