British Units

A blog post by Albert Semple

23 Mar 2023

I was inspired by a post I saw on a car forum discussing miles vs kilometers, litres vs gallons. That caused me to think how weird we are using a mix of imperial and metric measures. We buy petrol in litres, but measure fuel economy in miles-per-gallon.

A distance for driving is stated in "miles"
But our petrol is purchased in "litres".
Economy's measured in "M-P-G"
But the width of the car is in "metres".
The heights of all people are "inches" and "feet"
And then "stones" are still used for their weights
The distance from Greenwich is "minutes" and "secs",
While a "yonk" is the time between dates.
A "Starmer" will measure a shift to the right
And faux outrage is measured in "Dorries".
"Prince Andrew" is used as a yardstick of shame,
While the unit of lies is a "Boris".
Accessible version

So I produced this to document some of the other weird measures we use.