Meaning of '-ominoe'Date: 11/07/2001 at 11:27:52 From: J. Bunker Subject: Geometry We are drawing pictures of dominoes, triominoes, tetrominoes, and pentominoes. What is the meaning of the root "ominoe"? Date: 11/07/2001 at 11:49:49 From: Doctor Sarah Subject: Re: Geometry Hi J - thanks for writing to Dr. Math. Good question! -omino isn't really a root, and with the exception of "domino," the rest are "made-up" words. Let's look at what Steven Schwartzman says about the word "polyomino" in _The Words of Mathematics - An Etymological Dictionary of Mathematical Terms Used in English (Mathematical Association of America): The term polyomino was coined by Solomon W. Golomb in 1954. The first component is fromGreek polus "many," from the Indo-European root pel - "to fill," which is an English cognate. The second component is all but the first letter of Latin domino, from Latin dominus "master (of the house)." The more basic Latin word is domus "house," from the Indo-European root dem - "home." In the 16th century, a domino was a priest's winter cloak with hood; the name came from the expression benedicamus domino "Let us bless the Lord," which monks used to repeat as a brief prayer. Only in the 19th century did the term apply to the rectangular pieces used in the game of dominoes. One hypothesis to explain the connection between the two dissimilar objects is that the dominoes used in the game are of the same black color as the dominoes worn by monks. The do- in domino coincidentally but conveniently resembles the do- that means "two," as in double and dodecagon. Whereas a standard domino is made up of two square sections with numbers on each, a polyomino is made up of several square sections without any numbers on them. A player is challenged to combine the pieces in a set of polyominoes to produce certain shapes or simple pictures of recognizable objects. There are 5 distinct tetrominoes, 12 pentominoes, 35 hexominoes, 108 heptominoes, 369 octominoes, etc. Pentominoes have been more popular than any of the other -ominoes. - Doctor Sarah, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ Date: 11/09/2001 at 10:17:42 From: jbunker@norman.k12.ok.us Subject: Geometry Dear Dr. Sarah, Thank you for your great answer. I will enjoy sharing it with my class. Ms. J. Bunker Norman, OK |
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