I was reading my latest issue of MacAddict, and they made a reference to the forward-slash (/), calling it a “solidus”. I immediately had to look the etymology of the word up in the OED.
So apparently, a solidus was a Roman coin worth 25 denarii. It later referred to a shilling, and then referred to the shilling-mark, the slash used to separate the shillings from pence when writing down a value. The term then came to apply in general to all forward slashes. I guess it’s right up there with “ampersand” and “parenthesis”, in terms of weird-sounding symbol terms.
This reminded Emery of a weird word we had seen in an engineering textbook: the “subtrahend”, which like the dividend, is the thing that is being subtracted (or in the dividend’s case, divided).
Wow. I’m just overflowing with geeky trivia tonight.
“I Will Hold On” from Thornhill by Moxy Früvous