Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Zenzizenzizenzic is the eighth power or exponent of a number. For example the zenzizenzizenzic of 2 is 256. It was suggested by Robert Recorde, a 16th century Welsh writer of popular mathematics textbooks, in The Whetstone of Witte, published in 1557, although his spelling was zenzizenzizenzike. It is obsolete except as a curiosity; the Oxford English Dictionary has only one citation for it. It survives as an historical oddity.
The root word is the German zenzic from the Italian censo, meaning "squared."
It dates from a time when there was no easy way of denoting the powers of numbers except as squares and cubes. The fourth power was represented by the square of a square, zenzizenzic, which is a condensed form of the Italian censo di censo, used by Leonardo of Pisa in his famous book Liber Abaci of 1202. The eighth power is by extension zenzizenzizenzic. Similarly the sixth power would be zenzicube, the square of a cube. Zenzizenzizenzic has more Z's than any other known word in the English language. Reference: Entry at Weird Words. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Zenzizenzizenzic". Link may die if entry is finally removed or merged.