The word “algebra” originates from the Arabic al-jabr, which means "the reunion of broken parts".
Lisa Lim
Opinion

Opinion

Language Matters by Lisa Lim

Where the x we use in algebra came from, and the X in Xmas

The English word ‘algebra’ has its roots in Arabic, and some say the mathematical system’s unknown quantity, x, also came from Arabic; others credit Descartes

The X in Xmas, a common abbreviation for Christmas, has a quite different origin: Greek

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The word “algebra” originates from the Arabic al-jabr, which means "the reunion of broken parts".
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