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bazillion

English translation: bazillion

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:bazillion
English translation:bazillion
Entered by: humbird
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03:51 Mar 10, 2004
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters / Word derivation
English term or phrase: bazillion
Now someone asked about "bazillionaire", and answer is obviously someone like Bill Gates. My question is about its derivation. Yes there is million, billion, trillion, and zillion. What I like to know is where is the prefix (or its like) "ba" comes from? I though it is "gazillion" as it's monsterously gigantic (as quantitavely as money can be) and composite of --illion plus "Gazilla". Of course I was wrong on that. Again why "ba"? Thank you in advance.
humbird
bazillion
Explanation:
The following is an excerpt from a website that might be very interesting for you to take a look at (I give the link below):

"The system of naming large powers of ten seems to have first been worked out in France by a M. Chuquet in the 1480s. It was elegant and logical: starting with billion, multiples were derived based on powers of a million and named using a set of prefixes derived from the Latin numerals: bi–, tri–, quadr–, quint–, and so on, plus the suffix –illion derived from million. So a trillion was the third power of a million, a 1 followed by 18 zeroes. Over the following century, this system was adopted in much of continental Europe and in Britain.
If your concern is only to express the hugeness of some number, without tying yourself down to anything so mundane or precise as actual numbers, you can use one or other of the hand-waving words we have in the language. Zillion, which is well-established and can be traced back at least as far as the 1940s and Damon Runyon; more recently, others have begun to appear, such as bazillion, kazillion, jillion, gazillion and squillion, hardly any of which have yet made the dictionaries, though the last two are fairly commonly encountered."

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Note added at 9 mins (2004-03-10 04:01:23 GMT)
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I\'d say that the prefix \"ba-\" does not have a specific meaning. It is not derived from another language, like \"bi-\" and \"tri-\" from Latin for example.

People like to \"talk big\" and therefore you need words that sound big. And they catch attention when they are new. I guess that\'s the reason why we have so many (new) words with the meaning of \'huge number\'.
Selected response from:

Stefanie Sendelbach
Germany
Local time: 00:40
Grading comment
Thank you sundari. I appreciate you took time to include the excerpt from the website. I also like your comment on the derivation. Yes tall tale goes a long way especially compur and internet world.
3 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +6bazillion
Stefanie Sendelbach
3 +3English slang... "ba" is for emphasis, but really does not mean anything specific
Todd Field
5It is derived from "buzz"xxxAlex Zelkind


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


8 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
It is derived from "buzz"


Explanation:
It is so much (money) that counting it would definitely give you a buzz in your head :)

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Note added at 2004-03-10 04:24:23 (GMT)
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To Rita:

...to find a person who said it first. You\'ll also have to find out what went on in his head when he said it. If such task seems possible to you - go ahead and do \"research\". :)
Also, anyone can place an \"explanation\" on the Web. Such \"references\"! :)

xxxAlex Zelkind
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in RussianRussian

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  RHELLER: pure invention is no way to help a colleague Alex
5 mins
  -> Rita, what kind of reference are you looking for? New words are invented every day. Tomorrow someone might say "drandradzillion". Will you take it seriously and start looking for references? To find a real reference you'll have to find a person who said

neutral  Stefanie Sendelbach: agree with Rita. Alex, if you indicate highest confidence in your answer, you should be able to explain your viewpoint.
23 hrs
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7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +6
bazillion


Explanation:
The following is an excerpt from a website that might be very interesting for you to take a look at (I give the link below):

"The system of naming large powers of ten seems to have first been worked out in France by a M. Chuquet in the 1480s. It was elegant and logical: starting with billion, multiples were derived based on powers of a million and named using a set of prefixes derived from the Latin numerals: bi–, tri–, quadr–, quint–, and so on, plus the suffix –illion derived from million. So a trillion was the third power of a million, a 1 followed by 18 zeroes. Over the following century, this system was adopted in much of continental Europe and in Britain.
If your concern is only to express the hugeness of some number, without tying yourself down to anything so mundane or precise as actual numbers, you can use one or other of the hand-waving words we have in the language. Zillion, which is well-established and can be traced back at least as far as the 1940s and Damon Runyon; more recently, others have begun to appear, such as bazillion, kazillion, jillion, gazillion and squillion, hardly any of which have yet made the dictionaries, though the last two are fairly commonly encountered."

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 mins (2004-03-10 04:01:23 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I\'d say that the prefix \"ba-\" does not have a specific meaning. It is not derived from another language, like \"bi-\" and \"tri-\" from Latin for example.

People like to \"talk big\" and therefore you need words that sound big. And they catch attention when they are new. I guess that\'s the reason why we have so many (new) words with the meaning of \'huge number\'.


    Reference: http://www.quinion.com/words/articles/numbers.htm
Stefanie Sendelbach
Germany
Local time: 00:40
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman
Grading comment
Thank you sundari. I appreciate you took time to include the excerpt from the website. I also like your comment on the derivation. Yes tall tale goes a long way especially compur and internet world.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Rusinterp: interesting
1 hr
  -> Thanks!

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
3 hrs
  -> Thank you!

agree  perke: very interesting
6 hrs
  -> Thanks!

agree  Hacene
9 hrs

agree  Spiros Doikas
10 hrs

agree  chopra_2002
23 hrs
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11 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
English slang... "ba" is for emphasis, but really does not mean anything specific


Explanation:
As far as my linguistic instincts tell me.

"Gazillion" and "bazillion" really amount to the same thing. It's English slang for "a whole lot" or "a really whopping big number". It definitely does not imply any sort of specific number... just something in the "illions".

"Bazillion" is sort of a comical/ juvenile/nonsense expression. Often it is used by children, or by adults trying to be goofy or funny.

If anyone out there can pinpoint the exact linguistic origin or the "ba" part, then they DEFINITELY deserve all the Kudoz points!!!

Hope this helps.

Todd Field
United States
Local time: 16:40
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Terry Gilman: I will go off and do 'proper' research, but my hypothesis has always been that it was from bazooka gun (and gum), which derive from the musical instrument (kazoo like), evidently (though no source is given).
3 hrs

agree  Vicky Papaprodromou
3 hrs

agree  perke
6 hrs
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