Leg of a TriangleDate: 04/02/2002 at 17:19:36 From: Lucy Subject: Parts of triangles I need to know where the name "leg" of a triangle comes from, or what its origin is. Thank you for your help. Date: 04/02/2002 at 20:45:59 From: Doctor Sarah Subject: Re: Parts of triangles Hi Lucy - thanks for writing to Dr. Math. From Steven Schwartzman's _The Words of Mathematics, An Etymological Dictionary of Mathematical Terms used in English_ (Mathematical Association of America): leg from Old Norse leggr "leg," of unknown prior origin. In a right triangle, the two sides that aren't the hypotenuse are known as legs. Because there are two of them, (as opposed to the three sides of a non-right triangle) they are named by analogy with the two legs of the human body. - Doctor Sarah, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ |
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