Where did the word Math came from?

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In summary, the word "mathematics" is thought to have been coined by Pythagoras, along with the word "philosophy." It is first found in English in 1581, and was spelled "mathematikes" at the time. The website "Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics" may be of interest to those curious about the origins of mathematical terms.
  • #1
Ephratah7
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Where did the word Math came from?
 
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  • #2
I am guessing, ancient Greece? My second guess would be Arabic.
 
  • #3
If you worry about such things, you might find the website "Earliest Known Uses of Some of the Words of Mathematics" interesting:
http://members.aol.com/jeff570/mathword.html

It says:
MATHEMATICS. Pythagoras is said to have coined the words philosophy for "love of wisdom" and mathematics for "that which is learned."

Mathematics is found in English in 1581 in Positions, wherein those primitive circumstances be examined, which are necessarie for the training up of children by Richard Mulcaster. (The word is spelled "mathematikes.") (OED2)
 
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  • #4
"Euclid alone has looked on beauty bare"

---HallsofIvy
 

1. Where did the word "math" come from?

The word "math" is derived from the Greek word "mathema" which means "science, knowledge, or learning."

2. Did the ancient Greeks invent math?

While the ancient Greeks made significant contributions to the development of mathematics, they were not the only civilization to do so. Other civilizations such as the Egyptians and Babylonians also made important contributions to mathematical concepts.

3. How has the meaning of the word "math" changed over time?

In its earliest usage, "mathematics" referred to all types of knowledge and learning. However, over time, the term came to be associated specifically with the study of numbers, quantities, and shapes. In modern times, the word "math" has become a shortened version of "mathematics" and is used to refer to the subject as a whole.

4. Are there different words for "math" in other languages?

Yes, there are different words for "math" in other languages. For example, in Spanish, the word is "matemáticas," in French it is "mathématiques," and in German it is "Mathematik." However, many languages also use versions of the word "mathematics" or "mathematical" as well.

5. Is math a universal language?

While math is considered a universal language in the sense that mathematical concepts and principles are the same regardless of language, the symbols and notations used to represent these concepts may vary. Additionally, different cultures may have different approaches or perspectives on mathematical concepts. Therefore, while math is a universal language in theory, its application and understanding may vary among different cultures and societies.

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