Tangram (?) (1819)

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Mon Sep 10 06:42:47 UTC 2007

 From Google Books:


J. Walker, _A Rhyming Dictionary_ (London, 1819): p. 267:

<<.... / _Ep'i-gram_ A kind of short poem, pointed, s. / _Tan'gram_
An intricately contrived thing, s. / _Par-al-lel'o-gram_ A right
lined square figure, s. / ....>>


This book has a lot of obscure words. They are hard to find by search
because they are all syllabified as above.

Is the "tan" really from Chinese? One might consider the alternative
possibility of "tan-" from Latin "tam" as in "tandem", or from
"tandem" itself: perhaps "tangram" was conceived as "one figure after
another" or so. If the word was invented arbitrarily, it might be
hard to be sure. Or maybe "tan-" is from "tantalizing".

-- Doug Wilson

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