Historical

measures

Unit

Original

measure

Measure

today

Finger

(digit)

Width

of

a

finger

1.91

cm

Inch,

unch

or

uncia

Width

of

the

thumb.

Later,

three

grains

2.54

cm

Hand

Distance

across

the

width

of

a

hand.

Also,

four

fingers.

10.16

cm

Span

Distance

between

the

tip

of

the

thumb

and

the

tip

of

the

little

finger

with

the

hand

stretched

out

22.86

cm

Cubit

Distance

from

the

elbow

to

the

tip

of

the

middle

finger

(cubitum

is

Latin

for

‘elbow’)

50.8

cm

Yard

Length

of

a

particular

type

of

belt.

Later,

the

distance

from

the

chin

or

nose

90

cm

Foot

Length

of

adult

male’s

foot

30.48

cm