Monday, 28 December 2015


Today's word is: Libra
Clase: sustantivo (noun)
Género: femenino (feminine)
Origen: latín (Latin)

In Spanish, “libra” is a feminine noun of Latin origin which means pound, and could be used to refer to:
  • A unit of weight – a pound
    • Una libra* de queso (a pound of cheese)
  • A unit of currency/ a coin – a pound
    • La cerveza me costó tres libras (the beer cost me £3.00)
  • A constallation/ a Zodiac sign -Libra
    • La constelación de Libra** es conocida también como la Balanza (the Libra constellation is also known as the balance/ the weighing scales)
    • El horóscopo Libra de hoy (today's Libra horoscope)

In Spanish, the word “libra” may be used also as a describing word/ adjective, e.g.:
  • Tu amiga es libra**, ¿verdad? (your friend is Libra, isn't she)

Spanish expressions with the word “libra” are:
  • Entrar pocos en libra (to be very rare/ exceptional -colloquial)
    • Personas como él entran pocas en libra (people like him are very rare/ are few and far between)
  • Garbanzos de libra (something exceptional)
    • Eso es como garbanzos de libra (that is exceptional/ like hen's teeth)
  • Libra carnicera** (butchers pound)
  • Libra egipcia (Egyptian pound/ currency of Egypt – EGP/ LE/ £)
  • Libra esterlina (pound sterling/ currency of the UK – GBP/ LS/ £)
  • Libra jaquesa (old currency unit in Aragon)
  • Libra libanesa (Lebanese pound/ currency of the Lebanon – SBP)
  • Libra mallorquina (old currency unit in the Balearics)
  • Libra medicinal*** (chemist/ pharmacist/ druggist pound)
  • Libra siria (Syrian pound/ currency of Syria – SYP/ LS/ £S)

*The “onza” (ounce) is smaller unit of weight. In Spain, the number “onzas” in a “libra” used to vary widely from region to region and even from town to town!

**Please note different spellings. In Spanish, the name of constellations and Zodiac signs are considered proper nouns and are capitalised, i.e.: “Libra”. However, the describing word/ adjective meaning: born under the Zodiac sign of Libra is normally not capitalised, i.e.: “libra”.
**Old unit of weight used in some parts to weigh meat and fish

***Old unit of weight used in apothecaries (chemists/ pharmacists) loves the word "libra" in the YouTube clip: Del Signo Libra

For more on the word "libra", visit: Libra

*NB 'Click' on the speaker icon next to the word “libra”in the link to hear the word pronounced.

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