Home » number

Tagnumber

Colder Than Blitney

Nick in Cincinnati, Ohio, is fond of his Appalachian-born grandmother’s phrase colder than blitney, meaning “extremely cold” or “cold as the dickens.” It’s likely a version of cold as blixen, which has a number of...

Psammakosioi

From ancient Greece comes this example of an indefinite hyperbolic numeral such as umpteen, zillion, and fifty-eleven: psammakosioi. Aristophanes coined this term, which was picked up by other ancient writers, and literally means “sand...

The Abbreviation for “Number”

A high-schooler in Indianapolis, Indiana, wonders why the word number is abbreviated as no., given that there’s no letter O in the word. The answer lies in the Latin word numero, which is the ablative form of the Latin word for number, numerus. The...