The Abbreviation for Gallon: What Is It and How Is It Used?

Ever wonder what the abbreviation of gallon is? Are you writing a recipe and can’t remember the abbreviation for this US customary unit? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

In this guide, we’re going to explore the abbreviations for gallon and discuss when you should use them. Let’s dive in!

The abbreviations for the word gallon are:

  • GL
  • Gal.

These abbreviations are commonly used where brevity and space are of concern. They  are also used for recipes and scientific formulas. The abbreviation GL should always be written with uppercase letters for grammatical accuracy.

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What Does Gallon Mean? defines the word gallon as:

Gallon [ gal-uh n ] 


a common unit of capacity in English-speaking countries, equal to four quarts, the U.S. standard gallon being equal to 231 cubic inches (3.7853 liters), and the British imperial gallon to 277.42 cubic inches (4.546 liters).

Synonyms for Gallon

●      British imperial liquid measure

●      US liquid measure

●      cup

●      gill

●      liquid unit

●      pint

●      quart

The History of the Word

The word gallon, referring to the English unit of measurement that contains four quarts, originated in the late thirteenth century. It is derived from the Old Northern French word galon, which corresponds to the Old French word jalon, a liquid measure that is roughly equivalent to the modern gallon. The Old French word was derived from the Medieval Latin word jale or the Latin diminutive form galleta, which means “bucket, pail, or measure of wine.” It is a word of unknown origin past Latin, but may also have derived from the Gaulish word galla, which means “vessel.”

When to Use the Abbreviation

GL or gal. can be used when writing formulas or recipes. Sometimes, this abbreviation will appear in newspaper or other publication headlines, especially where space is an issue. These abbreviations are almost never used in general prose, and the word gallon should always be spelled out in formal text. The abbreviations can also be used in note-taking or editing in order to reference a gallon. The abbreviation GL is rarely used with a period, but it can be used with a period if desired.

Examples of the Word and Abbreviations in Context

  1. Some units of measurement that I know include the imperial gallon, tons, pounds, ounces, drams, quarts, pints, and fluid ounces.
  2. I was a little confused about the metric system, as I grew up in the United States. Now, I kind of understand it, although I tend to get gallons and liters mixed up frequently.
  3. Add 2 gal. water and 4 tbs. butter. 
  4. I squinted at the recipe in the large book before me. 5 GL milk seemed a bit excessive. Just how much cake would I be making?
  5. “I’m a little bit confused by this thesaurus,” said Emily, “Are there no synonyms for the US gallon?” “Not exactly,” said Jan, “There are synonyms for units of measure that are liquid, but there is only one word for the gallon.”
  6. I was working on my third diorama now and found myself surrounded by half-finished miniature homes and gallons upon gallons of paint and glue.
  7. “What’s a dry gallon?” asked Martha. “Well,” mused Seth, pushing up his glasses from the tip of his nose, “You know how a gallon jug contains liquid? A dry gallon would measure something like corn or grain.” 
  8. He wore gallons of cologne. At least, that’s what he smelled like. 
  9. I started producing gallons of my own kombucha to sell from my food truck, and I had trouble keeping the potion in stock.
  10. All around my home, gallons of a strange, sparkling liquid fell from the sky. I knew it wasn’t simple rain. It was something else, something alien.
  11. A U.S. gallon is equivalent to 3.79 litres, 3,785.41 milliliters, 0.13 cubic foot, .004 cubic meter, 128 U.S. fluid ounces (fl oz), and 3,785.41 cubic centimeters