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Leg of a Triangle

Date: 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):

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   
Associated Topics:
Elementary Definitions
Elementary Geometry
Elementary Triangles and Other Polygons
High School Definitions
High School Geometry
High School Triangles and Other Polygons
Middle School Definitions
Middle School Geometry
Middle School Triangles and Other Polygons

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