Difference Between Oz. and Fl. Oz. (With Table)

Oz. and FL. Oz. are two units belonging to different systems of measurement. Since they have quite a similar name, it can often be difficult to tell them apart. Moreover, most people use them interchangeably, which only adds to the confusion. However, there are several key differences between them that may help clear the matter.

Oz. vs Fl. Oz.

The difference between Oz. and Fl. Oz. is that Oz. is an acronym for ‘Ounce’ which is a unit that is used to measure weight or mass. On the other hand, Fl. Oz. is an acronym for ‘Fluid Ounce’ which is a unit that is used to measure volume or capacity. 

An Oz. is part of a system of measurement for physical quantities. This means that it can only be used to measure solid substances. It is most commonly adopted in the United States, often to measure the weight of packaged foods and food portions in recipes. However, the unit is also used sometimes in other English-speaking nations including the United Kingdom.

An Fl. Oz. is part of a different system of measurement for liquids. It can only be used to measure the volume of fluid substances or capacities. However, it has different definitions according to the Americans and the British. Americans use the United States Customary unit while the British use British Imperial Unit.

Comparison Table Between Oz. and Fl. Oz.

Parameters of ComparisonOz.Fl. Oz.
Full-FormThe full form of Oz. is ‘Ounce’.The full form of Fl. Oz. is ‘Fluid Ounce’.
MeaningIt is a unit of measurement for physical quantities.It is a unit of measurement for volume or capacities.
CriterionIt can only measure solid substances.It can only measure fluids.
DefinitionsThe unit is the same in the US and the UK.The unit has different definitions in the US and the UK.
UsageIt is commonly used in the US to measure the weight of packaged foods and food portions in recipes.It is used in the US and UK to measure the volume of water, wines, beverages, and other liquids.

What is Oz.?

Oz. is the full form for ‘Ounce‘ which is a unit of measurement for mass or weight. It was derived from the ancient Roman unit of measurement called ‘Uncia’. People in the United States use this most commonly to measure food portions and packaged foods. Other uses include the density of fabric, postal items and even boxing gloves.

Apart from the US, the rest of the English-speaking world may also use this unit. However, it is not as common. Regardless, the quantity that each unit represents remains the same. When converted to other systems, the quantity changes. For example, 1 ounce is the equivalent of 28.35 grams (approx.)

In earlier times, different places used different varieties of the unit at different times. A popular one is the ‘troy ounce’ which measures approximately 31 grams. It was used to calculate the mass of metals including gold, platinum, silver, rhodium, etc. However, this version of an ounce is not operative nowadays.

Another example of a variation is the metric ounce. Several countries around the world have adopted this system. For example, the Dutch ounce weighs approximately 100 grams. The exact measurement is also used in Indonesia as it is taught in the Government school syllabus.

What is Fl. Oz.?

Fl. Oz. is the acronym for ‘Fluid Ounce’. As the name suggests, the unit is used to measure volume and capacity. This can only be done for liquid substances such as water, wine, beverages and other fluids. People often use this term interchangeably with ‘ounce’. However, this only creates confusion.

The unit has different definitions in the US and UK. The United States customary fluid ounce is the equivalent of 29.57 ml. On the other hand, the British Imperial Fluid Ounce measures to be 28.41 ml. It can be inferred that the US version is 4.08% greater than the British version.

In the customary system of the US, one cup can be filled using 8 fluid ounces, while a pint consists of 16 fluid ounces. On the other hand, an imperial pint consists of 20 fluid ounces. Interestingly, a cup could be filled with milk as well as sugar. So, it doesn’t really matter what the content is. Rather, a fluid ounce is used to measure the capacity of the cup.

However, this does create some confusion. While milk can fill up all the corners and crevices of the cup, sugar cannot. There would still be some space between the granules that is left unmeasured. Therefore, unlike common American usage, it is always better to weigh solid substances using ounces instead of fluid ounce.

Main Differences Between Oz. and Fl. Oz.

  1. The full form of Oz. is ‘Ounce’ whereas the full form of Fl. Oz. is ‘Fluid Ounce’.
  2. Oz. is a unit of measurement for physical quantities whereas Fl. Oz. is a unit of measurement for volume or capacities.
  3. Oz. can only measure solid substances whereas Fl. Oz. can only measure fluids.
  4. The quantity of Oz. is the same in the US and the UK whereas Fl. Oz. has different definitions in the US and the UK.
  5. Oz. is commonly used in the US to measure the weight of packaged foods and food portions in recipes whereas Fl. Oz. is used in the US and UK to measure the volume of water, wines, beverages, and other liquids.

Conclusion

There’s no denying the fact that Oz. and Fl. Oz. are very confusing to understand and decipher. This is because of the changes in quantity and usage in America and the UK. However, one distinguishing factor that is easy to understand is that Oz. measures weight or mass whereas Fl. Oz. measures fluids. This remains the same regardless of the nation they are used in.

While Oz. is most commonly used in the US to quantify packaged foods and food portions, Fl. Oz. is used both in the US and the UK to measure the volume of water, wine, beverages and other liquids.

References

  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/8ae77701efe81e6d48738dd992a6d038/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=40146
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00224065.1982.11978803
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