Sine, sine, everywhere a sine

Not a lot to do with how my year is going.  But on a quick note, today would have been my last day at Fleetwood, but I’m staying the year.  Anyway…

Jya was the old Sanskrit word for half-chord (of a circle).  When some old Indian astronomy texts got translated, there was no direct translation so they started to use “jiba.”  When written, Arabic doesn’t use vowels.  So it looked like j.b.  When translated from Arabic to Latin, the only Arabic word they could find that was similar to j.b. was jaib, which meant breast.  Rather than using such a dirty word in the such a noble context, they decided to use sinus which was something used to cover the breast, like a toga.  From sinus we get “sine.”

This kind of thing fascinates me.


About Mr. T

Well, I'm interested in math. Teaching it, learning it, describing it, living it. Creating it. Most importantly (to me) is helping others appreciate it as much as I do.
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