Notes on hyperbolic numerals:

  • ‘Umpteen’ was coined in New Zealand in the late 19th Century
  • ‘Zillion’ appeared c.1916; probably from African-American vernacular
  • ‘Forty-leven’ was forty and eleven. It dates from c.1839
  • ‘Gazillion’ wasn’t used until 1974; ‘bajillion’ in 1990

Author: Matthew Culnane

Sometime social and UX person working in education. Interested in food, books, music, others. Working out how it all works.