A fun aspect of teaching math is that I get to share stories about numbers with my students.
The number “13” of course holds a special place in society and students love learning words like triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13).
I explain to them that “tris” means “three” and “dek” means “ten.”
This gives me the opportunity to demonstrate how words contain numerical prefixes taken from Latin and Greek, using these prefixes to define properties of cardinality, such as bi-cycle, cent-ennial, and sex-agenarian (one of my favorites!).
Now today, being a Friday the 13th, I get to use the word friggatriskaidekaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th). But in this case, the prefix “frigga” has nothing to do with numbers.
A few ago, a student told me that she had gone to see the movie “Thor” the day before (a Thursday) and was raving about how good it was.
So I said, “Well then, it’s a happy coincidence that you saw the movie on Thor Day.”
This led to a discussion on how days of the week were named after planets and gods. Sunday and Monday, of course, are immediately recognized as being named after the Sun and the Moon.
And, as per our discussion, Thursday was named after that hammer wielding beastie-boy, Thor.