Everything you need to know about measuring ounces, from terms and origin to ounces in a pint and helpful measurements.
Do you know how many ounces are in a pint? Most people don’t. In fact, there is not one definitive answer to this question. The number of ounces in a pint can vary depending on which country you are in, and even which region within that country. But don’t worry, we’re going to clear all of that up for you! In this blog post, we will discuss the different ways to measure pints around the world, as well as how many ounces are in a pint in each case.
We’ll also give you a few tips on how to remember the conversions! Because if there’s one thing that makes cooking easier, it’s knowing different measurements and how they measure into one another. Knowing the how and the why can actually improve your cooking and help you master your favorite dishes.
What is an ounce?
The term ounce comes from the Roman term “uncia.” An uncia was 1/12 of a roman copper bar that was used as a tool to measure the length of an inch and the weight of an ounce.
Modern ounce weight and volume measurements, however, come from Britain.
Let’s start with fluid ounces. A fluid ounce is 1/16th of an Imperial Pint and weighs 1/16 of a pound, or 28.3 grams. In the apothecary system, an ounce was 480 grains or 1/12 of a pound. Is it any wonder Britain standardized on the metric system?
The United States is one of only three nations that still use Imperial measurements (and thus, the pint!). The other two are Liberia and Myanmar.
What is a pint?
The term pint comes from the French word pinte. This likely comes from the Latin term “pincta” derived from painted marks on the side of a container to show its capacity. Where tens are our normal units of division today, ancient times used eights. In Rome, a pint was 1/8 of a gallon!
In the United States, a pint is typically defined as 16 fluid ounces. This means that there are 16 oz in a pint-bottle or pitcher, and 16 oz in a standard glass of beer or soda. However, in the United Kingdom and Ireland, a pint is usually 20 fluid oz. So if you’re visiting one of these countries, remember that a pint is not the same as it is in the States!
In U.S. measurements, a pint is 473 ml. As for English pints, those are 568 ml or (20 ounces as mentioned above). The English like their beers big!
The English and their former colonial states (Canada, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand) all switched to the metric system, but still often use pints for ordering drinks. The rest of the world uses the metric system for this, and a ½ liter of beer is a very common serving size in most other countries.
|8 fl oz||1 cup||1/2 pint||1/4 quart||1/16 gallon|
|16 fl oz||2 cups||1 pint||1/2 quart||1/8 gallon|
|32 fl oz||4 cups||2 pints||1 quart||1/4 gallon|
|64 fl oz||8 cups||4 pints||2 quarts||1/2 gallon|
|128 fl oz||16 cups||8 pints||4 quarts||1 gallon|
Measuring an Ounce and Pint Internationally
Now that you know how many ounces are in a pint, let’s take a look at some of the different ways to measure a pint around the world!
As mentioned previously, in U.S. measurements, a pint is 473 ml.
In Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, a pint is defined as 20 imperial ounces. This is equivalent to 18.432 U.S. fluid ounces, so it’s a little bit different than the pint in the United States. In short:
- 1 fluid Pint (U.S.) = 16 fluid Ounces (US)
- 1 fluid Pint (U.K.) = 20 fluid Ounces (UK)
In Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden, a pint is defined as 500 milliliters. This works out to be about 16.91 U.S. fluid ounces, so it’s pretty close to how much one contains there!
Wet vs Dry Pint
Things get a bit dicy when we get into wet vs. dry measurements, because they’re not the same! Plus, we bring a whole different unit of measurement into it – volume.
A dry pint is 16 ounces, while a liquid pint is 20 ounces. The difference between these two types lies in the density of the fluid. Liquids tend to be less dense than solids, so they take up more space. This is why a liquid pint contains 20 ounces, while a dry pint has only 16.
It may be helpful to remember that whether using wet or dry ingredients, two cups are in a pint, and two pints are in a quart. Here are conversions for common ingredients for ounces to cups (which can be double to get ounces in a pint)!
fluid ounces (fl oz) vs dry ounces
The difference in measuring liquids and solids of course extends to ounces as well. Take a pint of blueberries for example. One pint of blueberries weighs about 12 oz, despite the fact that there are 16 dry ounces in a pint! The amount fills the container differently than if it were filled with a liquid taking up 100% of the space.
Ounces and pints will likely be what you see most while cooking. For this reason, here are some quick measurements to reference:
- 1 oz = .05 pints
- 10 oz = .53 pints
- 20 oz = 1.07 pints
- 50 oz = 2.68 pints