[Ads-l] Further Antedating of "Googol" and "Googolplex"

Shapiro, Fred fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Sun Dec 30 23:14:07 UTC 2018

googol (OED 1940), googolplex (OED 1940)

1937 _Central New Jersey Home News_ 20 Apr. 2/2 (Newspapers.com)  Professor Kasner next told of his invention, called a "googol," which is a number, actually a one with 100 zeros written after it.  The name was given it by the professor's nephew.  The number actually started in the Park Avenue kindergarten, where he lectured on higher mathematics to children of five and six, when it was necessary for him to number the rain drops falling on New York City when it rained.  Later the need for a still higher number came up, and so the professor's nine-year-old nephew invented "googolplex," which has a "googol" of zeros after the one.

Fred Shapiro


YALE BOOK OF QUOTATIONS (Yale University Press)

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list