How did the term cake come to mean easy?
The idea of cake being “easy” originated in the 1870’s when cakes were given out as prizes for winning competitions.
It was Gauss, in 1801, who introduced the term modulus of congruence, and the abreviation, "mod". Cajori credits Jean Argand for the first use of modulus for the length of a vector in 1814. I am not sure when the British public schools started to use the term for the absolute value of a number, and would love to know if someone has old books with these terms (or others for the same idea).
is from the Latin word for needle, with derivatives generalizing to anything pointed or sharp. The root persists in the words acid (sharp taste), acupuncture (to treat with needles) and acumen (mentally sharp). An acute angle then, is one which is sharp or pointed. In mathematics we define an acute angle as one which has a measure of less than 90o. It is an exact translation of the Greek word used by Euclid in his Elements. It seems to have been appeared in Latin in Boethus' translation of Elements in about the end of the Fifth Century. The first use of the term in Enlish was in Henry Billingsley's translation of the Elements of Euclid. "An acute angle is that, which is lesse then a right angle"; "an obtuse angle is that which is greater then a right angle" .
comes from a book written in Arabic that revolutionized how mathematics was done in western cultures. "Al-jebr w'al-mugabalah" written by (about 825 AD) who was also known as al-Khowarizmi. He is as famous among Arabs as Euclid and Aristotle are to the Western World. He was probably the greatest living mathematician of his period. The phrase Al-jebr at the start of the title became the word Algebra in western languages. The phrase loosly translated means "the reunion of broken parts". Later, in medieval Europe, "algebrista" was became a term for the person who set bones (the reunion of broken parts) and since it was the barbers who did the bonesetting and blood-letting, they were called an "algebrista".
The first was called the Galley, , or Scratch method. This method was efficient in a period of expensive paper and quill pens since it required less figures than other methods. Even the modern long division method requires more figures. The name Galley was used because the resulting pattern after the division left a picture that seemed to remind the early reckoning masters of the shape of a ship at sail. The term scratch has to do with the crossing out of values to be replaced with new ones in the process. The ease with which this could be done on a sand board or counting board made it a popular approach in the cultures of the East, and the method is believed to come from the early Hindu or Chinese. For example, Cajori writes, "It will be remembered that the scratch method did not spring into existence in the form taught by the writers of the sixteenth century. On the contrary, it is simply the graphical representation of the method employed by the Hindus, who calculated with a coarse pencil on a small dust-covered tablet. The erasing of a figure by the Hindus is here represented by the scratching of a figure." He also comments on the popularity of this method, " For a long time the galley or scratch method was used almost to the entire exclusion of the other methods. As late as the seventeenth century it was preferred to the one now in vogue. It was adopted in Spain, Germany, and England. It is found in the works of Tonstall, Kecorde, Stifel, Stevin, Wallis, Napier, and Oughtred. Not until the beginning of the eighteenth century was it superseded in England. "
The term originates from the use of opium by smoking it through a pipe. It is said that opium produces a dream-like state of mind, where things aren't realistic. (Whether these are hallucinations or not is debatable.) So, smoking opium in a pipe creates a "pipe dream" sensation.
The path of a point on a circle as it rolls around another circle of the same size is sort of heart shaped and thus the term is from the Greek root for heart, .
Here is a note on the origin of the term from a post by Julio Gonzalez Cabillon:
CARDIOID was first used by Giovanni Francesco Mauro Melchior Salvemini deCastillon in "De curva cardiode" in the Philosophical Transactions of theRoyal Society (1741). Giovanni Castillon was born on January 15, 1708, inCastiglione (hence his name), and died on October 11, 1791, in Berlin.I've taken his dates from Poggendorff's _Bibl.-lit. Handwoerterbuch_.
(1) One of the most notorious criminals of the Barbary Coast was Muldoon, who had so much muscle he was hard to arrest. The San Franciso newspaper led a campaign to help clean up the town. But rather than printing his name they put it in backwards = Noodlum. A bit obvious, the reported then changed the N to H = Hoodlum. So every time this criminal's activities were written up, it was as Hoodlum. Soon the name was synonymous with crime and illegal activities. (2) Another theory is it is a derivative of the German word 'huddellump' which means miserable fellow, wretch, and scoundrel."
Although now used almost exclusively for a period of one hundred years, century was originally the Latin term for any collection of one hundred items. In the Roman army a company consisted of one hundred men, and each was called a centurion.
Cajori attributes the first publication of the words above million to Nicholas Chuquet. Here is a quote from his A History of Elementary Mathematics with Hints on Methods of Teaching:
Their origin dates back almost to the time when the word million was first used. So far as known, they first occur in a manuscript work on arithmetic by that gifted French physician of Lyons, Nicolas Chuquet He employs the words byllion, tryllion, quadrillion, quyllion, sixlion, septyllion, octyllion, nonyllion, " to denote the second, third, etc. powers of a million, i.e. (1,000,000)2, (1,000,OO0)3, etc. Evidently Chuquet had solved the difficult question of numeration. The new words used by him appear in 1520 in the printed work of La Roche. Thus the great honour of having simplified numeration of large numbers appears to belong to the French. In England and Germany the new nomenclature was not introduced until about a century and a half later. In England the words billion, trillion, etc., were new when Locke wrote, about 1687. In Germany these new terms appear for the first time in 1681 in a work by Heckenberg of Hanover, but they did not come into general use before the eighteenth century. About the middle of the seventeenth century it became the custom in France to divide numbers into periods of three digits, instead of six, and to assign to the word billion, in place of the old meaning, (1000,000)2 or 1012, the new meaning of 109
But, the phrase originated with President Martin Van Buren, when he was running for his second term as president. He was born in Kinderhook, NY. And his nickname was "Old Kinderhook." So, his fans formed a campaign committee called the "Democratic O.K.
I believe the kids today say to just "suck it up." Well, the phrase originates from the days of the Civil War in which battlefield doctors had little pain killers or alcohol.
It can mean apathy (no opinions) or low monetary value. The origin is from the carnival people who created the word: Diddle-E-Squat to mean low-valued currency of nickels and dimes. Maybe because the town folk didn't understand, and the prizes were rather tacky, they brought the term into society to mean "worthless" or to have "little value."
The asymptote of a function as it is now used is a much narrower definition than the original Greek meaning. The word joins the roots (not), with (together) + (to fall) and literally means "not falling together", or not meeting. The word is believed to have been known to Apollonius of Perga before 200 BC. Originally it was used for any two curves that did not intersect. writes about both asymptotic lines, and symptotic lines (those that do cross). Now symptotic is almost never heard, and asymptote is used primarily for straight lines that serve as a limiting barrier for some curve as one of its parameters approaches infinity (+/-).