Tangram (now 1809 -- or 1712?) (UNCLASSIFIED)

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Tue Sep 11 05:38:41 UTC 2007

Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
> I think the other, earlier cites may be read as typos for "Trangam" or
> "Trangram", rather than specifically meaning the puzzle to which
> "Tangram" currently refers (for that matter, the cite I post above may
> be such).  But since it is likely that Tangram derived from the other
> words, the point at which Tangram assumed its current meaning may not be
> easy to find.
> I think the multiple citations which we've looked up strongly suggest
> "trangam" > "trangram" > "tangram", perhaps with coexistence as
> synonyms or variants for quite a while.
> Of the three the last might be preferred as a name for a Chinese
> puzzle since "-gram" looks familiar/appropriate (cf. "anagram" etc.)
> and "tan[g]" (but not "tran[g]") looks like a Chinese syllable.
Isn't Tang, as in the dynasty, fairly likely? I still think it's a
marketing gimmick. BB

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