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A span is the distance measured by a human hand, from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger. In ancient times, a span was considered to be half a cubit. See also: English unit
1 span
= 9 inches
= 0.2286 m


In Slavic languages, the analogue of the span is the piad (in Polish, piędź; in Russian, пядь). It is the width from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the forefinger. See also: Obsolete Russian weights and measures
1 piad
= 4 vershok
= 7 inches
= 0.1778 m


In Swahili, the equivalent of the span is the futuri.

In Hindi-Urdu and other languages of Northern Indiamarker and Pakistanmarker, the span is commonly used as an informal measure and called bālisht (Urdu: بالشت, Hindi: बालिश्त).

In Hungarian the span, named arasz is informally and occasionally used as a measure and has two types: measured between the tip of the stretched thumb and the index finger is kis arasz (lit. "small arasz") and between the tip of the thumb and the little finger is nagy arasz (lit "big arasz").

Notes

  1. Norman Lockyer, "Nature," Nature Publishing Group, Macmillan Journals Ltd., 1922.



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